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Unit 1 Vocabulary

Characteristics of Living Things & Designing Experiments

organism a living thing
cell the basic unit of structure and function in living things
development change over time to become a more complex organism
stimulus a change in an organism's surroundings (causes a response)
response an action or change in behavior due to a stimulus
reproduce produce offspring that are similar to parents
spontaneous generation the mistaken belief that living things can come from nonliving things (disproved by Redi and Pasteur)
homeostasis the maintenance of stable internal conditions
observation a skill that involves the use of one or more of the senses to gather information and collect data
inference an interpretation of an observation that is based on evidence or prior knowledge
hypothesis a possible explanation for a set of observations or answer to a scientific question; must be testable
inquiry the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world
qualitative observations observations that describe the characteristics (qualities) of the subject; often use adjectives
quantitative observations observations that incorporate numbers (quantities), such as measurements or counts
dependent variable the factor that changes as a result of changes made to the independent variable in an experiment; what you measure
independent variable the one factor that a scientist changes to test a hypothesis during an experiment
controlled experiment an experiment in which all of the variables except for one remain the same
constant factors in an experiment that remain the same
control the sample that remains the same in an experiment; used for comparison
Created by: skrebbeks