Year 2, Term 3: Fair tests

Focus: Variables

Scope and sequence: Variables, Fair tests

Learning intention: Students identify questions of interest and define variables to guide their investigations and presentations of relevant data.

NSW Syllabus
Australian Curriculum (version 9.0)
"A student gathers and organises data, displays data in lists, tables and picture graphs." (MA1-DATA-01)
"Students learn to acquire data for categorical variables through surveys, observation, experiment and using digital tools; sort data into relevant categories and display data using lists and tables." (AC9M2ST01)

Week 1

Introduction to the topic

This video (3:41) is a good introduction to the three main types of variables, namely:

Independent variable: The thing you change

Dependent variable: The thing you measure

Control variables: The things that stay the same.


Week 2

Cows Moo Softly

Independent variables 

In science experiments, the independent variable is the thing that you change.

Dependent variables

In science experiments, the dependent variable is the thing that you measure.

Control variables

In science experiments, the control variables are the things that remain the same.

Air rocket activity

As this is an outdoor activity, it is recommended that the following table be mounted on a clipboard for the data collection. An A4 PDF of this table is available here.

Week 3

Fair tests

This video (3:45) has a good example of a fair test using some common kitchen ingredients such as baking soda and three different types of vinegar.

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Correlation across data sets

Sometimes there might seem to be correlations across data sets which are best described as coincidences such as in the following example:

By Tyler Vigen, CC BY 4.0,


Week 10

Moderated self-assessment


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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