When I was in school we learned that the hypothesis was ‘an educated guess’. In all my science project experience, I’ve yet to run across a better definition. The hypothesis really is just a guess.
Each experiment has one main question being asked. “Which cereal stays crunchiest in milk?” “Which type of insulation works best?” “Which type of soil retains the most water?”
The hypothesis is what your child thinks is the answer to that question. It’s your child’s guess as to what the answer will be. It doesn’t have to be correct. In fact, most of the time, a ‘real’ scientist’s hypothesis is not correct. If they knew the answer, they wouldn’t have to do the experiment in the first place!
When you’re helping your child ‘formulate’ an hypothesis, first of all, simply ask the big question. If your child doesn’t know, simply ask “What do you think? Can you guess?” Then ask, “Why do you think that?”
In the end, your hypothesis should read like this.
“I think that pink insulation will work the best because it is the fluffiest.”
“I think that spray insulation will work best because it won’t move around.”
“I think that the paper insulation will work best because it’s the most expensive.”
All of these are correctly stated hypotheses. The experiment may prove that the hypothesis itself was wrong – but learning new things is the fun of science!