Comparative and fair testing

Key Features

  • children identify the effect of changing one variable on another whilst attempting to keep other variables constant
  • can be used for finding out about materials and physical phenomena because variables can be changed
  • children need to decide how they will measure/ observe the effects and choose a suitable way to collect the data, but have control over all of the other variables to ensure a fair test

The Ogden Trust have a useful resource for developing Comparative Tests which you can download here and one about Fair Tests which can be downloaded here.

Possible enquiries

Reception
What is the best recipe for making a sand castle?

Year 1
What is the best material for… an umbrella, curtains, a bookshelf, the lining of a dog basket etc.

Year 2
Exploring the need for light and water for plants to stay healthy.

Year 3
Requirements for plant growth.
How do different objects move on different surfaces?
How does changing the height of a ramp affect how far a toy car travels?

Year 4
How does temperature affect how fast evaporation takes place?
Which material provides the best soundproofing headphones.

Year 5
Which material would be the most effective for making a warm jacket?
Which materials make the most effective switches?
What affects how quickly chocolate melts?

Year 6
What is the most effective way to remove germs from hands?
What is the ideal amount of water needed to keep a plant healthy?
What happens when we shine different coloured lights on differently coloured objects?

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