Topic 8 Scientific Inquiry and Skills

scientific inquiry
involves questioning, observing and inferring, experimenting, collecting and organizing data, finding evidence and drawing conclusions, repeating experiments and peer review
observations
information gathered using senses or tools (thermometer, graduated cylinder, ruler)
ex: using a microscope to see the structure of a cell
inferences
conclusions or deductions based on observations
ex: infer that if a slug remains motionless for a few hours that it is dead
assumptions
belief that something is true (good to keep to a minimum)
ex: assume that all 100 seeds planted will germinate if given water
opinions
idea that a person has which is not based on fact (often biased)
scientific view
critically analyze events, explanations, ideas
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inquiry
-involves asking questions and locating, interpreting, and processing information from many sources
-answers can be found through research plans and hypothesis testing
research plan
involves finding background information, devising an experiment
hypothesis
-predictions based on research and observations
-good ones predict the relationship between cause and effect in a way that can be tested
experiment
series of trials or tests that are done to support or refute a hypothesis
dependent variable
influenced by the independent variable
independent variable
influenced the dependent variable
ex: the amount a plant grows (dependent) depends on the amount of the hormone given (independent)
control
standard to compare to
data
results of trials or tests
graphs
pie, bar, histogram, line
(dependent variable on the y-axis-vertical
and independent variable on the x-axis-horizontal)
results
look at the relationship between the predicted and actual outcome
conclusion
look at whether the hypothesis was supported by the results
uses statistical analysis
peer review
several scientists examine the details of an experiment