PTC NSWHomeGEMSPlanningStep 12: Prediction / Hypothesis

Step 12: Facilitating a Prediction / Hypothesis

Students need to understand the term hypothesis and then be guided as to how to turn a testable question into a hypothesis. The hypothesis will form the basis of the student investigations.

A hypothesis is a prediction with some awareness of underpinning science concepts. Read this information about the scientific process, which focuses on hypothesising and predicting.

The classroom poster: Turning a testable question into a hypothesis provides a basic definition of a hypothesis.

A hypothesis is a general proposition that is posed as a possible explanation of a phenomenon and can be used as the basis of an investigation. An example might be:

The higher that an object is dropped from then the wider the impact crater it makes.

Sometimes worded in the form of "If......... then....." where the independent variable (what is changed) is linked to the dependent variable (what is measured).

If an object is dropped from a higher point then the crater it makes will be bigger

independent                     dependent
variable                           variable


Turning a testable question into a hypothesis

Testable question:

'If we change the building material of the house then what happens to the distance the house is moved during a flood?'


Houses built using heavy building materials will not be washed away in a flood.


If you can answer yes to all these questions then you have your hypothesis.

  • Is it what the experiment is about?
  • Can you test the statement?
  • Is it a statement not a question?
  • Is it a proposed explanation for an observation?
  • Does it link two variables?

(adapted from Sunsmart Millionaire )


Use the document Investigating Scientifically to review the progression in students' knowledge and understanding around predicting on pages 4-5. Page 2 of the document Scientific Process Skills lists a series of indicators in progression in hypothesising.


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