Learning the Scientific Method

# Learning the Scientific Method

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## Learning the Scientific Method

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1. How to write a Testable (Investigative) Question. Learning the Scientific Method Tamara Helfer, 2012 Sequoia Science Explorations

2. Testable (investigative) Vs. Standard (factual) Question • When we come up with most questions they are in a style that is not set up to test. • STANDARD (Factual) Question: • EX. Why are insects so loud in the Spring? • In Science we must format those questions so that we can identify what we want to test and measure. • TESTABLE (Invesigative) Question: • EX. Does changing air temperature affect the amount of noise that insects make?

3. What is a “Testable Question?” A testable question is one that can be answered by designing and conducting an experiment. Testable questions are always about changing one thing to see what the effect is on another thing.

4. In a scientific experiment, these two blanks have special names: variables… We will talk about these later. How does __Manipulated Variable____ affect __Responding variable____? Testable Question Formats • Does changing _______ affect _______? • How does changing _____ affect _____? • If I change ______, will it affect ______? • The firstblankis what you Test, the second blank is what you will Measure.

5. The Steps to a testable question… • Look at the question given: • Does the question give both what to test and what to measure? • If Yes = testable, what is each • If No = standard • If it is standard • Does it give you either what to test or what to measure • If Yes = use that in the testable question and figure out the missing piece • If No = you must figure out both parts for your testable question • Write your Testable Question using the Formats

6. Examples • Try to write each of the following as a testable question. • 1) Does a ramp make my toy car go faster? • 2) Does light affect plants? • 3) Why can’t I make this sugar dissolve in my coffee?

7. Example 1: Standard: Does a ramp make my toy car go faster? Testable: Does changing the height of the ramp affect the speed of the car going down the ramp?

8. Example 2: • Standard: Does light affect plants? • Testable: Does changing the amount of light affect the growth rate of plants?

9. Example 3 • Standard: Why can’t I make this sugar dissolve in my coffee? • Testable: Does changing the temperature of coffee affect the time it takes a sugar cube to dissolve?

10. The Steps to a testable question… • Look at the question given: • Does the question give both what to test and what to measure? • If Yes = testable, what is each • If No = standard • If it is standard • Does it give you either what to test or what to measure • If Yes = use that in the testable question and figure out the missing piece • If No = you must figure out both parts for your testable question • Write your Testable Question using one of the Formats

11. Testable Question Formats • Does changing _______ affect _______? • How does changing _____ affect _____? • If I change ______, will it affect ______? • The firstblankis what you Test, the second blank is what you will Measure.

12. Standard Standard Testable Testable QOTD 10/9/13Testable Question Practice:Directions: Please Identify each of the following statements as either a Testable or a Standard question. If it is a testable question explain why. If it is a Standard question you need to re-write it as a Testable question.Remember: Testable questions are always about changing one thing to see what the effect is on another thing. ______________1. Why does it take so long for the cookies to bake? Does changing the temperature of an oven affect the time it takes for a cookie to bake? ______________2. How can I make my paper airplane fly further? Does changing the type of paper (copy paper vs. construction paper) affect the distance a paper airplane will fly?

13. Standard Standard Testable Testable Testable Question Practice:Directions:Please Identify each of the following statements as either a Testable or a Standard question. If it is a testable question explain why. If it is a Standard question you need to re-write it as a Testable question.Remember: Testable questions are always about changing one thing to see what the effect is on another thing. ______________1. Do red or pink roses smell better? How does changing the color of a rose affect the strength of the smell? ______________2. How does changing the type of surface affect the travel rate of a caterpillar? It is testable because, we want to test different types of surfaces, and we want to measure the speed of the caterpillar.

14. Standard Standard Testable Testable Testable Question Practice:Directions:Please Identify each of the following statements as either a Testable or a Standard question. If it is a testable question explain why. If it is a Standard question you need to re-write it as a Testable question.Remember: Testable questions are always about changing one thing to see what the effect is on another thing. ______________3. Is cigarette smoke harmful? Does changing the amount of cigarette smoke someone is exposed affect how often a person gets sick? ______________4. How does changing the size of the fish affect the breathing rates of tropical fish? It is testable because, we want to test different sizes of the fish, and we want to measure how quickly they breathe.

15. Standard Standard Testable Testable Testable Question Practice:Directions:Please Identify each of the following statements as either a Testable or a Standard question. If it is a testable question explain why. If it is a Standard question you need to re-write it as a Testable question.Remember: Testable questions are always about changing one thing to see what the effect is on another thing. ______________5. Does changing the type of gum form bigger bubbles? It is testable because, we want to test different types of gum, and we want to measure the size of the bubbles. ______________6. Do plants really need water? Does changing the amount of water that a plant gets affect how quickly the plant grows?

16. Standard Standard Testable Testable Testable Question Practice:Directions:Please Identify each of the following statements as either a Testable or a Standard question. If it is a testable question explain why. If it is a Standard question you need to re-write it as a Testable question.Remember: Testable questions are always about changing one thing to see what the effect is on another thing. _____________7. What makes bread grow mold? If I change the temperature where I store the bread will it affect the amount of mold that grows? How does changing the type of bread affect the amount of mold that grows? Does changing the amount of light the bread is exposed to affect the amount of mold that grows?

17. Standard Standard Testable Testable QOTD 10/10/13Testable Question Practice:Directions: Please Identify each of the following statements as either a Testable or a Standard question. If it is a testable question explain why. If it is a Standard question you need to re-write it as a Testable question.Remember: Testable questions are always about changing one thing to see what the effect is on another thing. ______________1. I can use any kind of soil to get nice big tomatoes can’t I? How does changing the type of soil I plant my tomatoes in affect the size of the tomatoes? ______________2. Does the type of soap I use on the dishes really matter? Does changing the brand of soap used on the dishes affect how clean the dishes get?

18. The Steps to a testable question… • Look at the question given: • Does the question give both what to test and what to measure? • If Yes = testable, what is each • If No = standard • If it is standard • Does it give you either what to test or what to measure • If Yes = use that in the testable question and figure out the missing piece • If No = you must figure out both parts for your testable question • Write your Testable Question using one of the Formats

19. Testable Question Formats • Does changing _______ affect _______? • How does changing _____ affect _____? • If I change ______, will it affect ______? • The firstblankis what you Test, the second blank is what you will Measure.