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UNIT Introduction to
Scientific Investigation
Skills and Career

of the Science
To relate science to
technology, society, and
the environment
To develop the skills,
strategies, and habits
of mind required for
scientific investigation
To understand the basic
concepts of science

2 Unit A • Introduction to Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration NEL

Focus on STSE

The goals of science education include much more than just the acquisition of scientific
facts or knowledge. Your science program and this textbook are designed to help you
understand the role of science in your everyday life and the impact of science and
technology on society and the environment.
This introductory unit introduces the important scientific investigation skills that you will
develop as you study biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, and physics in the
following units.
In these four units, you will have many opportunities to learn through scientific inquiry.
Through these inquiries, you will develop, practise, and refine the essential scientific
investigation skills. These skills are useful not only in learning high school science but
also in your post-secondary education and in your everyday life. You will also have
opportunities to explore careers that are related to the various science topics.
The main purpose of learning science at this level is to make connections. As you
progress through this course, you will develop an understanding of how science,
technology, society, and the environment (STSE) are interrelated. You will connect
the STSE relationships to your everyday life experiences, and you will develop
scientific literacy.

Think, Pair, Share
1. List five examples where science or technology directly or indirectly influence your
daily life. A
2. Pair up with a partner and share your ideas. Brainstorm to add further examples. C

3. Join another pair and share your lists. Eliminate duplicate examples and refine your
list. Share your list with the whole class. C A

NEL Focus on STSE 3

4 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . CHAPTER 1 Living and Working with Science KEY QUESTION: What skills are required to carry out scientific investigations? Science takes place in all kinds of places—not just in the lab.

Careful analysis and Clear communication Scientific literacy is interpretation of is important for sharing necessary for wise personal observations help make scientific discoveries and decisions. responsible them meaningful. and careers. citizenship. observations. UNIT A Introduction to Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration CHAPTER 1 Living and Working with Science KEY CONCEPTS Science and technology Scientific inquiry can be All scientific inquiries rely are an important part of conducted in different on careful recording of our everyday lives. depending on the accurate and repeated question to be answered. ways. ideas with others. NEL Looking Ahead 5 .

he checks the Jonathan uses the AQHI scale to help him Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) online. current air quality conditions. provides an hourly update of the numbers indicate good air quality and low health risk. The lower governments.ENGAGE IN SCIENCE Before Jonathan heads off to school. tiredness. GO TO NELSON SCIENCE 6 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . The weather forecast while the higher numbers indicate poor air quality and predicts that it’s going to be a very hot day at 36 °C high health risk.2 billion. These are perfect conditions for a bad Smog and traffic-related pollution cause major air smog day! quality problems in many large cities. A 2007 report Jonathan is more aware of the air quality since his by the City of Toronto suggests that traffic-related air first asthma attack a few years ago. The website. and what causes it? Is everyone activities. After the smog disappears. The scale ranges from 1 to 10+. he experiences shortness of breath. about 1700 hospitalizations per year in the city. Jonathan’s affected by smog or just those people who are at symptoms clear up. with little wind. is poor by staying inside and limiting his physical What is smog. The wheezing. He has learned estimated direct and indirect costs related to these how to cope on those days when the air quality premature deaths are about $2. and he can enjoy his usual increased risk? Is climate change affecting our air outdoor activities. determine the air quality and his outdoor activities for a service provided by the federal and provincial the day. On days when pollution causes about 440 premature deaths and the smog is bad. and headaches. quality? What can we do about it? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 10+ Low Moderate High Very High Figure 2 The AQHI scale indicates air quality and the level of risk to human health.

• Identify main ideas. After Reading • Reflect on what you have learned. or change your thinking based on new information. reject. Using the following strategies will help you to better understand what you read: Before Reading • Preview the Text: Scan headings. During Reading • Read to answer the question you set as your purpose.FOCUS ON READING How to Read Non-Fiction Text Non-fiction text often includes a lot of information both in print and visuals. • Summarize what you learned in a graphic organizer or by remembering details about the text. and captions. • Think about what you already know about the topic. bolded words. • Ask yourself how what you learned fits with what you already knew about the topic. • Check to see if you answered your purpose for reading question. photos. • Identify how the text is organized. diagrams. • Set a Purpose for Reading: Change the title or heading into a question to help you determine your purpose for reading. NEL Focus on Reading 7 . • Make jot notes or use sticky notes to highlight key points. • Pause from time to time to check your understanding. • Make connections to what you already know. • Ask questions. • Confirm.

