Friday, April 30, 2010


Kid scientists know that there are different types of investigations for different situations.  In some cases, the best way to get more information is reasearch.  In others, Kid Scientists will make observations of a system.  There are also situations in which a Kid Scientist can conduct a Controlled Investigation.  This is what parents might think of as a typical school experiment.

One important aspect of an investigation, is identifying variables:
* The Manipulated or dependent variable is what the scientist specifically changes in order to understand it's impact
* The Responding or independent variable is what changes in response to the manipulated variable
* The Controlled variables are everything else the scientist is able to keep the same in order to isolate the manipulated variable.

Many Kid Science questions can be asked in a way to compare the Manipulated  to the Responding  variable:
- What is the effect of the weight of a rock on how big a splash it will make?
- What is the effect of  the height of a ramp on how far a car will roll past the ramp?
- What is the effect of amount of light on how tall a plant will grow?

Encourage your Kid Scientists to think about the variables involved in their investigations.

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