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content provider: the Science Buddies
published by the Science Buddies
The Science Buddies website aims to promote deep understanding of scientific research through student science fair projects. This segment of the website provides explicit help in understanding variables and designing a fair test. The page includes:

1) Background information: What are variables in scientific inquiry and why is it important to identify them?
2) Eight short examples of scientific questions with independent and dependent variables identified.
3) Sample write-up of a simple experiment with hypothesis, experimental groups described, and variables to be controlled
4) Student checklist for selecting good variables
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Research Design & Methodology
Education Practices
- Informal Education
General Physics
- General
Other Sciences
- Chemistry
- Engineering
- Middle School
- High School
- Elementary School
- Instructional Material
= Student Guide
= Tutorial
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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© 2002 Science Buddies
Duplication of images or graphics from Science Buddies website is forbidden.
Science Practices, Science fair, experimental design, fair test, hypothesis, science fair project, science project, scientific method, variables
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 17, 2013 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 2, 2011

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 3-5: 1B/E1. Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.
  • 6-8: 1B/M1b. Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
  • 6-8: 1B/M2ab. If more than one variable changes at the same time in an experiment, the outcome of the experiment may not be clearly attributable to any one variable. It may not always be possible to prevent outside variables from influencing an investigation (or even to identify all of the variables).
  • 9-12: 1B/H2. Hypotheses are widely used in science for choosing what data to pay attention to and what additional data to seek, and for guiding the interpretation of the data (both new and previously available).

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World (2-12)
  • Science findings are limited to questions that can be answered with empirical evidence. (5)
Science is a Human Endeavor (3-12)
  • Science affects everyday life. (3-4)
  • Scientists and engineers are guided by habits of mind such as intellectual honesty, tolerance of ambiguity, skepticism, and openness to new ideas. (6-8)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

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Record Link
AIP Format
(Science Buddies, Carmel, 2002), WWW Document, (http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml).
Science Buddies: Variables in Your Science Fair Project, (Science Buddies, Carmel, 2002), <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml>.
APA Format
Science Buddies: Variables in Your Science Fair Project. (2011, September 2). Retrieved February 23, 2017, from Science Buddies: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml
Chicago Format
Science Buddies. Science Buddies: Variables in Your Science Fair Project. Carmel: Science Buddies, September 2, 2011. http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml (accessed 23 February 2017).
MLA Format
Science Buddies: Variables in Your Science Fair Project. Carmel: Science Buddies, 2002. 2 Sep. 2011. Science Buddies. 23 Feb. 2017 <http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Science Buddies: Variables in Your Science Fair Project}, Publisher = {Science Buddies}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {23 February 2017}, Month = {September 2, 2011}, Year = {2002} }
Refer Export Format

%T Science Buddies: Variables in Your Science Fair Project
%D September 2, 2011
%I Science Buddies
%C Carmel
%U http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D September 2, 2011
%T Science Buddies: Variables in Your Science Fair Project
%I Science Buddies
%V 2017
%N 23 February 2017
%8 September 2, 2011
%9 text/html
%U http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml

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