The scientific method has been described in numerous textbooks as a set of steps to be followed. Steps may be memorized without understanding the true nature of the steps, the true nature of doing science. The way in which a scientist approaches answering an unknown is through informed experimentation. Scientists approach the unknown as a question to be answered and devise a method, based on prior knowledge and experience, to answer the question. The method relies on precise measurements which allows for the results to be verified. Because scientists are dealing with an unknown, something for which there is not an answer, they must often begin with a hypothesis. A hypothesis is what the informed scientists thinks the answer to the question will be; it is essentially an educated guess.
- Teresa Ciardi