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What is science?

a body of knowledge and a way of doing things; we learn about how the world works through intellectual and social activities.

What is biology?

Living Enviornment focuses more on living parts of biology (ecology, cells, genetics, evolution) than on other things such as biochemistry and all of the human body systems in detail.

What is scientific inquiry?

asking a question about the world and finding out an answer or explanation.

What is the purpose of scientific inquiry?

to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing and creative process.

What does scientific inquiry involve?

a. asking questions
b. observing and inferring
c. experimenting
d. collecting and organizing data
e. finding evidence and drawing conclusions
f. repeating the experiment several times
g. peer review
h. locating, interpreting, and processing information from a variety of sources
i. making judgments about the reliability if the source and relevance of information

i. what makes a source reliable?

author and date, info supported by other sources, peer review, .edu or .gov sometimes .net or .org

built by combining evidence that can be observed with what people already know about the world

i-observation= any info that is collected with any of the senses
ii-Inference=conclusion or deduction based on the observations


belief that something is true


influenced by an assumption that may or may no be correct

scientific explanations are accepted when...

they are consistent with experimental and observational evidence and when they lead to accurate predictions

all scientific explanations are...

tentative and subject to change or improve

each new bit of evidence can create...

more questions than its answers. this leads to increasingly better understanding of how things work in the living world


learning about the historical development of scientific concepts or about individuals who have contributed to scientific knowledge provides a better understanding of scientific inquiry and the relationship between science and society


values are essential to making effective and ethical decisions about the application of scientific knowledge.


pertaining to right and wrong, good and evil.

what are some values

safety, healthy, polite

what are some things you would value when conducting a research?

integrity (doing you work, treating others fairly), responsibility, honesty

what are well accepted theories?

theories that are supported by different kinds of scientific investigations often involving the contributions of individuals from different disciplines


an explanation supported by many observations and/or experiments, that can be used to accurately explain related occurences


predictions based upon both research and observation. usually written in "if...then..." statement.hypotheses are widely used in science for determining what data to collect and as a guide for interpreting the data. development of a research plan for testing a hypothesis requires planning to avoid bias (e.g., repeated trials, large sample size, and objective data-collection techniques).


doing the actual experiment to test (support or refute) your hypothesis.

independent variable

variable i can change. you should have ONE independent variable

dependent variable

data that you collect, depends on independent . is recorded in a table and then put into a graph (ex. plant growth)


established reference point ised as a standard of comparison

controlling the experiment

keeping everything else the same in an experimentso that there is only ONE independent variable. (ex. no a.c., same enviornment, same age)

collecting/ organizing data

make a chart or table or drawing


the observations made while testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented methods, provide new insights into natural phenomena.

analysis- organizing data

1. plot the data into a graph when necessary (either bar or line)

analysis-interpretation of data leads to development of additional hypothesis formulation of generalizations, or explanations of natural phenomena

1. hypotheses are valuable, even if they turn out no to be true, because they may lead to further investigations
2. claims should be questioned if the data are based on samples that are very small, biased, or inadequently controlled or if the conclusions are based on faulty, incomplete, or misleading use of numbers.
3. claims should be questioned if fact and opinion are intermingled, if adequate evidence is not cited, or if the conclusions do not follow logically from given evidence.


scientists make the results of their investigations public; they should describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations.


draw a conclusion about the outcome


scientists use peer review to evaluate the results of scientific investigations and explanations proposed by other scientists.
1. analyze the experimental procedures
2. examine the evidence
3. identify faulty reasoning
4. point out statements that go beyond the evidence
5. suggest alternative explanations for the same observations

measuring length

use a metric ruler (cm or mm)

measuring volume

use a graduated cylinder for liquids
use a metric ruler for solids
use water displacement for irregular solids

measuring temperature

always use Celsius

measuring mass

amount of matter in something
use a balance or electronic scale
we don't "weigh" things





Basic unit

meter (m)
liter (L)
gram (g)


1/10 or .1


1/100 or .01


1/1000 or .001

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