Variables

STEM Fair
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Variables

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  1. STEM Fair

    Slide 1 - STEM Fair

    • Variables
  2. What is a variable?

    Slide 2 - What is a variable?

    • A variable is any component in a science experiment that can exist in different amounts or types.
    • Experiments have three types of variables:
    • A manipulated variable (also known as an independent variable).
    • A responding variable (also known as a dependent variable).
    • Controlled variables
  3. Manipulated variable

    Slide 3 - Manipulated variable

    • Also known as the independent variable.
    • The factor that is intentionally changed in an experimental procedure in order to find the effect on something else.
    • Bottom line- you change this component on purpose in your experiment.
    • NOTE– You should only have ONE manipulated variable in your experiment.
  4. Example…

    Slide 4 - Example…

    • You are interested in conducting a month long experiment in order to find out which soil a sunflower grows best in.
    • You choose three soils to plant the seed in (clay soil, silt soil, sandy soil).
    • What is the manipulated (independent) variable in your experiment?
    • THINK- What are you changing in this experiment?
    • Photo credit: http://www. www.clipartpal.com
  5. Answer…

    Slide 5 - Answer…

    • The manipulated variable is the type of soil that you are planting your seed in.
    • Why? You chose three different types of soil to see which one the sunflower seed will grow the best in.
    • Sandy soil
    • Clay soil
    • Silt soil
    • Photo credit: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-soil.htm#
  6. Responding variable

    Slide 6 - Responding variable

    • Also known as the dependent variable.
    • The factor that is observed and measured to see if it is affected by the change made in the independent variable.
    • Bottom line- The responding variable is dependent on the manipulated variable.
    • Ask yourself… what am I testing in this experiment?
  7. Example…

    Slide 7 - Example…

    • Remember your plant experiment…
    • You are interested in conducting a month long experiment in order to find out which soil a sunflower grows best in.
    • You choose three soils to plant the seed in (clay soil, silt soil, sandy soil).
    • What is dependent on the manipulated variable (the type of soil) in this experiment?
    • What are you looking for in this experiment?
    • What are you measuring?
  8. Answer…

    Slide 8 - Answer…

    • In this experiment, you are looking to see in which type of soil the sunflower will grow best in.
    • The responding (dependent) variable is the growth of the sunflower seed.
    • Why? The growth of the sunflower seed is dependent (relies on), or depends on the types of soil that you chose (also the manipulated variable).
  9. Controlled variables

    Slide 9 - Controlled variables

    • Controlled variables are the factors in the investigation that must be kept exactly the same so that they have no effect on the dependent variable.
    • Bottom line- Remember that you can only have ONE manipulated variable.
    • EVERYTHING ELSE MUST REMAIN THE SAME.
    • What would need to remain the same in the plant experiment?
    • Photo credit: http://www. thegraphicsfairy.com
  10. Answer…

    Slide 10 - Answer…

    • Your manipulated (independent) variable is the type of soil.
    • Therefore, you must keep everything else the same in your experiment.
    • The controlled variables in this experiment include:
    • The type of sunflower seed.
    • The brand of each soil.
    • The amount of soil you use to plant each seed.
    • The cup.
    • The placement of the cup in a room to measure growth.
    • The temperature of the room.
    • The amount of sunlight the cups receive.
    • The amount of water you use to water the plants.
    • The ruler you use to measure the plants.
  11. Need more Help?

    Slide 11 - Need more Help?

    • Please contact your child’s teacher with any additional questions about variables!
    • Thanks!