The Characteristics of Air
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An invaluable guide to the language of the scientific process. Use this as a study guide and to insert them into your flipbook as directed by your instructor.


Analysis - The process of examining data from an experiment to see if 1. It follows the procedure, 2. appears accurate, and 3. strengthens/weakens/disproves the hypothesis. Also used to determine how the parts of a system or organism function.

Conclusion - This is a final statement after analyzing an experiment where you state if the hypothesis is STRENGTHENED, WEAKENED, or DISPROVED by the data and you Explain reasons WHY you think this is so.

Control Trial - One of two trials that simulate the natural, or normal, condition and are used as comparisons to the experimental trials to.

Controlled Variable - These are variables you do not allow to change (or vary), OR you allow these variables to equally change and affect all trials.

Data - Factual information from an experiment used in analysis to create a conclusion.

Deductive thinking - the process of reasoning in which you take a hypothesis, theory, or law and gather evidence (through experimenting) that will either strengthen, weaken, or disprove your hypothesis, theory, or law. Used in developing in your conclusion.

Direct relationship - a relationship where a change in one part of a system results in a SIMILAR change in another part (ex: if you increase the pressure in a gas, the temperature will increase. This is a direct relationship).

Evidence - Outward physical or measured data from natural processes or phenomena that you use to either create a scientific statement (hypothesis, theory, or law) OR to strengthen an already existing scientific statement.

Experiment - A process of testing in which you try to determine if your hypothesis is strengthened, weakened or disproved and WHY. The experiment compares a experimental trial with one manipulated variable to a control trial (nature) to see if your manipulated variable helps solve your problem (question).

Experimental trials - One of two trials in an experiment that have a manipulated variable that is used to tests out the hypothesis.

Hypothesis - A prediction stated in a way that it can be tested, often uses IF, THEN, BECAUSE format.

Inductive thinking - Similar to Inference except its the process of reasoning to join together evidence (facts, data etc) to reach a conclusion.

Inverse relationship - a relationship where a change in one part of a system results in a directly OPPOSITE change in another part (ex – an increase in pressure on a gas will decrease the gas volume. This is an example of an inverse relationship.).

Inference - Using reasoning to join together evidence (facts, data etc) to reach a conclusion. (Often it's a preliminary conclusion that then needs experimentation to support it)

Law - A reliable description of nature based upon many experiments that gave supporting observations. A law has been tested many times as a hypothesis and a theory in the past.

Manipulated Variable - The one variable that is changed for the purpose of testing the hypothesis.

Observation - gathering information about the world using the sense of touch, seeing, hearing, smell, and sometimes taste.

Prediction - A conditional statement forecasting future events. (We use the IF - Then format)

Example: IF I change this.....(Manipulated variable)

Then I think this will happen.. (Responding variable)

Qualitative measurement - data using descriptive words (ex hard/soft, hot/cold)

Quantitative measurement - data using numbers (ex ‚42.0 ūC , 10.0 sec., 6.0 m)

Responding Variable - This is the variable that is expected to change as a result of changing the MANIPULATED VARIABLE. You measure the responding variable with numbers or words.

Scientific Question - A question that frames or describes a problem and that can be tested using the scientific method. There are three essential types of scientific questions, the verification question, the Significant question, and the Experimental question.

System - A set or arrangement of parts that work together to do something.

Theory - An explanation of natural phenomena based upon many experiments that gave supporting observations.

Uncontrolled Variable, A part of the experiment that you cannot control if or when it might change.

Variable - A part of the experiment that can change (or vary).(example:pressure, volume, temperature)

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