Science - 2018-19

BIO.1 - Scientific Investigation & Measurement

The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which
a) observations of living organisms are recorded in the lab and in the field;
b) hypotheses are formulated based on direct observations and information from scientific literature;
c) variables are defined and investigations are designed to test hypotheses;
d) graphing and arithmetic calculations are used as tools in data analysis;
e) conclusions are formed based on recorded quantitative and qualitative data;
f) sources of error inherent in experimental design are identified and discussed;
g) validity of data is determined;
h) chemicals and equipment are used in a safe manner;
i) appropriate technology including computers, graphing calculators, and probeware, is used for gathering and analyzing data, communicating results, modeling concepts, and simulating experimental conditions;
j) research utilizes scientific literature;
k) differentiation is made between a scientific hypothesis, theory, and law;
l) alternative scientific explanations and models are recognized and analyzed; and
m) current applications of biological concepts are used.

Bloom's Level:  Apply

Adopted: 2010


  • Scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain the world around us.

  • I can compare spiders to determine which ones are poisonous.
  • I can make an educated guess about how much sleep I need each night.
  • I can verify my results again and again to be sure that I am correct in my findings.
  • I can calculate and show stats of a game to others quickly.
  • I can determine the amount of sleep I need each night to be successful at school.
  • I can identify why the cookies I baked didn't turn out as expected.
  • I can tell if a poll reported on TV is worth considering.
  • I can safely do lab experiments.
  • I can measure the pH of the water in a fish tank.
  • I can explain how the ideas of evolution and genetics have changed over time.


  • The nature of science refers to the foundational concepts that govern the way scientists formulate explanations about the natural world. The nature of science includes the following concepts 
    • the natural world is understandable; 
    • science is based on evidence - both observational and experimental; 
    • science is a blend of logic and innovation;
    • scientific ideas are durable yet subject to change as new data are collected;
    • science is a complex social endeavor; and 
    • scientists try to remain objective and engage in peer review to help avoid bias. 
  • Active participation in scientific investigations is necessary to develop an understanding of biology as an experimental science.
  • The continual use and development of cognitive and manipulative skills associated with the formulation of scientific explanations is important.
  • The design of sound scientific experiments relies on systematic preliminary observations and data collected in the laboratory and in the field, as well as on a knowledge base gained from an examination of related scientific literature. Prior establishment of an adequate knowledge base is essential before hypotheses can be developed and tested. 
  • Because of the rigor that scientific inquiry requires, science is a process that involves evaluating the results and conclusions proposed by other scientists.
  • Scientific tools including microscopes, computers, graphing calculators, and probeware allow for the gathering and analysis of data.
  • The analysis of evidence and data is essential in order to make sense of the content of science.
  • Multiple data manipulation and analysis strategies are available to help explain results of quantitative investigations.
  • Data and evidence should come from a variety of sources, including student investigation, peer investigation, and databases.
  • The scientific establishment sometimes rejects new ideas, and new discoveries often spring from unexpected findings. 
  • Scientific knowledge usually grows slowly through contributions from many different investigators from diverse cultures. 
  • Science depends on experimental and observational confirmation and is subject to change as new evidence becomes available. 
  • A hypothesis can be supported, modified, or rejected based on collected data. A hypothesis is a tentative explanation that accounts for a set of facts and that can be tested by further investigation. A theory is an accepted explanation of a large body of information, experimental and inferential, and serves as an overarching framework for numerous concepts. It is subject to change as new evidence becomes available. A law is a statement of fact meant to describe, in concise terms, an action. It is generally accepted to be true and universal.


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

a-m)  conduct investigations in the classroom and field, as appropriate, and critically examine investigations reported in scientific literature and databases.

      use evidence, apply logic, and construct an argument for conclusions based on reported data.

a)  collect preliminary observations, both qualitative and quantitative.

     make clear distinctions among observations, inferences, and predictions.

b)  formulate hypotheses based on cause-and-effect relationships.

     justify hypotheses based on both preliminary observations and scientific literature.

c)  identify the independent variable (IV) and the values of the IV that will be used in the experiment.

     select dependent variables that allow collection of quantitative data.

      identify variables that must be held constant.

      establish controls as appropriate.

      write clear, replicable procedures.

d)  identify and use appropriate technology for data collection and analysis, including probeware (i.e., sensors for temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen).

     record quantitative data in clearly labeled tables with units.

     include labeled diagrams in the data record.

     determine the range, mean, and values for data, using a graphing calculator and/or computer spreadsheet software.

     plot data graphically, showing independent and dependent variables.

e)  determine the extent to which data support/do not support a hypothesis, and propose further hypotheses and directions for continued research.

f)  recognize and discuss contradictory or unusual data.

g)  discuss the validity of results as related to accuracy, confidence, and sources of experimental error based on number of trials and variance in the data.

i)  describe trends from the data where appropriate, using a graphing calculator and/or computer spreadsheet.

j)  recognize that in order to ensure the validity of scientific investigations, they must be evaluated by other members of the scientific community.

k)  compare and contrast hypotheses, theories and laws.

     identify and describe scientific theories that have been changed or modified over time


science, observation, data, inference, hypothesis, spontaneous generation, controlled experiment, manipulated (independent) variable, responding (dependent) variable, theory, biology, cell, sexual reproduction, asexual reproduction, metabolism, stimulus, homeostasis, evolution, metric system, microscope, compound light microscope, electron microscope, cell culture, cell fractionation

Updated: Feb 20, 2018