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Revise Scientific Investigations - What's Your Conclusion?

In this worksheet, students will be challenged to look objectively at what conclusions are, to make their own conclusions and to improve their investigations.

'Revise Scientific Investigations - What's Your Conclusion? ' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Exam-Style Questions: SATs Science

Curriculum subtopic:   Exam-Style Questions: Concluding

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

As you know, scientific investigations are lots of fun, but they're serious stuff too - it's the only way to answer certain questions, ones that you cannot simply look up online or ask someone the answer to. Of course, investigations involve doing things, sometimes they take place in the classroom and beyond, rather than on a piece of paper.

However, to make your investigations awesome, it's really important that you nail the steps needed to get it planned, carried out and reported on. That's why your EdPlace team are burning the midnight oil to make sure you are in the best place when it comes to carrying out your own investigations.

 

So, this is the second activity focusing on how to work out what your investigation has told you - your conclusion.

What have you found out?

Does it match your predictions?

Has your hypothesis been proved or disproved?

Could you have made the investigation better?

 

Mrs. Bates's Y3 class have been investigating what sort of conditions cress seeds germinate best in. At the start, the class discussed their ideas and hypothesised that the seeds would need water, soil and light in order to germinate. Let's see what they found out...

 

Cress seeds

 

 

Three groups in the class had been studying whether the seeds needed light to germinate.

 

They each had a different method:

 

Light bulb

 

Freddie's group put their seeds under a bright light.

Grace's group put some seeds on the windowsill and some in a dark cupboard.

Sophia's group put two dishes of seeds next to each other on the windowsill and put a cardboard box over one of the dishes to block out the light.

 

All groups put their seeds in dishes with damp tissue paper.

Use the grid below to decide how effective you think each method will have been in finding the answer to whether the seeds need light to germinate.

 Freddie's groupGrace's groupSophia's group
No comparison of light/dark conditions
Light/dark conditions can be compared directly
Light/dark conditions may be at different temperatures

Meanwhile, a different set of three groups had been looking at whether water was important to cress seeds to help them to germinate.

 

Here's what they did:

 

Water

 

Alfie's group had one set of seeds on some damp kitchen in a dish and another on dry kitchen towel.

Noah's group sprinkled some cress seeds into a cup of water.

Mia's group put some cress seeds on to some damp soil.

 

Which one of the groups has a chance of getting useful data which will help them to reach a conclusion about whether cress seeds need water to germinate?

Alfie's group

Noah's group

Mia's group

Two groups were finding out about soil:

 

Pot of soil

 

George's group sprinkled some cress seeds into a flower pot filled with soil.

Jack's group had a dish of soil with cress seeds on and another dish with wet kitchen towel on to which they sprinkled some cress seeds.

 

 

Alfie's group

Noah's group

Mia's group

In the light experiment these were the results:

 

Freddie's group (bright light) = the seeds turned black and shrivelled up.

Grace's group (seeds on windowsill/seeds in the cupboard) = both sets of seeds germinated and grew to form plants with green leaves (windowsill) and yellow leaves (cupboard).

Sophia's group (seeds on windowsill/seeds under the box) = both sets of seeds germinated and grew to form plants with green leaves (windowsill) and yellow leaves (under the box).

 

What is your conclusion?

Seeds aren't affected by light.

Seeds need light to germinate.

Seeds don't need light to germinate.

Seeds need light to form leaves.

This is what happened to the groups studying whether seeds need water to germinate:

 

Alfie's group's seeds germinated on the damp kitchen towel but not on the dry kitchen towel.

A few of Noah's group's seeds begun to germinate in their cup of water, but not many.

Mia's group's seeds germinated on the damp soil.

 

Cress seedlings

 

Using these results, match the conclusion to each group.

 Alfie's groupNoah's groupMia's group
Results can be used to show that cress seeds need water to germinate
Results cannot be used to show that cress seeds need water to germinate

In the soil experiments, all the cress seeds germinated in both Jack's and George's groups, both on the soil and on the kitchen towel.

 

Cress seedlings

 

So, what's your conclusion? Is soil needed for cress seeds to germinate or not?

 Alfie's groupNoah's groupMia's group
Results can be used to show that cress seeds need water to germinate
Results cannot be used to show that cress seeds need water to germinate

Tick the conditions that Mrs Bates' class have shown to be needed for cress seeds to germinate.

