Thinking & Working Like A Scientist 7 th Grade. What is Science?. Science is the investigation and exploration of natural events and of the new information that results from those investigations. Scientific Inquiry.
Thinking & Working Like A Scientist 7th Grade
Science is the investigation and exploration of natural events and of the new information that results from those investigations.
A logical explanation of an observation that is drawn from prior knowledge or experience
Example: Students who study for tests earn better scores!
What is an example of a quantitative observation?
The Plant has white flowers
The White flowers have a nice smell
The plant is 15 CM TALL.
The plant has small leaves.
What are you trying to find out?
Also called the Purpose
Stated in the form of a question.
To design a controlled experiment, scientists identify factors that might affect the outcome of the experiment.
Any factor that has more than one value is called a variable.
Independent variable: The thing you are testing. The one and only variable you allow to change.
Dependent Variable: What you measure to compare the results of your test. Should be able to be charted or graphed.
Constant: The variables that you don’t allow to change. What stays the same in each test.
Control: Used for comparison
Which of these answers best describes a dependent variable?
A. The things that stay the same from
test A to test B to test C.
B. The variable that is changes from
test A to test B to test C.
C. The thing that never changes
D. the thing that you measure
Larry was told that a certain muscle cream was the newest best thing on the market and claims to double a person’s muscle power when used as part of a muscle-building workout. Interested in this product, he buys the special muscle cream and recruits Patrick and SpongeBob to help him with an experiment. Larry develops a special marshmallow weight-lifting program for Patrick and SpongeBob. He meets with them once every day for a period of 2 weeks and keeps track of their results. Before each session Patrick’s arms and back are lathered in the muscle cream, while Sponge Bob’s arms and back are lathered with the regular lotion.
Step by step instructions for how to conduct the testing.
Should be detailed enough that someone else could follow them and do exactly what you did.(Replication)
The experiment should be repeated at least five times for valid results. (Repetition)
Table 1: Plant Growth with TurboGroby Trial
Dr. Square copied Dr. Groovy’s procedure and got similar results! The plants grew an average of 30 cm in 5 days!
If scientific explanations are replicable, they are more valid and reliable.
Very careful record keeping is essential for valid results.
Use charts or tables to organize data.
Records measurements as well as observations and things you want to remember about what happened.
What are your results? What does the data show?
Create charts, tables, and graphs to represent all of your data.
Perform any calculations that will help you determine what the results mean. (i.e. averages, percentages, totals)
What are the possible sources of error? (i.e. inaccurate measurements, contamination, etc.)
They are based on opinions rather than data.
You draw conclusions that don’t logically follow the evidence.
Your sample size is too small or is biased.
Recheck and Repeat!
Then . . . .
Check all the calculations and instruments used to measure.
Repeat experiment at least 5 times.
Start questioning again . . . . Why??
Revise your hypothesis and start experimenting again!
EXPERIMENT VS. OTHER FORMS OF SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION
Not all scientific knowledge is derived from experimentation
3.Field Study – observe a natural habitat without manipulating variables
2.Simulation– imitating a real situation or process
Theories and Laws
Laws describe WHAT happens
Theories explain WHY
Theory of Evolution-
All life on Earth shares a common ancestor. There is “decent with modification.”
Evidence– Fossil Record, Genetic Studies, Radiometric Dating, Stratigraphy
Theory of Plate Tectonics
Evidence – Sea Floor Spreading, distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes, Fossils
Law of Conservation of Energy
Newton’s Laws of Motion
Law of Conservation of Mass
What is the difference between a scientific theory and a scientific law?
A. Scientific theories explain why something happens, and scientific laws describe what happens.
B. Scientific theories require scientific evidence and scientific laws do not.
C. Scientific theories are based on observation, and scientific laws are based on opinions.
D. Scientific laws are frequently modified, but scientific theories are rarely changed as new information becomes available.
Scientific knowledge can change as new evidence or interpretations arise
It was a widely held belief that the Earth was the center of the Universe until the 1500s
Theories may be modified, but are rarely discarded