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Identify Variables and Writing Hypotheses

Here is some practice. Read the following scenarios and design a hypothesis and the variables in the
experiment. Record your answers on this paper.

Scenario 1

Kelly and Jack are playing in the park. Jack rolls a marble down the small playground slide. Kelly proposes
the idea that the marble would travel at a faster pace if it is rolled down the longer slide. This discussion
leads to the following investigative question. After reading the investigative question and hypothesis, identify
the cause and effect, the controlled variables in the experiment, and the variable being tested in the
experiment. Record your answers on your worksheet.

Investigative Question: What happens to the speed at which a marble travels when the height of a ramp is
changed?

Hypothesis: If the ramp is taller, the marble will roll at a greater pace.

Variable Being Tested (Independent/ Manipulated Variable): Height of the Ramp

Variable being measured (Dependent/ Responding Variable): Speed of the Marble

Variables that have to stay the same for a fair test (Control/constant variable): same size marbles, same
material for the ramp, same timer …. What else?

Scenario 2

Andy's nightly chores include washing the family dishes. His mother tends to cook everything that she
prepares a bit too long. Because of this, Andy spends a lot of sweat, effort, and time washing the dishes. He
sees a commercial on television that claims that brand X dishwashing detergent cuts through grease better
than its competitor brand Y. Andy writes the following investigative question and hypothesis. Identify the
cause and effect in Andy's hypothesis, identify the controlled variables and the variable being tested in the
experiment.

Investigative Question: Which dishwashing detergent removes grease faster?

Hypothesis: If you use Brand X detergent it will remove grease faster than Brand Y.

Variable Being Tested (Independent/ Manipulated Variable): Brand of detergent

Variable being measured (Dependent/ Responding Variable):Faster grease removal

Variables that have to stay the same for a fair test (Control/constant variable): same amount of water,
same amount of detergent, same force used to clean…. What else?
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Scenario 3

Marissa is an extremely curious middle school student who lives in a place where it snows. During a snow
day she noticed a truck spreading salt all over the road. After the truck went past Marissa's house, she put
on her snow boots, hat, and gloves and went to the edge of her driveway and made an observation. From her
observation, Marissa designed the following investigative question and hypothesis for an experiment she
later conducted. Identify the cause and effect in Marissa's hypothesis, identify the controlled variables and
the variable being tested in the experiment.

Investigative Question: What will happen if salt is added to ice?

Hypothesis: Adding salt to a bucket of ice will increase the rate at which the ice melts.

Variable Being Tested (Independent/ Manipulated Variable): Amount of salt (No salt and salt)

Variable being measured (Dependent/ Responding Variable): Speed (rate) that the snow melts

Variables that have to stay the same for a fair test (Control/constant variable): Amount of snow, size of
bucket… what else?

Scenario 4

Will works for a greenhouse in his local town. He learned how to conduct a controlled experiment in his
science class. He decides to practice this newly gained scientific knowledge and design a controlled
experiment that deals with the proper conditions to grow seeds. Will writes down the following investigative
question and hypothesis. Identify the cause and effect in Will's hypothesis, identify the controlled variables
and the variable being tested in the experiment.

Investigative Question: What conditions affect the growth of seeds?

Hypothesis: Seeds that are in a wet environment will sprout faster than seeds in a dry environment.

Variable Being Tested (Independent/ Manipulated Variable): Type of environment: wet or dry

Variable being measured (Dependent/ Responding Variable): Length of time for the seeds to sprout

Variables that have to stay the same for a fair test (Control/constant variable): Same amount of seeds,
same temperature, what else???
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