About This Chapter
Conducting a Scientific Investigation - Chapter Summary
In this chapter, our instructors explain what a scientific investigation is, how they are conducted, and the variables and controls needed, as well as how to select the best tools for data collection and investigation. Qualitative and quantitative data are introduced, as is the importance of creating a well-written hypothesis. Laboratory safety techniques and how to select the right scientific models for your experiment are presented.
You will learn how to use precision when making measurements in science and how to improve the reliability and validity of your experiment. The concepts of accuracy and reproducibility as they relate to investigation will also be explored. How hypothesis, law and theory relate to each other is also covered, as is how to best present your scientific process either orally or in writing. Once you have completed these lessons, you should be able to:
- Define scientific investigation and how they are conducted
- Use the right tools for data analysis
- Differentiate between qualitative and quantitative data
- Write the kind of hypothesis that's needed in a well-designed experiment
- Select appropriate scientific models
- Practice precision and accuracy when taking measurements
- Improve validity and reliability
- Present the scientific process in writing or orally
Use the chapter tests and lesson quizzes to gauge your understanding of the topic. If you need to view just one part of a video lesson again, use the video tabs in the Timeline to jump directly to the section you'd like to re-watch. Our mobile-friendly videos and lessons are available for you to review 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have questions as you review the chapter, contact one of our instructors for help.
1. What is Scientific Investigation? - Definition, Steps & Examples
Scientific investigation is the way in which scientists and researchers use a systematic approach to answer questions about the world around us. Read on to find out more. A quiz is provided to test your understanding.
2. Variables & Controls in a Science Experiment
After watching this video, you will be able to explain how science experiments are conducted; what variables, controlled variables, and controls are: and why these things are important. A short quiz will follow.
3. Using Appropriate Tools for Scientific Tests & Data Collection
A properly run experiment depends on using the right tools, both for data collection and analysis. In the end, it will save you time, money and frustration to spend some time planning out which tools are most appropriate for your work.
4. Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data in Various Research Methods
Qualitative data and quantitative data are both useful in research, but it is important to understand the differences between the two. Learn how to differentiate the two types of data in this lesson.
5. Designing an Experiment to Test a Given Hypothesis
A well-written hypothesis is the key to any well-designed experiment. In this lesson, we'll work through the process of designing an experiment based on the hypothesis it's meant to test and see how the two work to complement each other.
6. Laboratory Safety Techniques: Protecting People and Equipment
Laboratory safety is not fun, but following the rules ensures that lab activities can be enjoyed by everyone. In this lesson, we cover some basic lab safety rules to follow that will help lab time be both safe and fun.
7. Selecting Appropriate Models in Science
Scientific models are used to describe physical phenomenon and are tested against real world data. In this lesson, you will become familiar with a real example of how scientists select appropriate models for their work including knowledge of their limitations.
8. Measurements & Uncertainty in Science
In this lesson, you will discover the importance of precision and accuracy in science while learning to make measurements. Also, you will understand how to perform calculations with measurements that conserve precision and limit uncertainty.
9. How to Improve Validity of a Scientific Investigation
This lesson explores one important measure of the quality of a scientific experiment: validity. Learn what validity is and how it can be improved in a scientific investigation.
10. Methods for Improving Measurement Reliability
Reliability is the consistency of the results of a measurement tool. But, what causes a tool to have low reliability? And, what can be done to improve reliability? In this lesson, we'll answer both of those questions.
11. Evaluating Data from Scientific Investigation
After watching this video, you will be able to explain the meaning of the terms 'accuracy' and 'reproducibility,' or precision, as they relate to science experiments. A short quiz will follow.
12. Hypothesis, Theory & Law in Science
In this lesson, learn how to define hypothesis, theory, and law in science. Then, discover the ways that these ideas are related to each other and how they help us to explain the universe around us.
13. Presenting the Scientific Process Orally or in Writing
Part of being a good scientist involves sharing your work with others. Two of the most common ways this is done is through written works and oral presentations, both of which require a certain amount of care and skill.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the VCE Physics: Exam Prep & Study Guide course
- Overview of Thermodynamics
- Thermodynamics & Climatology
- Energy Conservation & Efficiency
- Modeling Electricity
- Circuit Electricity
- Electronic Device Use & Safety
- Electricity Generation & Transmission
- Origins of the Universe
- Subatomic Particles in the Nucleus
- Atomic Energy
- Modeling Motion
- Force & Motion in Physics
- Energy & Motion in Physics
- Laws of Motion Applied Problem Solving
- The Theory of Relativity
- Interactions of Fields in Physics
- Effects of Fields in Physics
- Applications of Fields in Physics
- Properties of Mechanical Waves
- Light as an Electromagnetic Wave
- Wave-Particle Duality & Quantum Mechanics
- Scientific Investigation for the VCE Physics Exam
- VCE Physics Flashcards