Scientific Investigations with Gizmos

Scientific Investigations with Gizmos
Note to teachers… While most of the Gizmos listed below can be used with any grade level, some lend themselves
better to elementary and others to secondary. Please help you students use good judgment in selecting the right Gizmo
for their scientific exploration. In addition, you may choose how your students display and submit their reports. The list
of Gizmos, directions and experiment design format/vocabulary listed below are suggestions for helping you and your
students get started.
1. Use the one of the recommended Gizmos from the list below.
2. Use the “Student Exploration Guide” found at the Gizmo to help you use the Gizmo and set up the experiment.
This is VERY IMPORTANT since the Student Exploration Guide will let you know how the Gizmo works. Many of
the Student Exploration Guides have “Designing an Experiment” as one of the activities or extension activities.
3. Follow experimental design to explore the idea of your choice. Design a properly controlled experiment. Use
the table listed on the next page to help structure your experiment. Write out your Title, Question and
Hypothesis. Write out your variables. Write out a detailed Procedure.
4. Use screenshots and the data from the Gizmo to show the setup of your design and of your results. Write up
your conclusions.
Possible Gizmos to Choose From:
Growing Plants
Seed Germination
Forest Ecosystem
Prairie Ecosystem
Hearing: Frequency and Volume
Sight vs. Sound Reactions
Pond Ecosystem
Reaction Time 1 (Graphs and Statistics)
Effect of Environment on New Life Form
Reaction Time 2 (Graphs and Statistics)
Pendulum Clock
Reverse the Field
Pond Ecosystem
Disease Spread
Pattern Finder
Mystery Powder Analysis
Plants and Snails
Herschel Experiment
Effect of Temperature on Gender
Rainfall and Bird Beaks
Phet Interactive Simulations- University of Colorado Boulder
Click on “Browse Activities” under the “For Teachers” heading
The Potomac Highlands Watershed School
Click on “BMIs” and then on “A Virtual Stream Sampler”
Hint- Read the descriptions of the streams first before making a hypothesis.
Virtual Science Fair Using Gizmos- Experimental Design
Use this chart to help guide you. All parts listed should be in your final project (poster and/or paper).
The Effect of (the IV) on (the DV)
NOT the title of the Gizmo
What do I want to know?
What is your educated guess?
Independent Variable (IV)
What is being changed and how is it
being changed?
Dependent Variable (DV)
What is being measured in response to
the IV?
What variables are remaining the
What are you comparing your results to
so you know if your hypothesis is
correct or incorrect?
A detailed step by step to your
experiment so that someone else could
do it.
Charts, graphs, data, statistics and
observations that help determine if
your hypothesis is correct or incorrect.
A summary of your question,
hypothesis, what you did, what you
found out and WHY (at least why you
think) the outcome was the way it was
and what you could explore in a future