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Biology Experimental Design Guide

biology Eperimental design guide for 8th grade Science Honors with Mr.Field


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Independent Variable
The single factor in an experiment that is changed, decided upon the experimenter. This is the only factor that is changed in an experiment, and the experimenter is investigating the effect of this one factor.
This must be written in complete sentence and paragraph form. In it you should explain why you obtained the results that you did, and if your hypothesis was supported or refuted. This should be your decision about the outcome of the experiment based on the data obtained. In addition, state any problem in your procedures that may have led to the results you got, and suggest improvements if the experiment were to be repeated.
Control Group
The set up in an experiment in which no changes are made. It serves as a reference for comparrison to the variable group.
All of the other factors that the experimenter is not trying to test, that could possibly affect the results of the experiment. They must be kept controlled- the same for every trial. If these factors are not the same for every trial in the experiment, the experiment will be inconclusive.
An educated guess that should suggest a possible answer to the question you are investigating. It should be reasonable, testable, and written in complete sentences.
Dependent Variable
The changes that come about and can be measured as a result of the changes in the independent variable made during the experiment.
Variable Group
The set up in an experiment in which one factor is varied or changed. This factor is the one that is being investigated.
This is a list of all materials and steps that are needed to conduct the experiment. It must be clearly stated, detailed, and written in complete sentences.
Results/ Observations
Identify in complete sentences the significant observations and the relationship between the hypothesis and the actual results.
This is a statement of the problem that will be investigated. It is usually in the form of a question.
The information you collect during the experiment. It must be accurately and neatly collected on appropriate tables in which both the independent and dependent variables are labeled, with units. The table should hve a title that clearly relates the independent variable to the dependent variable. If a graph is required, it also must be clearly labeled. You can use the same tile as the table. The independent variable should be on the horizontal (x) axis andthe dependent variable should be on the vertical (y) axis. Both axes must be labeled, including units of measure. Do not forget that numbers must be spaced evenly on each axis (although spacing on one axis can be different then the other.).

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