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Variables Study Guide


Variables Study Guide

 

 



Variables Test: Thursday, April 7, 2011


 



Variables Unit Goals:



  • Gain experience with the concept of variable.

  • Gain experience with the concept of system.

  • Design and conduct controlled experiments.

  • Construct materials that will be used in the investigations.

  • Acquire some understanding of the behavior of pendulums.

  • Gain experience with buoyancy.

  • Use data to make predictions.

  • Apply mathematics in the context of science.

  • Record and graph data concretely, pictorially, and symbolically to discover relationships.

  • Acquire the vocabulary associated with controlled experimentation.

  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations: observing, communicating, comparing, organizing, and relating.


Investigations Review:


 






























FOSS Investigation


Synopsis


Science Content


FOSS Science Stories


Swingers


Students experiment with variables that do and do not affect the behavior of pendulums. They graph their results and use their graphs to predict the behavior of additional pendulums.


• A variable is anything that you can change in an experiment that might affect the outcome.


• In a controlled experiment only one variable is changed, and the results are compared to a standard.


• The length of a pendulum determines the number of swings in a unit of time.


• What Scientists Do


Pages 1-7


 


• Swinging through History


Pages 8-9


Lifeboats


Students construct a fleet of paper-cup boats and discover how many passengers (pennies) each will hold before sinking. The variables of boat depth and


arrangement of passengers are explored.


• A variable is anything that you can change in an experiment that might affect the outcome.


• In a controlled experiment, only one variable is changed, and the results are compared to a standard.


• Capacity is the maximum volume of fluid


a container can hold.


• Sink or Swim?


Pages 10-11


 


• Science in the Bathtub


Pages 12-14


Plane Sense


Students construct rubber-band–powered airplanes and fly them on a line. They experiment with a number of variables to see how each affects the distance the plane travels.


• A variable is anything that you can change in an experiment that might affect the outcome.


• In a controlled experiment, the experimental variable is changed incrementally to see how it affects the outcome.


• A system is a set of related objects that can be studied in isolation.


• Airplane Basics


Pages 15-17


 


• Experimental Designs


Pages 18-20


 


• Great Names in Aviation History


Pages 21-28


 


• Build Your Own Paper Airplane


Pages 29-31


Flippers


Students manipulate small catapults called flippers to investigate the variables that contribute to the highest and longest flips of objects. They conduct controlled experiments and graph their results.


• A variable is anything that you can change in an experiment that might affect the outcome.


• In a controlled experiment, the experimental variable is changed incrementally to see how it affects the outcome.


• A system is a set of related objects that can be studied in isolation.


• Flingers


Pages 32-33


 


• Prove It!


Pages 34-37


 



 



Word Bank


 


Capacity - the maximum volume of fluid a container can hold.


 


Controlled Experiment – an experience in which one, and only one, variable is changed and the outcome is compared to a standard.


 


Cycle - any complete round or series of occurrences that repeats or is repeated.


 


Dependent Variable - (in an experiment) the event studied and expected to change when the independent variable is changed (the result).


 


Experiment – is an investigation designed to find out how variables affect outcomes.


 


Independent Variable – (in an experiment) a manipulated variable in an experiment or study whose presence or degree determines the change in the dependent variable (what you know when you begin the experiment).


 


Mass – the quantity of matter as determined from its weight


 


Pendulum – a mass hanging from a fixed point that is free to swing to and fro.


 


Prediction – an estimate based on information or experience.


 


Standard – is the basic procedure used in a controlled experiment, before changing any of the variables.


 


Systema set of related objects working together that can be studied in isolation.


 


Two-coordinate graph – show the outcome of a series of experiments when a variable is changed by steps. The horizontal line (x-axis) represents what is know before the experiment starts. The vertical line (y-axis) represents what we find out by doing the experiment.


 


Variable – anything that you can change in an experiment that might affect the outcome.


 



Concepts to Review


 


System


 


·         Objects in the system


·         Standard system


·         Variables


 


Investigation/Controlled Experiment


 



  • Question/Purpose


  • Hypothesis/Prediction

  • Experiment/Method/Materials (standard set up, variables tested)

  • Results

  • Conclusion


Graphing – Create and interpret a two-coordinate graph.


 


·         Title


·         Independent variable


·         Dependent variable


·         X-axis


·         Y-axis


·         Labels


 



Investigations Review - Fill in the chart.


 






























Investigation


System


Variables


Variables with Greatest Impact


Swingers


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Lifeboats


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Plane Sense


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Flippers