Experimental Design


Students in most science classes start with an overview of scientific processes. For advanced students, I use this cheat sheet to remind them of the major features of the scientific method, such as a control group, dependent and independent variables.

AP Bio students are also introduced to the concept of the null and alternative hypotheses as well as how to statistically analyze data. Though this was made for AP Biology, you could make a copy of it (google docs) and then edit it to work other groups.

This guide can be used with introductory lessons like “The Fortune Telling Fish” where students can be asked to describe each feature of the design they used to determine what was causing the fish’s movements.

My anatomy and physiology classes and AP Bio classes do an investigation where they determine trends of lung capacity and physical features like height and sex.

This guide also clearly describes the difference between a hypothesis and a prediction. Many biology books describe them as being the same thing, but they are not. “Teaching the Hypothesis” is a great article on why the difference matters.