Lab Hints

Week 1: Scientific Method

Before you start completing the Lab Template, quickly read through the whole thing to get an idea of where you are going with the activity. Now, do a quick plot of the data in Table 2. This is just to help you visualize the data (tables are harder to make sense of than graphs). I suggest to use the x (horizontal) axis to plot 02 level and the y (vertical) axis to plot the number of fish. If you plot each paired data point with a dot where the 02 level and the number of fish coincide, you will wind up with dots going across the graph. Looking at the shape of the group of dots will suggest whether you are looking at a difference condition (where there is a sharp change) or a relationship (where there is a more gradual change). If it seems to be a relationship, is it a straight line relationship or do there appear to be important points of 02 concentration when you see a shift in fish population? Seeing this to begin with will help you think through the rest of the questions.

Now let’s take a quick look at how to tackle each Question of the Template:

Question 1: Based on our observations and thoughts about the data, design a difference or relationship hypothesis that you can test. Here are examples based on temperature and germination rates in pinto beans (you only need to use one kind of hypothesis depending on what you are noticing in the data).

Hypothesis (difference): There is no difference between the rate of germination of pinto beans when germinated 40 degrees F and 70 degrees F.

Hypothesis (relationship): There is no relationship between the rate of germination of pinto beans and a series of temperatures.

Question 2: Design a simple way to put your hypothesis to the test. This will require designing a way to collect data to compare back to what your hypothesis predicts. Your results will support or fail to support your hypothesis.The experiment should be described in enough detail that someone else could repeat the research in the same way.

Question 3: The independent variable is the one that is set in the research design. The dependent variable is dependent upon the state of the independent variable. Measurements or counts of the dependent variable should change as the state of the independent variable changes. Relative to the 02 and fish data, which one seem to be dependent upon changes in the other? Does 02 change because the number of fish changes or do the number of fish change because the 02 is different in different bodies of water?

Question 4. Several different kinds of graphs may be appropriate depending on your research design. Don’t expect there to be one right answer for everyone here.

Here is a link to a good resource on graphing and picking the correct graph to use for specific kinds of data:

Question 5. Include your graph of the data in Table 2 here. Be sure to make sure you include all the necessary parts of a correct graph format (as listed in the grading rubric for this assignment).

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