DRAWING A CONCLUSION

After analyzing the data, your child can practice coming up with a conclusion-a statement that sums up what he’s learned. The conclusion should be about the question he started out to answer. Urge him to consider all possible explanations for the results he got. Which one seems the most likely? Do the data support or reject his hypothesis?  Teach your child to be honest and careful about what he’s observed-not just to look for the results he expected. This is critical in scientific inquiry. Good scientific explanations are based on honest evidence collected during honest investigations. If the initial results seem to support his hypothesis, you may want to ask your child: Is there still another way we can test it? Repeated testing is common practice in scientific investigation. It’s also good practice to ask: Does this conclusion raise any new questions? (Many times, in science, it does!) Scientists usually make the results of their investigations public, so being able to communicate findings clearly is important. Ask your child to recount his investigation to you, describe his observations, and explain exactly how he arrived at his conclusion.  Not all investigations yield the “right” answer. Sometimes results aren’t at all what...

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