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SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY and SKILLS. What is science? a body of knowledge and a way of knowing things.

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Presentation on theme: "SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY and SKILLS. What is science? a body of knowledge and a way of knowing things."— Presentation transcript:


2 What is science? a body of knowledge and a way of knowing things

3 Scientific Inquiry

4 Scientific investigations involve the following: questioning observing experimenting collecting and organizing data finding evidence and drawing conclusions repeating the experiment several times peer review

5 Observations and Inferences

6 Observations An observation is the act of gathering information. Observations are things or events that are made using any of the senses or tools, such as thermometer, graduated cylinders, balances, or rulers.

7 Two types of Observations: Qualitative data information that describes color, odor, shape or some other physical characteristics in general, anything that relates to the five senses how something looks, feels, sounds, tastes or smells

8 Aim: How do we explain characteristics of science? Do now: Brainstorming about the word Science. Vocabulary: data, inferences,assumptions opinions


10 Quantitative data numerical information such as temperature, volume, pressure, time, the quantity of a substance formed, or how much of a substance is used up tells you how much, how little, how big, how tall, or how fast


12 Inferences are conclusions or deductions based on observations ideas or conclusions based on the results of an experiment or observation

13 Assumptions An assumption is the belief that something is true.

14 Opinions ideas people have that may or may not have any basis in fact often biased influenced by an assumption that may or may not be correct


16 How much have you learned? 1.When heavy rains occur while apple orchards are in bloom, the apple crop the following fall is much smaller than normal. This information can best be described as A. an inference B. a hypothesis C. a prediction D. an observation

17 2. A student prepared the following list of steps for performing a laboratory investigation. She omitted one important step for completing the investigation. Using one or more complete sentences, state the procedure that is missing in the chart.

18 3. The following graph represents the results of an investigation of the growth of three identical bacterial cultures incubated at different temperatures. Which inference can be made from the graph? A. Temperature is unrelated to the reproductive rate of bacteria. B. Bacteria cannot grow at a temperature of 5°C. C. Life activities in bacteria slow down at high temperatures. D. Refrigeration will most likely slow the growth of these bacteria.

19 4. Which of the steps listed below would be first in a scientific investigation? A. Perform the experiment. B. Analyze the experimental data. C. Formulate a hypothesis. D. Define the problem to be investigated.

20 5. A student performed an experiment involving two strains of microorganisms, strain A and strain B, cultured in various temperatures for 24 hours. The results of this experiment are shown in the following table. Based on the results, the student inferred that strain A was more resistant to higher temperatures than B. What, if anything, must the student do for this inference to be considered a reasonable conclusion? A. nothing, because this inference is a valid scientific fact B. repeat this experiment several times and obtain similar results C. repeat this experiment several times using different variables D. develop a new hypothesis

21 The Scientific Method a systematic approach used in scientific study an organized process used by scientists to do research provides a method for scientists to verify the work of others

22 The Scientific Method

23 Hypothesis a tentative explanation for what has been observed a prediction based upon both research and observation Experiments cannot prove a hypothesis

24 A good hypothesis... predicts the relationship between cause and effect in a way that can be tested can determine the organization of an experiment can also help determine what data to collect and how to interpret those data typically written as if-then or I think that

25 Examples of Hypothesis Statements This hormone will make plants grow faster. If this hormone is applied to plant leaves, then the plant will grow faster. I think this hormone when applied to plant leaves will make the plant grow faster.

26 The presence of this chemical in our drinking water does not harm us. If this chemical is safe, then it will not harm us when it is added to our drinking water. I think the presence of chemical in our drinking water does not harm us.

27 Designing an Experiment What is an experiment? a set of controlled observations that test the hypothesis a series of trials that are done to support or refute (disprove) a hypothesis a set of controlled observations where the results can be duplicated and rational conclusions drawn

28 You suspect that applying the chemical X to plant leaves will increase the growth rate of the plant. Hypothesis: If X is applied to the leaves of plants, then the plants will grow more rapidly than those that do not have X applied to their leaves.

29 What is it that you will measure?

30 Variable changeable something that may or does vary or change Two types of variables: 1. independent variable 2. dependent variable

31 Independent Variable the variable the investigation manipulates or changes Dependent Variable the value that changes in response to a change in the independent variable

32 Controlling Variables A control is a standard for comparison is an established reference point used as standard for comparison allows one to make comparisons that generate valid information

33 Experimental Controls

34 How much have you learned? 1. A new drug for the treatment of asthma is tested on 100 people. The people are evenly divided into two groups. One group is given the drug, and the other group is given a glucose pill. The group that is given the glucose pill serves as the A. experimental group B. limiting factor C. control D. indicator

35 2. A drug company tested a new medication before putting it on the commercial market. Pills without medication were given to 500 test subjects in group A, and pills with medication were given to 500 subjects in group B. In this experiment, the individuals in group A served as the A. host group B. dependent variable C. control D. hypothesis

36 3. In order to find the percentage of organic matter in soil from several locations, a student collected the samples, weighed them immediately, roasted them for several minutes in the flame of a Bunsen burner to burn off organic matter, and weighed them again. The student concluded that the difference between the first and second weights represented the weight of the organic matter in the soil. The most serious mistake that the student made in this experiment was in A. taking large samples B. weighing the samples before roasting them C. failing to dry the samples before first weighing them D. assuming that roasting could remove the organic matter

37 4. In an investigation to determine the effects of environmental pH on the germination of dandelion seeds, 25 dandelion seeds were added to each of five petri dishes. Each dish contained a solution that differed from the others only in its pH, as shown in the table. All other environmental conditions were the same. The dishes were covered and observed for 10 days. Which is the independent variable? Which is the dependent variable?

