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Observations & Inferences Science Process Skills
Find the 6 differences between the two pictures. Answers: Tail feathers, snake’s tail, branch, ape’s finger, croc’s nostril, sun
Observations • Using your 5 senses - what you see, hear, feel, smell & taste* - to describe something and collect detailed information • The basis of the inquiry process • It begins an investigation & continues throughout it. • Gather your evidence • * with permission only
Questions • Are there cars parked on the sides of the road? • What color is the pickup truck driving in the road? • Any minivans around? • What does the blue sign say? • What's the speed limit? • Are there any pedestrians on the road?
Answers • Are there cars parked on the sides of the road? • Yes • What color is the pickup truck driving in the road? • Blue • Any minivans around? • Yes • What does the blue sign say? • Yard Sale • What's the speed limit? • 35 mph • Are there any pedestrians on the road? • No
Which observations would be good in science class? • It felt funny. • The plant was brown and wrinkled and laying flat in the dirt. • The rock is smooth, flat, & cool to touch. • It smells gross. • It’s cool. • White with rough ridges. • The leaf is very small. • The leaf is oval shaped and @ 2 inches long.
2 Types of Observations • Qualitative: describe what we observe. • Qualitative = quality (descriptive) No numbers • Ex’s: 1. The flower is blue. • 2. The flower smells sweet • QuaNtitative: Numbers; measurewhat we observe. • QuaNtitative= quantity (numerical) • Ex’s: 1. There are three petals on the flower. • 2. The flower is 6 cm in height.
Let’s Practice! • QuaLitative • QuaNtitative
QuaNtitativeor QuaLitative • The cup had a mass of 454 grams • QUAN • The temperature outside is 250 C • QUAN • It is warm outside • QUAL • The tree is 30 feet tall. • QUAN • The building has 25 stories • QUAN
QuaNtitative or QuaLitative • The building is taller than the tree. • QUAN • The sidewalk is long. • QUAL • The sidewalk is 100 meters long. • QUAN • The race was over quickly. • QUAL • The race was over in 10 minutes. • QUAN
An inconsiderate slob dumped trash on Rachel Rabbit's lawn. One of these two suspects is guilty. Slylock Fox found evidence that may identify the loathsome litterbug. What did Slylock observe to help him identify the trash tosser?
Solution • Slylock found bones in the trash. • The bull is an herbivore and only eats plants. • The raccoon is an omnivore and eats both plants and animals. • The raccoon is the trash tosser.
Inferences • An logical explanation or interpretation about things we observe • Based upon prior knowledge and experience Make an 3 inferences from the picture of the computer and the keyboard.
In the Science Lab: • In experiments, record observations NOT inferences • Inferences may be used when writing the conclusion in your lab report.
Practice Making Inferences • Observation: You observe a dejected-looking student leaving the principals office. • Inference: That student was in trouble. • Observation: You see several people leaving a movie-theater red-eyed and blowing their noses. • Inference: They just saw a sad movie.
More Inferences • Observation: You observe the sky at noon is darkening. • Inference: A storm is coming. • Observation: The principal interrupts the class and calls a student from the room. • Inference: The principal has something important to discuss with that student. • Observation: All middle school students are bringing their lunch from home. • Inference: The food in the cafeteria is poor.
Even More Inferences: • Observation: A former rock-and-roll band member has poor hearing. • Inference: Loud music can damage hearing. • Observation: You leave a movie theater and see the street is wet. • Inference: It rained while you were in the movie theater • Observation: A siren is heard going past the school. • Inference: An emergency vehicle just went by. Someone nearby is hurt or in trouble.
Tracks like these are common in parts of New England and in the southwestern United States. What do you OBSERVE? What can you INFER?
Making Inferences What inferences can you make from the following pictures?
Prediction • A statement of what may happen in the future based on observations, data, experience or scientific reason
Observations = what you knowInferences = what you concludePredictions = what you think will happen in the future
Observations & Inferences • In Notebook • 1 observation • 1 inference • 1 prediction
Using Observations to Make Predictions Lab • In Pairs: • 1 bag of gum drops • 1 paper plate • 1 plastic knife • Read and follow all direction • Take turns - 1 person cuts a gum drops in half – the other person chooses which half they want first. • Answer conclusion questions in complete sentences on notebook paper. Staple to lab sheet and turn in. • HW if not done.
Practice Observing • Will take a card to find your table. Remember your card. • The person with the spades will bring me the cards • Stand around table, do not uncover the tray. • When I say go, the person who drew the club card will uncover the tray. • You will have 2 minutes to look at the tray – SILENTLY • When I say stop, the person with the hearts card will cover the tray. • You will have 4 minutes to list as many items as you remember – SILENTLY
For Fun! • Get into groups of 2 (or 3) • Face each other for one minute • Turn away from each other • The person with the longest first name goes first. • One person changes one thing on them. • The other people in the group have to decide what was changed. • How well did you do?