12. Scientific Investigations 

Success Criteria

Your learning has been successful if you can do the following:


Learn these so you can communicate this concept well.

Lesson 4: Hei Mahi (Do Now)

Do Now:

Collect and complete this small 'Do Now'. Then glue into your SciPAD page 11. Use your commonsense when glueing - don't glue straight on-top of words!

Lesson 4: Exit Task

Find some space on page 15 of your PESS1.2 SciPAD,
and answer the following questions:

What does each letter in CUTLASS stand for? 

What do Scientists do? What is a Scientific Investigation?

The process of creating a question, developing a hypothesis and carrying out a test to collect data which is then analysed to see if their hypothesis is proved or disproved is called a 'scientific investigation'.

Fair Tests Only Change ONE Variable

Is this a 'Fair Test'? Why or Why not?

I want to find out whether a particular energy drink improves athletic ability. 

I run a 100 m sprint without having the energy drink and time how long it takes. Then, I take the energy drink and run the same distance (100 m) and time how long it takes. 

This is not a fair test because there are several variables that are not controlled. 

VARIABLES are all the things that could change during an investigation. 

E.g. In a bouncing ball investigation, where the height a ball bounces to to is measured after it is dropped at different heights, many things could affect the results from one experiment to the next such as using a different ball, a different drop height or a different surface which the ball is dropped on. Identify the three different variables.

Identify the independent variable and dependent variables in the following scenarios:

An investigation to see which variety of tomatoes gave the most juice to make ketchup.

independent variable: variety of tomatoes

dependent variable: volume of tomato juice

The concentration of acid and the length of time it takes to break down a piece of metal.

independent variable: acid concentration

dependent variable: length of time taken to break down metal

How a person’s heart rate is affected by the number of cigarettes that they smoke.

independent variable: number of cigarettes smoked

dependent variable: heart rate

Parts of a Scientific Investigation

AIM (focus question): What you are trying to find out or prove by doing the investigation. 

HYPOTHESIS (prediction): What do you think you will find?

METHOD: Simple, clear steps of what you will do – and how it will be repeated by another person (specific, clear, concise).

RESULTS: Data, tables and graphs collected from investigation.

CONCLUSION: What your results tell you – linked back to the aim.

DISCUSSION: Science ideas to explain your results, possible improvements to the investigation, how you managed to control the other variables and why (to ensure reliability).

Click through these slides to find out more about each part. 

Parts of a Scientific Investigation (excludes Discussion)

Tasks & Homework

Task 1: PESS1.2 SciPAD

Page 14 - Calculating Speed from a Distance-Time Graph

Page 15 - New Zealand Secondary Schools Rally Team


Access your own copy of this homework task on Microsoft Teams. 

Homework - 9. Converting V-T to D-T Graphs