This mystery is a fun way to introduce how to create a fair experiment. To understand what factor produces a result an experiment all the factors have to be tested under the same conditions and only one factor can be changed. The factor that changes is called the variable. This term is introduced and applied in this mystery. If you wish to get even more sophisticated, you can introduce the term control. The control in an experiment is the test in which none of the factors are changed. The control for this experiment would be a patch of lawn of the same size where no fertilizer was added. Answer key included.
This mystery can be used as an intro to creating the following experiment in the
Next Generation Science Standards:
2-LS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.