For change. Observational studies involve and recording of a subject or phenomenon observing a subject or phenomenon without influencing it. high blood pressure cause old age. Controlled Experiment If the purpose of an inquiry is to determine whether one variable causes an controlled experiment an experiment effect on another variable. high blood pressure is not directly caused by age—nor does All scientific inquiry uses similar processes to find answers to questions. Observational Study Often the purpose of a scientific inquiry is to gather information to answer observational study the careful watching a question about a natural phenomenon. if you wanted to determine the climatic conditions of a region. Correlational Study correlational study a study in which In a correlational study.1. Sometimes they also have an explanation for their prediction. provide evidence that many diseases are the result of infections by micro-organisms. between two variables Instead. a scientist tries to determine whether one variable an investigator looks at the relationship is affecting another variable. you would change the temperature (independent variable) and observe any effect on the reaction rate (dependent variable). Sciences such as astronomy and ecology rely on observational studies. (2) the observational study. if any. A variable is any condition that could change in an inquiry. these processes attempt to identify relationships between variables. people believed that illnesses were caused by evil spirits or divine punishments. Some cultures still hold these beliefs today. then you can carry out a controlled experiment. temperature. For example. Observational to gather scientific information to answer studies start with observations that lead to a question. recording precipitation. the investigator simply observes variables that change naturally. you would plan an observational study. in which the independent variable is This is an experiment in which you control (change) the independent purposely changed to find out what variable to determine if the change affects the dependent variable. Figure 1 While blood pressure generally Types of Scientific Inquiry increases with age. if you want to determine how temperature affects the rate of a chemical reaction. In most cases. such as the invention of the microscope. and (3) the correlational study.1 Skills of Scientific Investigation Scientists assume that all events are caused by something. without controlling any of the variables. dependent variable a variable that There are three common types of scientific inquiry: (1) the controlled changes in response to the change in the independent variable experiment. Scientists can now say that these micro-organisms “cause” disease (Figure 1). variable any condition that changes or varies the outcome of a scientific inquiry A variable that is deliberately changed or selected by the investigator is called the independent variable. You would make observations over many years. a controlled experiment is appropriate. Hundreds of years ago. When sufficient data were collected. you could produce a complete description of the regional climate. occurs in the dependent variable example. and wind patterns. Technological advances. In this case. Sometimes the a question researchers make a specific prediction about the answer to the question. Ongoing observations would make it possible to identify any changes in the climate. 8 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . A variable that changes in response to independent variable a variable that is the independent variable but is not directly controlled by the investigator changed by the investigator is called the dependent variable.

Years of Education relationship between average annual 140 salary and amount of formal education (Table 1 and Figure 3). Likewise. This line shows the relationship (positive or negative) between the two variables. some people with little formal education 40 earn a high salary. not everyone who has many years of formal 60 education earns a high salary. (b) In a negative correlation. As the length 100 of formal education increases. However. y 13 10 50 decreases as x increases. the average 80 annual salary also increases. (c) If there is no correlation. NEL 1. A line of best fit can be drawn through the points on the scatter graph. there is no pattern. variable y increases as variable x 12 19 100 25 17 95 increases. there is a positive correlation between these two variables. Positive Correlation A positive correlation indicates a direct relationship between variables: an increase in one variable corresponds to an increase in the other variable (Figure 2(a)).1 Skills of Scientific Investigation 9 . A negative correlation indicates an inverse relationship: an increase in one variable corresponds to a decrease in the other variable y (Figure 2(b)). As an example. Also. As you might Average Salary ($1000) 120 expect. If there is no relationship between the two variables. Negative Correlation Table 1 Length of Education and Salary Annual salary Annual salary Person Education (years) ($000) Person Education (years) ($000) y 1 12 45 14 12 50 2 19 110 15 15 75 3 11 40 16 12 55 (b) x 4 15 65 17 14 70 No Correlation 5 14 60 18 17 65 6 20 140 19 12 55 7 18 100 20 16 80 y 8 11 50 21 15 145 9 18 95 22 13 60 10 18 90 23 16 55 (c) x 11 13 50 24 10 40 Figure 2 (a) In a positive correlation. consider the Annual Salary v. we say that there is (a) x no correlation (Figure 2(c)). Correlation is the degree to which two sets of data vary together. two people with 9 12 15 18 21 the same level of education could be Years of Formal Education earning different salaries. Figure 3 This graph shows a positive correlation between education and salary by plotting the data from Table 1.

