Topic 8 Scientific Inquiry and Skills

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scientific inquiry
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involves questioning, observing and inferring, experimenting, collecting and organizing data, finding evidence and drawing conclusions, repeating experiments and peer review
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observations
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information gathered using senses or tools (thermometer, graduated cylinder, ruler) ex: using a microscope to see the structure of a cell
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inferences
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conclusions or deductions based on observations ex: infer that if a slug remains motionless for a few hours that it is dead
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assumptions
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belief that something is true (good to keep to a minimum) ex: assume that all 100 seeds planted will germinate if given water
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opinions
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idea that a person has which is not based on fact (often biased)
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scientific view
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critically analyze events, explanations, ideas
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inquiry
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-involves asking questions and locating, interpreting, and processing information from many sources -answers can be found through research plans and hypothesis testing
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research plan
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involves finding background information, devising an experiment
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hypothesis
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-predictions based on research and observations -good ones predict the relationship between cause and effect in a way that can be tested
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experiment
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series of trials or tests that are done to support or refute a hypothesis
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dependent variable
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influenced by the independent variable
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independent variable
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influenced the dependent variable ex: the amount a plant grows (dependent) depends on the amount of the hormone given (independent)
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control
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standard to compare to
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data
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results of trials or tests
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graphs
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pie, bar, histogram, line (dependent variable on the y-axis-vertical and independent variable on the x-axis-horizontal)
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results
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look at the relationship between the predicted and actual outcome
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conclusion
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look at whether the hypothesis was supported by the results uses statistical analysis
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peer review
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several scientists examine the details of an experiment

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