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Scientific Method

TermDefinition
Observation involves using your senses to gather information.
Question A question posed after making a scientific observation. The scientific question must be testable by conducting an experiment and analyzing the measurable results.
Hypothesis A possible answer to a scientific question. Usually written in the form of an if/then statement.
Variables Factors that can change or be changed within an experiment.
Independent Variable The variable that is purposely manipulated or changed in an experiment.
Dependent Variable The variable that is being observed or measured in an experiment.
Controlled Variable Variables in an experiment that must be kept constant and unchanged so that the results are valid.
Experimental groups The group that receives the treatment whose effect researchers wish to study.
Control groups A control group does not receive the treatment. The control group is needed for comparison purposes to ensure that the treatment is causing the results and not an outside factor.
Data Evidence from an experiment that scientists collect that will be analyzed in order to conclude if an experiment answered the original question. The evidence must be appropriate and sufficient.
Conclusion The answer to the original question in one sentence ( also called a claim). The conclusion should provide data (evidence) to substantiate your claim and explain how the evidence supports your hypothesis using relevant scientific principles.
Scientific Theory Scientific facts supported by much evidence, but can't be retested for all cases.
Scientific Law Facts in science that have been shown to be absolutely true in all cases.
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