The data points do not fall as close to your line of best fit (Figure 5). What the research failed to note (or the newspaper failed to report) was that the study included students of different ages. interviews. observational studies. Initiating and Planning All scientific investigations begin with a question. Consider a fictitious correlational study that shows that. They can make their own observations and measurements through fieldwork. there is a strong correlation between your variables (Figure 4). Taller students were better at solving Figure 5 A weak positive correlation mathematical problems. 10 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . you can predict one variable based on the other. To lead to a scientific investigation. or events in the natural world. Some questions cannot be answered by scientific investigation. or correlational studies. Any correlation is totally due to coincidence. Scientific Investigation Skills Regardless of the type of scientific investigation. A weak correlation means that the relationship between your variables is less strong. (2) performing and recording. you could x predict with some certainty that a person who has a high level of education Figure 4 A strong positive correlation will earn a high salary. For example. so it is important to ask the right questions. Often they come from previous experiments or studies. (3) analyzing and interpreting. Reports of correlations can be deceiving. they can investigate relationships by using data from other researchers. and (4) communicating. a newspaper headline reported that research showed a positive correlation between x student height and mathematical ability. Alternatively. A correlation could simply be a coincidence. A correlation between two variables does not indicate that one variable causes an effect on the other. explanations for what they saw. Testable questions have certain characteristics: • They must be about living things. The taller students—the better problem solvers—were probably older than the shorter students. y When you know that two variables are correlated (either positively or negatively). the stronger the correlation (either positive or negative). It is highly unlikely that a reasonable link could be established between the two. The question may have arisen from observations of a natural phenomenon or from an individual’s curiosity (Figure 6). certain skills are important in the process of conducting the investigation. If the study had been done with students of the same age. both the number of births increased and the number of y earthquakes increased. In the example in Figure 3. and surveys. Correlational studies require very large sample numbers and many Weak Positive Correlation replications to produce valid results. Researchers use correlational studies to further scientific understanding without performing experiments. Figure 6 Scientists who first observed • They must be answerable through scientific investigation—controlled unusual cave formations would have been curious so they proposed experiments. • They may be answered by collecting and analyzing data to produce evidence. non-living things. the more probable it is that your prediction will be correct. a question must be testable. These skills can be organized into four categories: (1) initiating and planning. in a given year. there would have likely been no correlation between height and mathematical ability. Strong Positive Correlation When most of the data you collected is close to the line of best fit. Generally.

