Dependent and Independent Variables Explained

6th Grade Science

Did you know that if you can add 1+1 then you can learn today’s lesson about variables?

Ok…here it goes!

1+1= 2

So, I guess you’re ready!

2 + ____ =__?__ What does this problem equal?

You’re right! It Depends…

2+2=4

2+4=6 2+50=52

2+2=4 2+4=6 2+50=52

In every example, we changed one number… …and it affected the answer!

Therefore, the answer depended on the number we changed!

Simple, but try it!

10+__=__

10+__=__ 10+__=__

Fill in the above problems to make 3 true math sentences.

You ask…

?

?

? ? What does this ? have to do with Science?

?

?

?

Variables are used in Math and Science!

A variable is… something that can be changed.

In our math problems, the numbers we changed were called variables.

2+2=4

A constant is… something that does not change.

In our math problems, the number we decided not to change could be called a constant.

Science experiments use…

Independent variables – the one factor changed by the person doing the experiment. Dependent variables – the factor being measured in an experiment. Constants – all the factors that stay the same in an experiment.

In our math problems we used independent and dependent variables too!

Independent variable

(The one number we changed)

2+2=4

Constant

(It stayed the same)

Dependent variable

(The number that depended on the independent variable)

Now, how does it fit with science experiments?

Imagine you want to do an experiment to test what kind of plant food works the best. Miracle Gro, Jobe sticks, or the name brand.

You would want to be sure that you changed ONLY what you are testing so that your results wouldn’t be messed up.

Our Experiment A B

Constants water soil light daisy seed Independent Variable Dependent Variable Miracle Gro Plant growth (most) water soil light daisy seed Jobe’s Sticks Plant growth (good) water soil light

C

daisy seed name brand Plant growth (little)

Our Constants and Variables!

Constants:

The...