• explain that science is grounded on evidence-based observations that are testable.
• review the difference between verified observations (evidence) and inferences (explanations linked to evidence).
• explain the difference between verified observation (fact) and personal opinion/ interpretation (bias).
o verified observation – an objective statement of which has been tested and supported by observable and/or measurable evidence/facts (data)
o personal opinion/interpretation – a subjective statement of a thought that may be based on logic and reason but is not necessarily based on testable evidence/facts.
• distinguish between examples of empirical evidence (observations) and personal opinion/interpretation (a viewpoint based on one’s own judgment of the facts; a bias).
generate testable questions that will generate observable and measurable data.
• formulate a testable hypothesis based on information gathered from research.
• design a scientific investigation individually or in teams through a variety of methods
• use scientific tools during investigations to observe and measure physical properties.
• explain that all conditions in an experiment outside the manipulated variable must be controlled or kept the same (ensure that the results of an experiment can be explained ONLY by the variable being tested and not by some other factor).
• evaluate another’s written procedure or experimental setup.
• collect and record observable and measureable data in science notebooks.
• organize data in appropriate forms of record keeping (e.g., charts, tables, graphs).
• interpret and analyze data that has been collected.
• generate appropriate explanations based on evidence gathered (e.g., “My hypothesis was/was not supported by the evidence because…”).
• apply explanations to real world connections (application).
identify the control group in an experiment (a test group where the variable is NOT applied; considered to be the “normal condition” within the context of an experiment).
• explain the importance of a control group (to yield baseline data by which all other data will be compared).
explain that an authentic scientific investigation frequently does not parallel the steps of “the scientific method”.
• explain the difference between an experimental investigation and other types of scientific investigation.
o experimental investigation – used when one variable is defined/known and a test is done
o descriptive investigation – used to observe, describe, or identify
o comparative investigation – used to compare, differentiate, or classify
recognize that the results of experimental trials can vary even when common tools and procedures are used.
• discuss the reason for differences that may occur in data across groups as a result of using different tools and/or procedures.
• explain the need for repeated experimental trials or large experimental groups (to ensure the results are accurate, reliable, and valid).
• explain what is needed in order to repeat and replicate a scientific investigation (documented scientific procedures).
• recognize that when an experiment is replicated, it should produce similar results.
• distinguish the difference between repetition and replication.