This is a handy resource for teachers or home educators to encourage children to think about planning an investigation. There are several different types of scientific enquiry and this is a tool for comparative or fair testing.

How to use:

Ask children to think about all the ‘things we could change’ (independent variables) and write them on sticky notes. Put these in the first section. Then think about the ‘things we could measure’ (dependent variables) and these go on sticky notes in the right hand section.

Choose which variables you are going investigate and move these to the bottom section. All of the other possible ‘things to change’ are now your control variables and can be moved to the ‘things we are going to keep the same’ section. This really helps children to think about how to make the test fair…an elusive skill even among GCSE students!

Watch the video for an example of how to use the chart to plan an investigation into launching water rockets.

Click here for the video. Suitable for sharing in class or just for ideas. Includes rockets!

Download a free copy of the chart to use in the classroom. Best printed on A3 paper.

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