Academic Calendar 2015-2016

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday September 10, 2013


Today in Class: Introduction to the Scientific Method. I showed the class a powerpoint based on the Scientific Method.

The link to the power point with included video clips is on Monday's entry.

We talked about the first few steps in the scientific method.

Step One is either asking a question that leads to an initial observation OR make an observation that leads you to ask a question.

Step two is forming a hypothesis as an If/Then statement. A good hypothesis needs to be formulates ans an If/ Then statement: If A then B. It could look something like this: If I place a houseplant in the sun, then it will grow better.

Step three can take two different paths: You can either conduct an observation or you can conduct an experiment. Experiments will almost always be conducted in a lab so the surroundings can be controlled. Observations are more suitable for outdoor and natural studies such as working with live animals in their habitat. These are called field studies or field work. Step three then, is designing and performing an experiment or doing field work. I emphasized that during step three data is collected on lab sheets that can be stained, crossed out, wrinkled, or have notes scribbles on them. These sheets are not the ones that will be usually turned in; it's simply a way to collect data. In step 4 we will set up our data tables and analyze the information we gathered.

Step 4 Is constructing and analyzing data. In this step you will set up your data into data displays that can be turned in and show the patterns you researched.I went over how to properly construct a graph and provided a sample.

From this image you can see that a proper graph has several defined and required parts. First a graph must have a title that somehow relates the variables on the X & Y axis. For example, in the graph above the title, " Volume(L) of He gas as a function of temperature (C)" Tells you that the volume of a certain amount of helium gas measured in liters shows differences when exposed to differing temperatures.

The X axis is neatly labeled as temperature and the Y axis is labeled as temperature. Both X & Y axis have the units they are being measured in and a scale that shows a range of possible data. Since this graph only has one piece of data on it, there is no key, but if there were multiple things being tracked the graph would need a key so the data could be interpreted.

Notice the key on the two above graphs.

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