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Variables question

Postby Melindatoth » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:50 am

Hello, just want to check about the correct labeling of variables in an 1st grade science fair project. We have an ant farm, and are testing whether cinnamon dusted apple deters ants compared to a plain appple. Both slices are placed in teh ant farm at opposite corners. So is the plain apple the control, the cinnamon dusted apple if the independent variable and the ant would be the dependent variable? thanks for your help in advance!!

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Re: Variables question

Postby tdaly » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:13 pm

Hi Melindatoth,

You're on the right track! The independent variable (the thing you change) is whether or not the apple is covered in cinnamon. The dependent variable (what changes in response to the independent variable) is how the ants behave--whether more ants go to the plain apple or cinnamon apple. Controlled variables are the things that you keep the same in all of your tests. In this case, it sounds like the ants you are using and the type of apple (e.g., red delicious vs. granny smith) are two controlled variables.

This sounds like a really interesting project - it's an experiment that I haven't seen done before, which is always refreshing!
All the best,

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