38 5. As part of a laboratory experiment, a thin slice of peeled raw potato weighing 10 grams is placed in an oven at 80°C. After 5 hours, the potato sample is removed from the oven and weighed again. The purpose of this experiment might be A. test for the presence of starch in living tissues B. isolate cells in various stages of cell division C. determine the water content of potato tissue D. study the rate of photosynthesis in potatoes

39 THEORY an explanation that has been supported by many, many experiments still subject to new experimental data and can be modified lead to new conclusions

40 SCIENTIFIC LAW a relationship in nature supported by many experiments a concise statement or mathematical equation about a basic relationship or regularity of nature

41 Scientific inquiry involves the ability to use various methods of recording data representing data organizing data

42 Data can be organized into: Diagrams tables charts graphs equations matrices

43 A diagram

44 A graph

45 A table/chart

46 A student was working on an investigation to measure the relative activity of an enzyme at various pH values. He collected the following data: pH 2, enzyme activity 10; pH 8, enzyme activity 50; pH 12, enzyme activity 10; pH 4, enzyme activity 20; pH 6, enzyme activity 40; pH 10, enzyme activity 40 What is the independent variable in this experiment?

47 Organize the given data by filling in the table below: Construct a graph using the information in the table.

48 According to the data, this enzyme would probably work best at what pH values? A. 7 and 8 B. 2 and 12 C. 6 and 7 D. 4 and 10

49 Design an experiment

50 Designing an Experiment

51 How much have you learned? 1. Which laboratory procedure would be best for demonstrating the effect of light intensity on the production of chlorophyll in pea plants? A. using 10 plants of different species, each grown in the same intensity of light B. using 10 plants of different species, each grown in a different intensity of light C. using 10 plants of the same species, each grown in the same intensity of light D. using 10 plants of the same species, each grown in a different intensity of light

52 2. In an early trial of the Salk vaccine for polio, 1,830,000 school children participated. This original trial was an attempt to determine whether the Salk vaccine was effective in preventing polio. Of the 1,830,000 children involved, only 440,000 received the vaccine. The remainder were not given the vaccine because they A. had a natural immunity B. already had polio C. served as control D. were allergic to the vaccine

53 3. One ounce each of protein, carbohydrate, and fat are burned separately in a calorimeter to determine the Caloric content. The results are shown in the data table. Which statement represents a valid conclusion based on the data? A. An ounce of fat contains about twice as many Calories as an ounce of protein. B. Protein is a better energy food than carbohydrate. C. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins all yield approximately the same number of Calories per unit of weight. D. Proteins and carbohydrates provide the most Calories per ounce.

54 4. A scientific study showed that the depth at which some microscopic plants were found in a lake varied from day to day. On clear days, the plants were found as far as 6 meters below the surface of the water but were only 1 meter below the surface on cloudy days. Which hypothesis would these observations support? A. Light intensity affects the growth of microscopic plants. B. Wind currents affect the growth of microscopic plants. C. Nitrogen concentration affects the growth of microscopic plants. D. Precipitation affects the growth of microscopic plants.

55 5. Tomato plants in a garden are not growing well. The gardener hypothesizes that the soil is too acidic. To test this hypothesis accurately, the gardener could do which of the following? A. Plant seeds of a different kind of plant. B. Move the tomato plant to an area with less sunlight. C. Change the pH of the soil. D. Reduce the amount of water available to the plant.

56 6. A scientist tested a hypothesis that white-tailed deer would prefer apples over corn as a primary food source. The findings of the test, in which the scientist claimed that the deer preferred apples, were published. Which research technique, if used by the scientist, might result in this claim being questioned? A. The scientist observed four different locations at various times. B. The scientist observed a total of 500 deer in 20 different locations at various times. C. The scientist observed 200 deer in various natural settings, but none in captivity. D. The scientist observed 300 deer in various locations in captivity, but none in natural settings.

57 7. The current knowledge concerning cells is the result of the investigations and observations of many scientists. The work of these scientists forms a well-accepted body of knowledge about cells. This body of knowledge is an example of a A. hypothesis B. controlled experiment C. theory D. research plan

58 8. The data below summarizes the results of an investigation in which seeds from the same plant were grown under different conditions of temperature and relative humidity. Which conclusion can be drawn from the information in the data table? A. Color in this species is determined by genes, only. B. Many characteristics are not inherited. C. Mutations occur only when plants are grown at low temperatures. D. There is an interaction between environment and heredity.

59 9. Diagrams, tables, and graphs are used by scientist mainly to A. design a research plan for an experiment B. test a hypothesis C. organize a data D. predict the independent variable

60 10. Scientific studies have indicated that there is a higher percentage of allergies in babies fed formula containing cows milk than in breast-fed babies. Which statement represents a valid inference made from these studies? A. Milk from cows causes allergic reactions in all infants. B. Breast feeding prevents all allergies from occurring. C. There is no relationship between drinking cows milk and having allergies. D. Breast milk most likely contains fewer substances that trigger allergies.

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