adjective – treating everyone in a way that is right or equal
In science, something is fair when variables are controlled so that they do not affect a test result.
The teacher argued that the test was fair because every student got the same questions and had the same amount of time to take it.
noun – a test or experiment
In law, a trial is when lawyers from different sides present evidence to figure out if someone is guilty.
In science, a trial is a test that is repeated as part of an experiment.
The factory tested the safety of its new line of cars by driving them in trials in the rain, in the snow, up hills, and in the fog.
noun – something that can change in different situations
Related form: vary (verb)
In science, a variable is something that, if it changes, can lead to different results in a trial or experiment.
Some of the variables that can affect how well a football player performs are how much he practices, how well he eats, and how much he works out.
adjective – deciding something based only on the facts, not how you feel about someone or something
In science, something is objective if it can be proved based on facts.
To decide who wins an athletic contest, there should be an objective measure.
noun – a series of steps or actions to get a result
In science, part of the scientific process is to repeat trials and experiments to make sure that a result is correct.
The process of testing the powder for toxins was complicated and dangerous.
verb – making sure everything works the way you want it to
In science, controlling for different things means making sure they stay the same in the experiment so you’re only measuring the thing you want to measure.
Since the paper airplane contest was held outside on a breezy day, controlling the variable of wind was difficult.