If you cannot make a hypothesis because you do not have a scientific explanation. It is often written in the form “If …. A hypothesis serves two functions: (1) it proposes a possible explanation. NEL 1. • What is the relationship between the size of the image in a mirror and the distance of the object from the mirror? A hypothesis or a prediction provides the framework for the investigation. then ….2. T RY THIS IDENTIFYING VARIABLES AND MAKING PREDICTIONS SKILLS: Predicting. without an outcome of a controlled experiment explanation. experimental design a brief description It identifies the variables and suggests which is the independent and which of the procedure in which the hypothesis is tested is the dependent variable.” The “if … then” part constitutes the prediction. A prediction is a prediction a statement that predicts the statement that predicts the outcome of a controlled experiment. because …. Communicating SKILLS HANDBOOK 3. For each statement. A prediction is not a guess: it is based on prior knowledge and logical reasoning. identify a possible independent variable • How do phosphates affect the growth of aquatic plants? and a possible dependent variable and make a prediction.B. the “because …” part is the explanation. The value and success of the investigation depend on whether the experiment is fair. A hypothesis hypothesis a possible answer or untested suggests a relationship between an independent variable and a dependent explanation that relates to the initial question in an experiment variable. Each of the following questions could form the basis of a availability of food? scientific investigation. pen in a solution? • How is the egg-laying ability of penguins affected by the 1. The hypothesis or prediction also suggests an experimental design by which the hypothesis can be tested fairly. then you can make a simple prediction. • How is the volume of water related to its temperature? A. is called a hypothesis.1 Skills of Scientific Investigation 11 . you will identify dependent and independent • Is there a relationship between the average variables and make predictions about the outcomes of scientific temperature and the number of pine trees in an area? investigations. then it is appropriate to propose a possible answer to the question. A hypothesis usually includes a prediction. • How does temperature affect the size of crystals that form Equipment and Materials: notebook or paper. The hypothesis is directly related to the question. The experimental design briefly describes the procedure. The tentative answer. In this activity. so careful planning at this stage is critical. which is based on existing scientific knowledge. Planning the investigation involves • identifying the independent and dependent variables • determining how the changes in the variables will be measured • specifying how to control the variables not being tested • selecting the appropriate equipment and materials (Figure 7) • anticipating and addressing safety concerns • deciding on a format for recording observations Figure 7 Specialized equipment is needed to conduct proper investigations. and (2) it suggests a method of obtaining evidence that will support or reject the proposed explanation. If a question suggests that a controlled experiment should be performed.

counting temperature. it is important to follow the procedures described during the planning stage carefully (Figure 8). or gas). you will need to make accurate observations at regular intervals and record them carefully. quantitative observation a numerical Quantitative observations are based on measurements or counting observation based on measurements or (Figure 9). mass. Be sure to read the safety concerns in the Skills Handbook carefully before beginning an investigation and refer to them frequently if you have any concerns. When performing the procedure. Quantitative observations are often recorded in an appropriate table. Examples of quantitative measurements include length. you may have to go back to the planning stage and start again. The method or format of recording your observations depends on the type of observation. While performing an investigation. Record any modifications to the procedure in case you or someone else wants to repeat the investigation. Noting that the lower layers of snow are more compacted is a qualitative observation. Qualitative observations can be written in words or recorded in pictures or sketches (Figure 10). Performing and Recording After planning an investigation. Figure 9 Two members of a ski patrol measure and record snow levels to forecast avalanches. and odour. without any reference to a measurement or a number. These qualities cannot be measured directly. These ice cores provide clues to the environmental conditions when the glacier was formed. Since this observation involves measuring. 12 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . Observations can be quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (non- numerical). Observations are any information that is obtained through the senses or by extension of the senses. liquid. Remember to record your observations clearly and accurately so that you do not have to rely on Figure 8 Scientists remove an ice memory when you report your findings. core that has been cut from a glacier. it is important to be constantly alert to potential safety concerns. It is important to select the right measuring tool to observation that describes the qualities of provide a precise and accurate measurement. Figure 10 This field scientist transfers handwritten notes into electronic form. and population counts. Common qualitative observations include the state of matter (solid. objects or events Qualitative observations are descriptions of the qualities of objects and events. it is a quantitative observation. If the procedures present problems. If the problems cannot be overcome. texture. Measuring is an important skill in qualitative observation a non-numerical making observations. they should be modified without changing the overall structure of the investigation.

