Variables in Science Games

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Want to add a bit of variety to your scientific variables unit? This lesson contains several ideas for games that you can have students play and that will help them learn about variables in science experiments.

Types of Scientific Variables

In general, scientists recognize three types of variables that exist in scientific experiments: dependent, independent, and control variables. Dependent variables are values that change based on an experiment's design and represent the outcome variables that are measured by the scientist. Independent variables are values in an experiment that scientists manipulate directly. Control variables are values that are kept constant in order for an experiment to be scientifically valid.

For example, a scientist interested in testing two different types of fertilizer on bean plant height would want the type of soil, amount of sunlight, and amount of water to remain constant in both plants. Soil, sunlight, and water are the constant variables, the height of the bean plants is the dependent variable, and the different fertilizers are the independent variables. The following games help students learn about these three types of variables in fun, engaging ways.

Identify the Variables Game

Materials: paper and pencils

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