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Scientific Variables

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Robert White

on 9 September 2014

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Transcript of Scientific Variables

Scientific Variables
On Your Own
Read the first page of your hand out (Use any reading strategies that you have learned as you go).

When you have finished, get out a blank piece of paper and label it “Scientific Variables”

On your paper write the definition for each of the following terms in your own words:
Independent variable
Dependent variable
Controlled Variable
Cause Effect
Before After
Input Output
What you do What happens
What you change What is
on purpose affected
What you change What you

Independent Variables
Definition: What you change on purpose in the experiment.

Example: How much you water the lawn (the scientist can control the amount)

Dependent Variables
Definition: The variable that you are trying to measure. It DEPENDS on what you changed on purpose in the experiment (independent variable).

Example: The amount of green grass (because the amount of green grass DEPENDS on how much you water it)

On your own
Complete the Guided Practice section
- Circle the Independent Variable
- Underline the Dependent Variable

Identifying the Variables
1. If I increase the amount of chocolate I eat, then I will probably increase the number of pimples I get.
2. If the amount of salt in soil is increased, then plants will show less growth.
3. If the color of light shining on a plant is changed, then plant growth will be affected.
If I increase the temperature, then bacterial growth will occur more quickly.
A person will have a higher chance of getting skin cancer if they are exposed to ultraviolet light more often.
Is this Fair?
Suppose you want to find which brand of microwave popcorn pops the most kernels.
You pop one bag for 1 minute, a second bag for 2 minutes, and the last bag for 3 minutes.
You cook one bag in an old microwave, and the second and third bags in a new microwave.
Finally, you bought the kettle corn for the first brand, but extra buttery for the 2nd and 3rd brands.
Controlled Variables
The factors that stay the same in every trial of the experiment.
Everything but the independent variable should be kept the same!
Lawn Example: If I am trying to see if the amount of water affects the health of my lawn, everything but the amount of water should be the same.

How often I mow, the amount of fertilizer, the amount of shade, how often people walk on it, etc.
Full transcript