0 Global surface warming (°C) 3. Analyzing. Propose a possible explanation for why the graph for the quarterly 2006 Q2 780 2009 Q2 1040 population data is a zigzagging line rather than a smooth line. Describe the patterns and trends that you observe in the data 2005 Q3 725 2008 Q3 1010 in Table 2. Study the data carefully. 2006 Q1 705 2009 Q1 950 C.Analyzing and Interpreting Tables of observations are usually not the final product for the data collected during an investigation. NEL 1. Plot the calculated yearly average on the same graph as well 2005 Q2 660 2008 Q2 940 using a different coloured marker or pen. Is there a benefit to calculating and plotting the average 2006 Q3 820 2009 Q3 1090 population for each year? Explain. 2005 Q4 675 2008 Q4 990 B. Data collection is the recording of information in an organized way. The blue line shows what is predicted to happen if humans switch 1900 1950 2000 2050 2100 to clean energy sources and conserve Year energy.0 1. pens or markers 2004 Q1 520 2007 Q1 790 1. Scenario A Scenario B T RY THIS ANALYZING DATA SKILLS HANDBOOK SKILLS: Analyzing.0 humans continue to depend on fossil fuels.7. D. Equipment and Materials: notebook. you can plot graphs from the quantitative data to show up patterns and trends more clearly (Figure 11). The red line shows a scenario in which 0.B. Observed and Projected Warming 5. A. Mouse Mouse Data interpretation involves explaining those patterns and trends.A. 2005 Q1 600 2008 Q1 875 4. 2. Is it easier to see patterns and trends when the data are in the table or when the data are plotted on the graph? Explain. or carefully studying. 2006 Q4 780 2009 Q4 980 E. Table 2 Mouse Population Data Analyzing data involves studying the data to uncover patterns and trends. 2004 Q4 550 2007 Q4 860 3. Communicating 3. In this Quarter population Quarter population activity. graph paper. 6. Table 2 provides the estimated quarterly mouse population in a 2004 Q2 570 2007 Q2 870 large field over six years. you will analyze and interpret data.0 2.0 4.. the observations usually provides more information than the raw data itself. In addition.0 Figure 11 The two lines show the possible consequences of two scenarios. What is happening to the population? Do you think this trend will continue indefinitely? Explain. Calculate the average population for each year by averaging the four quarterly numbers. Plot the provided data on a line graph using a coloured marker 2004 Q3 615 2007 Q3 930 or pen.1 Skills of Scientific Investigation 13 .

however. A question in science often sets off a chain reaction that leads to other questions. Figure 12 Sharing information is a key characteristic of scientific investigations. It is simply another step along the path of finding an answer to the question. If your evidence does not confirm the prediction. The quality of the evidence depends on the quality of other aspects of the investigation—the plan. record it but do not include it in the analysis. and the skills of the investigator. Rejection of a hypothesis is not a failure in a scientific investigation. which then leads to other investigations and other questions. You may conclude. Analyzing observations also helps identify any errors in measurements. Work in science seldom ends with a single experiment. then the hypothesis may not be an acceptable explanation. that you do not have sufficient evidence to answer the question with any confidence. To evaluate the evidence. You should carefully check any measurement that is clearly very different from the others. the scientist asks questions such as What does this mean? Is the information of any practical value? How can the information be used? What other questions need to be answered? What new questions arose as a result of this investigation? Communicating One of the important characteristics of scientific investigation is that scientists share their information with the scientific community (Figure 12). however. If the very different measurement is caused by an error in measurement. At the end of any investigation. then the hypothesis is supported. the equipment and materials. you need to evaluate all aspects of the investigation. 14 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . You may have evidence that you can use to confidently answer the question. prove the hypothesis to be true. The evidence does not. If your evidence confirms the prediction. A very important skill in a scientific investigation is evaluating the evidence that is obtained through observations. the procedures. Learning that the hypothesis is not supported is just as valuable as learning that it is supported. The whole purpose of analyzing and interpreting observations is to answer the question posed at the beginning. Sometimes other investigators repeat the investigation to see if their evidence is the same.