Water

Soil

Light

Warmth

Air

Mrs Bates explained that one group's results had suggested something else that cress seeds might need in order to germinate, something they hadn't been testing for. This quite often happens in investigations - unexpected results that lead on to further investigation.

 

Noah's group had put their seeds into a cup of water where they'd sunk to the bottom. Not many had germinated.

 

What variable (that was missing for the seeds under the water) do you conclude that this result suggests that they need in order to germinate?

Water

Light

Air

Soil

Mrs Bates was helping the class to conclude their investigation, looking especially at how they could improve their method for future experiments.

 

One of the key conclusions was the need for experimental control in all their investigations.

 

Fill in the blanks using the following words:

 

Investigation   Control   Variables

Water

Light

Air

Soil

As she discussed further work with the class, Mrs Bates suggested that they might investigate whether cress seeds needed to be warm to germinate.

 

Emily suggested that they put one dish of seeds in the fridge and leave one on the windowsill.

 

Fridge

 

Harry said that that wouldn't work as it would change two variables.

 

Is he right? 

What are the variables that would be changed by having some seeds in the fridge and some on the windowsill?

Temperature

Air

Water

Light

  • Question 1

Three groups in the class had been studying whether the seeds needed light to germinate.

 

They each had a different method:

 

Light bulb

 

Freddie's group put their seeds under a bright light.

Grace's group put some seeds on the windowsill and some in a dark cupboard.

Sophia's group put two dishes of seeds next to each other on the windowsill and put a cardboard box over one of the dishes to block out the light.

 

All groups put their seeds in dishes with damp tissue paper.

Use the grid below to decide how effective you think each method will have been in finding the answer to whether the seeds need light to germinate.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Freddie's groupGrace's groupSophia's group
No comparison of light/dark conditions
Light/dark conditions can be compared directly
Light/dark conditions may be at different temperatures
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on? You have to get into the minds of the students doing the experiment and what they're thinking - it really helps! Freddie's group only have light - there's no comparison with seeds not in light - so they won't know whether light was important or not! Grace's group put their two dishes in completely different places so, yes, the light is different in each but other things (like temperature) could be too. That could spoil the results. Sophia's group compared the light/dark conditions directly with dishes of seeds next to each other - that's the best method!
  • Question 2

Meanwhile, a different set of three groups had been looking at whether water was important to cress seeds to help them to germinate.

 

Here's what they did:

 

Water

 

Alfie's group had one set of seeds on some damp kitchen in a dish and another on dry kitchen towel.

Noah's group sprinkled some cress seeds into a cup of water.

Mia's group put some cress seeds on to some damp soil.

 

Which one of the groups has a chance of getting useful data which will help them to reach a conclusion about whether cress seeds need water to germinate?

CORRECT ANSWER
Alfie's group
EDDIE SAYS
Oh dear - once again only one group has compared the need for a variable with conditions without it! Alfie's group has identical conditions except one has water and one hasn't - they'll be able to make a useful conclusion. Noah's group has dumped their seeds in water - not sure what's going to happen there, but there's no seeds without water. Mia's group has water and soil but, again, no seeds lacking water, so they cannot make a conclusion about whether water was important or not.
  • Question 3

Two groups were finding out about soil:

 

Pot of soil

 

George's group sprinkled some cress seeds into a flower pot filled with soil.

Jack's group had a dish of soil with cress seeds on and another dish with wet kitchen towel on to which they sprinkled some cress seeds.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is a really important concept in scientific investigations - that of a control. Use of a control comes from the idea that you give each test the same set of variables except you remove the variable you're interested in from one of them. Here, Jack's group has given both sets of seeds the same variables: water/light/temp etc. but only one has soil; the other has kitchen towel. This way, if the results for each dish are different, they'll know it's because of the soil. Good stuff!
  • Question 4

In the light experiment these were the results:

 

Freddie's group (bright light) = the seeds turned black and shrivelled up.

Grace's group (seeds on windowsill/seeds in the cupboard) = both sets of seeds germinated and grew to form plants with green leaves (windowsill) and yellow leaves (cupboard).

Sophia's group (seeds on windowsill/seeds under the box) = both sets of seeds germinated and grew to form plants with green leaves (windowsill) and yellow leaves (under the box).

