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Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive Statistics

TEKS Objective

Demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results.

Essential Understanding

The student uses scientific methods during laboratory and outdoor investigations.

Science Background

Data, Statistics: Visionlearning (website) - Detailed information on statistical terminology, the role of statistics in describing variability—and reliability—in data, as well as the relationships between variables. Includes references for further reading and additional learning modules.

Data, Statistics
by Anthony Carpi and Anne E. Egger, Visionlearning,

Signature Lesson

3-2-1 Pop! NASA (PDF) - Students learn how Newton’s Laws of Motion impact rocket liftoff by constructing a rocket powered by pressure generated by the reaction of an effervescent antacid tablet in water.

3-2-1 Pop!

Supporting Lessons

Balloon Car & Marble Ride: ZOOMsci/PBS Kids (PDF) - These simple, fun investigations demonstrate that repeated trials increase the reliability of test results, and that changing a single variable can impact the outcome significantly.

Balloon Car & Marble Ride
PBS Kids,

Heart and Lungs: BioEd Online (website) - Students work in pairs to collect data on their heart and breathing rates, and demonstrate that repeated investigations increase the reliability of results.

Heart and Lungs
BioEd Online,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

ZOOMsci: PBS Kids (website) - Choose from numerous featured investigations to engage your students in a wide range of science investigations requiring data interpretation and analysis, and the construction of explanations from observable and inferred evidence.

PBS Kids,

Assessment Ideas

After completing one or more lessons on this page, make sure that students record their observations and calculations in their science notebooks. Have each student write a paragraph that describes how the results did or did not change as a result of repeating their investigations.

Literature Connections

What’s the Plan? Designing Your Experiment. Hyde, Natalie (ISBN-13: 978-0778751540)

Solving Science Questions: A Book About the Scientific Process. Chappell, Rachel M. (ISBN-13: 978-1600445422)

Related Science TEKS

(5.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to demonstrate safe practices and the use of safety equipment as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations.

(5.2A) Design/conduct Experiment with One Variable
The student is expected describe, plan, and implement simple experimental investigations testing one variable.

(5.2B) Ask Questions, Formulate a Hypothesis
The student is expected to ask well-defined questions, formulate testable hypotheses, and select and use appropriate equipment and technology.

(5.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect information by detailed observations and accurate measuring.

(5.2D) Analyze Evidence and Explain
The student is expected to analyze and interpret information to construct reasonable explanations from direct observable and indirect inferred evidence.

(5.2F) Communicate Conclusions
The student is expected to communicate valid conclusions in both written and verbal forms.

(5.2G) Graphs, Tables, Charts
The student is expected to construct appropriate simple graphs, tables, maps, and charts using technology, including computers, to organize, examine, and evaluate information.

(5.8D) Physical Characteristics of Sun, Earth and Moon
The student is expected to identify and compare the physical characteristics of the Sun, Earth, and Moon.

Related Math TEKS

5.12B The student is expected to use experimental results to make predictions.

5.13CThe student is expected to graph a given set of data using an appropriate graphical representation such as a picture or line graph.

5.14B   The student is expected to solve problems that incorporate understanding the problem, making a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the solution for reasonableness.

Additional Resources

Elementary School Design Packet: NASA eClips (PDF) - Introduction to a formal process for designing and testing a product or experiment to solve a given scientific problem.

Elementary School Design Packet

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