. it must be examined by other scientists in a process called peer review.Before scientific data can be published in a scientific journal. Evaluating. What strategy did you use to make your instructions as clear hazards. analyzing and interpreting (searching for patterns in the observations). or installing a piece of software you need to do to develop these skills? on a computer. such as tying a shoelace. Do not name the task or provide any additional as possible? instructions. travelling C. How successful were you in completing the task? Explain. What skills do you need to communicate clearly? What do from one location to another. Other experts check that the data is valid and the science is correct. Report back to your partner. Why is clear. but two variables constant. making observations in an organized way). Exchange instructions with your partner. In this activity. T RY THIS GETTING YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS SKILLS HANDBOOK SKILLS: Planning. in which the researcher analyzes data to scientific investigations. You and your partner should each choose a different everyday B. The result may be a positive correlation. or no correlation. see if there is a relationship between a pair of • One type of scientifi c inquiry is the controlled variables. Communicating 3. scientists give others the opportunity to both review the data and use it in future research.8. preparing a meal. If necessary. 1. complete the task at home. and interpret their data. and observes the other • Scientifi c investigation skills include initiating (the dependent variable). If the investigation is to be repeated by others.9. experiment.B. and curiosity about. The most common method for communicating with others about an investigation is by writing a lab report after the investigation is complete. What could you have done to communicate more clearly? 2. By sharing their data and the techniques that they used to obtain. analyze.1 Skills of Scientific Investigation 15 . sharing the design and procedures is just as important as sharing the findings. and planning (asking a question and deciding • A second type of inquiry is the observational on the best way to find an answer). need to develop and refine your skills in this area. It must be a task that poses no significant D. everyday life. in which the researcher keeps all a negative correlation. and communicating (sharing findings with others). pen A. what we • A third type of inquiry is the correlational see around us often lead to questions that trigger study. changes one (the The correlation could be strong or weak. It is important to share not only the findings. 3. E. Equipment and Materials: notebook or paper. Accurate communication is as important in science as it is in 3. Clear and accurate communication is essential for sharing information. NEL 1. accurate communication difficult? task. independent variable). Write a set of detailed instructions that should enable someone else to complete the task. you will work with a partner to 4. performing study. IN SUMMARY • Observations of. Use the instructions to complete the task without asking any demonstrate the importance of accurate communication and the questions.B. but also the process by which evidence was obtained. 5. in which the researcher collects data by and recording (carrying out the procedure and observing a situation without affecting it.

“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which the most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. Others will find careers in medicine. employers hire individuals with strong critical-thinking and problem- solving skills and who have the ability to work as part of a team. it is necessary to be scientifically and technologically literate. We might get away with it for a while. Others conduct their research in the natural world. and environmental science Figure 1(b) and (c). but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power will blow up in our faces. What Is Scientific Literacy? Carl Sagan was a famous astronomer and author in the twentieth century. New technologies are designed so that the average person can use them without understanding how they work. This is a prescription for disaster.1. decision-making activities regarding issues that involve science and GO TO NELSON SCIENCE technology. critically evaluate To read famous scientists’ statements about the value of the information presented. engineering. In his book The Demon-Haunted World. The Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) defines a scientifically and technologically literate person as “one who can read and understand common media reports about science and technology.” Scientific Literacy for Careers in Science Look around your classroom at your fellow science students. (a) (b) (c) Figure 1 Some scientists conduct their research in laboratories. geology. He recognized the need to be scientifically and technologically literate.” To make wise personal decisions and to act as a responsible citizen. These skills are emphasized throughout the entire science program. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. Generally. Sagan said. 16 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . Many people feel that science and technology are too complex for most of us to understand. Some of you will probably pursue post-secondary education and a career in scientific research (Figure 1(a)).2 Scientific Literacy for Living and Working in Canada Scientific knowledge and technological innovations play an increasingly important role in everyday life. and confidently engage in discussions and scientific literacy.

space exploration. the discovery of insulin. Throughout this book. environmental science. Scientific Literacy for Life and Citizenship A small number of people work in jobs that are directly related to science. environmental pollution. and world hunger. They are world leaders in such areas as astronomy. Wherever you see a Career icon with the accompanying note in the margin of this book. and the concept of standard time have made significant contributions to people and societies around the world. We can then make rational and ethical decisions about issues that affect us as individuals and as a society. it is important that we recognize and understand this influence. and information and communication technology. you will have opportunities to explore careers that are related to the area of science under study. you will be directed to the Nelson website. new medical technologies.2 Scientific Literacy for Living and Working in Canada 17 . Because science and technology influence our lives. It will also be in your best interest to know which products to buy (Figure 2). You will have to make decisions related to critical issues: climate change. genetics. every one of us is a citizen. you will have to make decisions about your own lifestyle. medicine. the depletion of natural resources. Along with that right comes the responsibility to use that education for the benefit of oneself and of society. space exploration. However. At some point in your life. the invention of the cardiac pacemaker. the protection of species. One of our basic rights is to have access to a full education. NEL 1. Citizenship comes with certain rights and responsibilities. Canadians are actively working in a broad range of science disciplines. Figure 2 Science and technology affect the decisions we make every day. You will need to understand about the different types of medical diagnoses and the treatments available to you. The theory of plate tectonics. There you will be guided to research the education and training requirements for scientific careers and to find out about the roles and responsibilities of these careers. These Canadians are directly or indirectly responsible for a long list of scientific discoveries and technological inventions and innovations.