 

What is your conclusion?

CORRECT ANSWER
Seeds don't need light to germinate.
EDDIE SAYS
Right, let's take this slowly: Seeds are affected by light, especially if it's too strong (and hot) - it can kill them. Both seeds in light and seeds in darkness germinated. Conclusion? Cress seeds don't need light to germinate. Both groups that had seeds germinate saw them form leaves, so light isn't needed for that. However, plants (not seeds!) need light to develop the green colour in their leaves (which is not the object of this investigation).
  • Question 5

This is what happened to the groups studying whether seeds need water to germinate:

 

Alfie's group's seeds germinated on the damp kitchen towel but not on the dry kitchen towel.

A few of Noah's group's seeds begun to germinate in their cup of water, but not many.

Mia's group's seeds germinated on the damp soil.

 

Cress seedlings

 

Using these results, match the conclusion to each group.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Alfie's groupNoah's groupMia's group
Results can be used to show that cress seeds need water to germinate
Results cannot be used to show that cress seeds need water to germinate
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that idea of a control? Alfie's group had one: seeds with water/seeds without water. That means that they could show that water is necessary for seeds to germinate since the ones without water (but with everything else the same) failed to germinate. Neither of the other two groups had a control - just seeds with water (and other stuff) so they had no way of knowing whether seeds in similar conditions, but without water, would have germinated. A control is vital!
  • Question 6

In the soil experiments, all the cress seeds germinated in both Jack's and George's groups, both on the soil and on the kitchen towel.

 

Cress seedlings

 

So, what's your conclusion? Is soil needed for cress seeds to germinate or not?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
So, what are the results? The seeds germinated on the soil and on the kitchen towel. So, is soil needed for them to germinate? No! As long as the seeds have a damp something (tissue, cleaning cloth, etc.) they'll germinate just fine!
  • Question 7

Tick the conditions that Mrs Bates' class have shown to be needed for cress seeds to germinate.

CORRECT ANSWER
Water
EDDIE SAYS
Only one of these variables have been shown to be needed for cress seeds to germinate - that's water. They definitely don't need soil or light, at least not to germinate. Warmth and air weren't tested, but maybe they'll try these out later on.
  • Question 8

Mrs Bates explained that one group's results had suggested something else that cress seeds might need in order to germinate, something they hadn't been testing for. This quite often happens in investigations - unexpected results that lead on to further investigation.

 

Noah's group had put their seeds into a cup of water where they'd sunk to the bottom. Not many had germinated.

 

What variable (that was missing for the seeds under the water) do you conclude that this result suggests that they need in order to germinate?

CORRECT ANSWER
Air
EDDIE SAYS
Right, so did those seeds have water? Yes - loads of it! So, that's not right. We already know that light and soil aren't important. So, that leaves air. Where were the seeds? Under the water - they'd sunk. How much air at the bottom of the cup of water? Not too much. So, that's definitely worth testing - perhaps cress seeds do need air to germinate.
  • Question 9

Mrs Bates was helping the class to conclude their investigation, looking especially at how they could improve their method for future experiments.

 

One of the key conclusions was the need for experimental control in all their investigations.

 

Fill in the blanks using the following words:

 

Investigation   Control   Variables

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get that? Take Alfie's experiment: the group had two dishes of cress seeds on kitchen towel, next to each other. Both sets of variables were the same except that one of them had water added. The control was the experiment without water. That means if one dish of seeds germinates and the other doesn't, it has to be down to the only difference between them: the variable of water!
  • Question 10

As she discussed further work with the class, Mrs Bates suggested that they might investigate whether cress seeds needed to be warm to germinate.

 

Emily suggested that they put one dish of seeds in the fridge and leave one on the windowsill.

 

Fridge

 

Harry said that that wouldn't work as it would change two variables.

 

Is he right? 

What are the variables that would be changed by having some seeds in the fridge and some on the windowsill?

CORRECT ANSWER
Temperature
Light
EDDIE SAYS
Harry's right! Sure, the fridge is cold and the windowsill is warmer, but the seeds in the fridge will be in the dark when the fridge is closed while those on the windowsill will be light. They'll have to think about how to get around that one! Great work, you've completed another activity! How about attempting another one so you feel super confident?
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