Secondary 1

Scientific Endeavour Topic

This science revision note aims to help your child:

– Understand the independent, dependent and controlled variables.

 

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Learning outcomes:

1. Understanding the independent, dependent and controlled variables.

2. Identifying the independent, dependent and controlled variables.

Example:

Aim of experiment: To test whether amount of water affects the height of the plant.

 

Question

Four rulers made of different materials were tested to compare how much their rulers bent when a certain weight was hung on them.

The set-up is shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 2 shows the different materials used in each ruler.

(a) State the independent variable in the experiment conducted. [1]

 

(b) State the dependent variable in the experiment conducted. [1]

 

(c) Name two other variables that must be kept constant during the experiment. [2]

(d) The students’ classmates told them that their experiment was not a fair one. State one error in the experiment that had caused the experiment to be unfair. [1]

 

STEP 1: Recall

What are independent, dependent and controlled variables?

– The independent variable is the one that is intentionally changed by the person conducting the experiment.

– The dependent variable is the one that changes as a result of the changes made in the independent variable.

– The controlled variables are the constants in an experiment are all the factors that remain unchanged.

 

STEP 2: Identify the independent, dependent and controlled variables.

– Independent variable: Materials used for each ruler

– Dependent variable: Length of rulers bent

– Controlled variable: Mass of weights hung on the rulers, the position of the weights hung on the rulers

 

STEP 3: Piecing your answer together.

Answers

(a) The independent variable is the material used for each ruler.

 

(b) The dependent variable is the length of the ruler’s bent.

 

(c)

1. The mass of the weights hung on the rulers.

2. The position of the rulers where the weights are hung.

 

(d) The error is that the lengths of the rulers are different causing the experiment to be unfair.

 

Common mistakes:

Wrong answers: The independent variable is the length of the rulers.

Teachers’ comments: The length of the rulers is not the independent variable. In fact, that is not precise. The dependent variable is the length of the ruler that bent.

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