or a research scientist. to be an informed citizen. If we fail to do so. and to know that science—despite its limitations—is the best way to learn about the world. Achieving scientific literacy is not the same as preparing to be a scientist. It is important to understand the basic concepts of science. a car mechanic. As a society. an engineer. to the development of science and technology • A general understanding of science is necessary around the world. achieving a level of scientific literacy is an important goal. it is just as important to learn about science as it is to learn science. whether you are a a small-business person. a lawyer. it is impossible to know everything about science or to be aware of all the new scientific discoveries and technological advances. Regardless of your plans and ambitions. A scientifically literate person understands that the future will be very different from the present. a travel agent. It is important to know what science can do. To achieve scientific literacy. 18 Chapter 1 • Living and Working with Science NEL . It is just as important to be able to find and evaluate information and to use that information in making decisions. It is equally important to everyone. a construction worker. However. There are always new developments in science and technology. we need to consider both the positive and the negative impacts of developing and using scientific knowledge and new technologies. a doctor. However. We cannot foresee all the possible consequences of these achievements. technology in the world so that they make better • Canadians have made valuable contributions decisions. He or she also understands that society influences science and technology as much as science and technology influence society. to know that knowledge produced by science is reliable. we must be aware of the positive and the negative implications of new technologies. we may get some very unpleasant surprises after the technology has been adopted. IN SUMMARY • Scientifi c literacy helps people to understand • Specifi c scientifi c knowledge and skills are and evaluate information relating to science and necessary for a wide range of careers.

responsible ideas with others. related to science and technology. • Analysis of observations involves carefully studying data to identify • Scientists are expected to share • Careers in science and careers patterns or trends. question. and skills to make decisions that scientific question. • Interpretation of observations may • A scientifically literate person is raise additional questions and lead better able to understand issues to further scientific inquiries. • A hypothesis is a possible answer eliminate errors and increase the and explanation for a scientific value of the evidence. of observations may lead to • Effective communication allows • Citizens use their scientific knowledge conclusions that answer the original others to repeat scientific inquiries. • Many major social issues. such • Controlled experiments can be used • All observations should be recorded as climate change and pollution. Hypotheses can be proposed at the beginning or the end of a scientific inquiry. reasoned personal decisions. to determine how an independent accurately. investigations should be reported essential for making logical and • Analysis and interpretation clearly and honestly. • Most people do not understand the inquiry. benefit society. careful recording of accurate everyday lives. their findings with other scientists related to science require scientific • Interpretation of observations and with the public. Careful analysis and Clear communication Scientific literacy is interpretation of observations is important for sharing necessary for wise personal help make them meaningful. NEL Looking Back 19 . qualitative (involving descriptions). • Observations can be quantitative science and technology that they • The type of scientific inquiry depends (involving measuring or counting) or use in their everyday lives. depending on the question and repeated observations. involves explaining patterns and • The results of scientific • Scientific knowledge and skills are trends in data. on the nature of the question. • Repeating observations can connection. citizenship. and careers. • All individuals are affected by • Observations are information science and technology every day • Observations often lead to obtained by using the senses or of their lives. have a science and technology variable affects a dependent variable. knowledge and skills. questions that initiate scientific equipment that extends the senses. CHAPTER 1 LOOKING BACK KEY CONCEPTS SUMMARY Science and technology Scientific inquiry can be All scientific inquiries rely on are an important part of our conducted in different ways. scientific discoveries and decisions. to be answered.

