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Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method

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Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method

Understanding the World Around Us

- Observations/Facts you make with your senses that you know to be true.
- Quantitative: numbers
- Qualitative: descriptions that cannot be put in numbers

- A time-tested concept that makes predictions about the natural world. Once proposed, it must be tested over again. It may be thrown out or modified.

- If a theory survives many tests it becomes a law. It summarizes observed experimental facts.

- An explanation or interpretation of observations.
- Inferences are based on reasoning, not random guessing

- A forecast of what will happen in the future
- Based on past evidence or observations.

- Observations/Facts you make with your senses that you know to be true.
- Quantitative: numbers
- Qualitative: descriptions that cannot be put in numbers

- A time-tested concept that makes predictions about the natural world. Once proposed, it must be tested over again. It may be thrown out or modified.

- If a theory survives many tests it becomes a law. It summarizes observed experimental facts.

- An explanation or interpretation of observations.
- Inferences are based on reasoning, not random guessing

- A forecast of what will happen in the future
- Based on past evidence or observations.

- Uses senses to make observations.
- Makes inferences or predictions based on observations.
- Research the topic
- Form a hypothesis
- Design a controlled experiment to test the hypothesis
- Perform the experiment and record data
- Draw a conclusion

Hypothesis is Accepted

Hypothesis is Rejected

Becomes a Theory

Go back and redesign your hypothesis

Accepted many times and proven mathematically

Becomes a Law

Variable

The one part of an experiment that is manipulated by the scientist

Present in the experimental group, not present in the control group.

Example:

If you were testing the strength of different paper towels (like you did last year) the type of paper towel will be the variable.

Control Group

- Setup according to “normal” conditions

Experimental Group

- Same as the Control Group, but with the variable

Important Points:

- They are exactly the same except for the experimental group having the variable(the one difference)
- The larger the sample size, the more accurate the results

What is the variable (the one difference between the groups)?

If

- The conditions you are setting up (control group vs. experimental group)

Then

- Your predicted results.
- (what you think will happen)

Because

- Your explanation for your predicted results. (why)

- The manipulated/experimental variable
- This variable is the one you manipulate
- What you the scientist can change

- The responding variable
- This is what you measure in the experiment
- This variable’s value depends on the independent variable. It shows the results of your manipulation

Dependent

Variable

- Does adding coffee grinds to plants help them grow faster?

- Do people prefer Jerry’s Pizza or Lucio’s Pizza?

- Dep:_____________
- Ind:_____________

- Dep:_____________
- Ind:_____________

- Title
- The title must describe what is being done. It must be in the following form.
The Relationship Between the Independent Variable and the Dependent Variable

- The title must describe what is being done. It must be in the following form.
- Columns & Rows:
- Determine the number of rows and columns
- First row is for headings
- 1st Column Independent Variable
- 2nd Column Dependent Variable

- Labels
- Label each column (what does the data represent)

- Put units for the numbers
- Example: ml, cm, etc…

- Place in an order, either least to greatest or greatest to least.

The Relationship Between the Independent and the Dependent Variable

Title

Axis Labels and Units

The independent variable goes on the x-axis (horizontal) and the dependent goes on the y-axis (vertical

Dependent

Variable

Independent

Variable

Line Graph vs. Bar Graph

- Bar Graphs are used to graph information that is not continuous.
- Example: Mrs. Fugarino believes that student’s behavior in class is directly related to the teacher’s hair color. She conducted a study and discovered the following results which are graphed below.