14 terms

Scientific Inquiry

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Terms in this set (...)

qualitative observation
observation about the "qualities" of different objects or events in the world (looks like, feels like, smells like); descriptions
Qualitative observations about a flower could include the color of the petals, the type of flower it is, or what it smells like.
quantitative observation
observation about the "quantities" of different objects or events in the world; numerical value
Quantitative observations about a flower could include how tall it is, how many petals it has, or how many flowers there are on a specific plant.
infer
educated guess; explanation using prior knowledge
The students will infer the reasons for the experimental outcome based on what they learned in class the previous week.
hypothesis
a testable explanation for an observed occurrence; usually an "if/then" statement
If I add more chocolate chips, then it will take longer for the cookies to bake.
independent variable
variable that is changed, controlled, or manipulated on purpose by the researcher
I am testing to see if the number of chocolate chips in cookies changes the cooking time, therefore the independent variable is the number of chocolate chips.
dependent variable
variable that is measured and affected during the experiment; 'dependent' on the independent variable
I am testing to see if the number of chocolate chips in cookies changes the cooking time, therefore the dependent variable is the length of time.
control
the part of an experiment that does not change; used to compare the results to during experimentation as the independent variable changes
I am testing to see if the number of chocolate chips in cookies changes the cooking time, therefore the control would be everything that does not change in the experiment; ingredients (except the number of chocolate chips), temperature of the oven, number of cookies per batch, and the type of pan.
conclusion
utilizes data from the experiment to support or reject the hypothesis
I cooked eight batches of cookies with different amounts of chocolate chips per batch and the cooking time did not change, therefore the conclusion is that the number of chocolate chips does not affect the cooking time and the hypothesis is wrong.
theory (scientific)
an event that has been proven through experimentation and is generally accepted as true
The scientific community generally accepts the idea of Einstein's Theory of Relativity because it is based upon a proven hypothesis and has been verified multiple times by different groups of researchers.
law (scientific)
a statement of fact that is generally accepted to be true and universal because it has always been observed to be true
The law of gravity is called a law because it has always been observed to be simple, true, universal, and absolute.
What does it mean if an experiment is replicable? Why is it important that experiments be replicable? (Site 1)
If an experiment is replicable it means that anybody can repeat the experiment and get the same results. It is important that experiments be replicable because if someone else can't repeat what you did, you might have made a mistake.
What is peer review? Why is it important? (Site 2)
Peer review is what scientists use. Peer review is how the public knows what the scientists are doing. It is a tool they use to ensure that quality research gets published.
When are hypotheses supported in science? (Site 3)
Hypotheses are supported in science during an experiment.
What are the components needed in order for an experiment to be valid? Identify these components in the following experiment: A scientist is testing a new plant food to see if it causes plants to grow faster. The scientist tests two plants with the new plant food, and two plants he grows without plant food.
The components needed in order for an experiment to be valid is a hypothesis, a control, and variables.

The contol woud be the plant food because it remains constant throughout the experiment and the variables would be the two different plants that the scientists are testing the new plant food on.