It is an investigation in which the independent variable is purposely changed by the investigator. What is (are) the independent variable(s) in this experiment? a. on the electrical current in the wire. if any. d. An investigator is performing a controlled experiment to determine how the length of a wire affects the flow of electricity through the wire.  Identify the dependent variable(s) in this experiment. none of the above      2. none of the above      3. none of the above      5. occurs in the dependent variable. b. using wires of varying lengths and observing the effect. The independent variable is changed to determine what change. concentration of reactants b. If there is a positive correlation between annual salary and years of education. electrical current in the wire c. c. occurs in the independent variable. An investigator wants to determine how the concentration of reactants affects the rate of a chemical reaction by changing the concentration and observing the effect. all of the above d. The investigator does not control any of the variables. It is a study in which an investigator tries to determine whether one variable is affecting another variable. a. if any.nelson. Which of the following refers to an observational study? a. on the reaction rate.      1. if any. which of the following accurately describes the relationship between these two variables? http://www. without controlling any of the variables. b. all of the above d.22/02/2016 Unit 10A Chapter 1 Quiz   Name:    Unit 10A Chapter 1 Quiz Multiple Choice Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question. d. none of the above      4. if any. reaction rate c. wire length c. It involves watching a phenomenon or subject without influencing it.htm 1/4 . Which statement is true regarding a correlational study? a. The dependent variable is changed to determine what change.

 In which of the following examples would you be most likely to make an accurate prediction of one variable based on the other variable? a. annual salary also increases. positive correlation b. They have no correlation. They have a weak correlation. two variables with a weak positive correlation They have a strong correlation.      8. They have a positive correlation. which of the following is always a true statement about the two variables? a. negative correlation c. d. The line of best fit through a scatter graph of these two variables has a negative slope. b. As years of education increases. In a correlational study. no correlation      7. if  most of the data collected falls near the line of best fit. two variables with no correlation   http://www.htm 2/4 . two variables with a weak negative correlation c.22/02/2016 Unit 10A Chapter 1 Quiz a. There is no known relationship between these two variables. As years of education increases. two variables with a strong negative correlation d. b. d. c. c. direct correlation d. How would you describe the relationship between the two variables shown on the following graph? a.nelson.      6. annual salary decreases.

initiate. b. Identify errors in measurements. carefully following the procedures b. colour http://www. eye colour d. odour      15. interpret. selecting appropriate equipment and materials      14. you have only qualitative data available d. communicate d. perform. record. communicate      10. height b. you do not have a question to investigate b. experimental design d. prediction c.htm 3/4 . Plot graphs to show patterns and trends. plan. analyze b.22/02/2016 Unit 10A Chapter 1 Quiz    9. All of the following are part of the performing and recording phase of a scientific investigation. variable      13. Which of the following steps is performed during the initiating and planning phase of a scientific investigation? a. your scientific question is not testable c. A brief description of the procedure for a scientific investigation is called a(n) a. except a. hair colour b. perform. analyze. communicate c. Which of the following choices correctly orders the steps involved with a scientific investigation? a. Which of the following is an example of a qualitative variable? a. you do not have a scientific explanation      12. analyze. height c.nelson. plan. plan. being alert to safety concerns d. Which of the following is an example of a quantitative variable? a. Specify how to control the variables not being tested. You use a prediction in place of a hypothesis when a. hypothesis b. Record observations carefully. d. modifying the procedures as necessary c. perform. communicate.      11. weight c.

writing a lab report d.nelson. Scientific literacy is necessary for which of the following careers? a. provides people with specific knowledge and skills appropriate for a wide range of careers d. identifying the independent and dependent variables The most common method for communicating with others about an investigation is a. all of the above      20.22/02/2016 Unit 10A Chapter 1 Quiz d. mathematics c. doing a presentation b. writing a newspaper article c. Which of the following formats is usually used to record quantitative data? a. helps people understand and evaluate information relating to science and technology so that they can make better decisions b. Scientific literacy a. sketches      17. Which of the following steps occurs during the analyze and interpret stage of scientific investigation? a. anticipating and addressing safety concerns d. art d. does all of the above         http://www. gives people a general understanding of scientific knowledge necessary to be an informed citizen c. veterinary medicine b. determining how the changes in the variables will be measured c. creating a computer presentation      19. pictures c.htm 4/4 . age      16. tables d. identifying errors in measurements      18. words b.