It's time for you to learn about the scientific method.  Oh, does that not sound like very much fun?  Very well then.  Let's try to make things a little more interesting!  We start with the very base upon which all of science rests: inquiry. This is asking questions and seeking information.  We are going to learn the scientific method by answering this question: how many marshmallows can you fit in your mouth and still be able to say the words, 'Chubby Bunny?'  Of course, all mouths are different sizes. We do not want to change too many different things in one test, so this test will just have to do with your mouth. We will use all of the following steps of the scientific method to answer that question.

Now, before we get to the marshmallows, you are going to want to know a few things about what you are about to do. Remember, most people just start stuffing marshmallows into their mouths. The difference between most people and real scientists is that scientists will do some reading first. Background research is when you look things up or ask people who have already done what you are trying to do.  This is one way to make sure that you will be ready. What if there are marshmallows out there that are smaller than others? What if someone choked to death by trying to eat too many? There is a lot to learn.

Once you know a little about what you are about to try, most importantly if this is safe or not, you can make a good, testable prediction.  A hypothesis is an educated guess about the outcome of your experiment. It is never a question; it is always a sentence that should sound like it could answer the question you asked in the first place.  Look inside your mouth in a mirror. Gather up some marshmallows of the same size.  How many marshmallows do you think could fit in there?  One? Forty? (The number will likely fall somewhere between the two.) Remember, you did some research, so you might have read about how many other people could fit in their mouths.  Write down your number so you do not forget it (and so people don't think you cheated and changed your number once you tried it). Have your number? Got it? Excellent! Now you are really ready to begin.  

Now for the best part, the part you have all been waiting for! Once we have our hypothesis, we are ready to head to the experiment. An experiment is a scientific activity divided into steps that allow us to test a hypothesis or prove that something is true. In other words, now you get to start stuffing marshmallows into your mouth. I hope you really like them! Good experiments are repeated more than once to make sure that it was done correctly.  Remember to say 'Chubby bunny' each time you put another in your mouth.  Now you can get your friends to try!  First, fill them in on all the background information you learned before you got started so they are as ready as you were at the beginning. Next, have them guess how many marshmallows they could fit in their mouths. Is it more or less than you? Here's the most important step: write down everything you do during the experiment. 

Once you have the numbers that both you and your friends found during this test, you can arrange this information on a graph to see how what you found compared with the numbers you guessed at the start of the experiment. A graph is a visual chart that lets you compare numbers. It will help you analyze data. This means putting what you wrote down into graphs and seeing how close it is to what you guessed earlier. All you are looking for here are differences in what you found.  Write down anything you see.  Maybe you could hold more marshmallows in your mouth towards the end of your experiments than back at the start.  Maybe one of your friends is very bad at guessing.  By the way, it's perfectly fine for what you found to be different from your first guess - this can open up the chance to test the same ideas in a different way.

Now that you have all of your ideas about the numbers written down, you can take some time to decide what everything means.  To draw a conclusion means to decide whether what you wrote down means your hypothesis is right or wrong.  Was your guess right?  Could you still say 'Chubby bunny' after eating the number of marshmallows you guessed?  How many times did you try?  Could you fit more marshmallows into your mouth in the end?  What does this mean?  Maybe your mouth stretched out.  Maybe your muscles grew stronger or maybe they grew more tired so you could not say the words you needed to. 

One more step! Now that you have gone through all of the steps above to arrive at your conclusion, you get to share what you learned with others!  A theory is an idea that explains something that has been tested many times by many scientists, and is generally agreed upon.  By having more people do this experiment, you will be able to build a better idea of how many people can fit marshmallows into their mouths.  Whew!  That was a lot of steps.  At the end of the day, you can lay back and enjoy the marshmallows . . . and a job well done.