Scientific Inquiry

Term Definition
Scientific inquiry The ongoing process of discovery in science; the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on evidence they gather.
Hypothesis A possible explanation for a set of observations or answer to a scientific question; must be testable.
Variable A factor that can change in an experiment.
Manipulated variable The one factor that a scientist changes during an experiment; also called independent variable.
Responding variable The factor that changes as a result of changes to the manipulated, or independent, variable in an experiment; also called dependent variable.
Controlled experiment An experiment in which only one variable is manipulated at a time.
Data Facts, figures, and other evidence gathered through observations.
Scientific theory A well-tested explanation for a wide range of observations or experimental results.
Scientific law A statement that describes what scientists expect to happen every time under a particular set of conditions.

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