You’ll probably run across a lot of new vocabulary while doing a science project. Here’s a list of the most common unfamiliar words in science project vocabulary. This is taken from the detailed list in The Non-Scientific Parent’s Guide to a Science Project, which you can get for free at 24 Hour Science Projects.
Science Project Proposal – This is a short description of your science project. It needs to include your purpose, hypothesis, materials, and procedure. Your teacher may also want you to list the variables, and give places where you will do research. Turn it in as early as you can, in case it is rejected.
Purpose (Problem) – The purpose is what your project hopes to find out or prove. It’s the ‘big question’. What is your goal? What are you trying to test?
Hypothesis – An hypothesis is simply an educated guess about what will happen in your experiment. To form your hypothesis, take all the information you know about your science project question, and use it to predict what you think will happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong; that’s what the experiment will tell you!
Procedure – A step by step description of how to do your experiment. Another person should be able to do your experiment again, just by following your procedure.
Variables – When doing a science experiment, there are things that you, as the scientist, control to make sure your test results are dependable:
Independent Variable – The independent variable is the thing that you change in the experiment. All the other things in your experiment should stay the same.
Dependent Variable – The dependent variable is the thing that changes because of the independent variable.
Control – The Control is the group in which nothing changes at all.
Graph – The words chart and graph are used interchangeably. We use the word “graph” for a numbers placed on a grid (or spreadsheet).
Chart – A chart arranges the information (data) from your experiment visually, so you can see it.
Data – Data means information. Your data will most often be in numbers, although if you were a zoologist, your data might be observations about the feeding habits of anteaters.
Conclusion – The conclusion is the answer to your question. Restate the question in your answer, for example, if your question is, does the shape of ice affect melting time, your conclusion should begin, “I found out that the shape of ice does (or does not) affect melting time.”
You may run into more science project vocabulary words that are unfamiliar to you. Grab a free copy of our science project guide for parents for a more extensive list.