B11L02 - The Process of Scientific Inquiry Collecting,...

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Rev: F06 1 - 1 Heyer The Process of Scientific Inquiry – Collecting, Graphing, & Interpreting Data Introduction: The purpose of this exercise is to introduce the process of scientific inquiry and the skills needed to perform scientific investigations. Many people mistakenly view science as an accumulation of indisputable facts. Actually, science is a process used to answer questions, solve problems, and better understand events in nature. Scientific research constantly challenges our present understanding of the physical realm and, thereby, adds to and refines our understanding of why things happen. A simplified diagram representing the process of a scientific investigation: The process of scientific inquiry involves observation and experimentation. To conduct a scientific investigation, a researcher must possess several skills that you will practice today. These include the abilities to: 1) Make accurate measurements. 2) Make careful observations. 3) Ask focused questions. 4) Formulate testable hypotheses. 5) Design and conduct controlled experiments. 6) Present data. 7) Interpret results. Question Hypothesis (tentative explanation) Controlled Experiment Control Setup Experimental Setup Results Conclusion Observations Standardized Variables Independent Variable Dependent Variable Accept / Reject
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Rev: F06 1 - 2 Heyer A: The Process of Scientific Inquiry – Making observations All scientists rely on observational skills to gather information. To make an observation is to notice something. An observation can be information directly perceived through the senses (touch, smell, taste, hearing, or sight) or information detected with instruments which extend our senses (microscope, telescope, light meter, pH meter, chemical test, etc). Good observations are complete and detailed. Observations are most reliable when they can be quantified or measured. For example the observation “the water is 4 o C” is better than the observation “the water is cold”. This activity will provide you with practice making observations. Presenting observational data Scientists present data in tables and graphs. Organizing and summarizing measurements in this fashion allows the investigators to easily analyze data and to communicate their findings to others. Tables A table should contain the following information: 1) Title describing the subject of the table. 2) Column and row labels that show what information is provided in the table. 3) Units of measure identified within the column and row labels. 4) Data . Procedure Using the method described in your lab manual for measuring long bones, measure the maximum hand span (from thumb-tip to pinkie-tip) in millimeters (mm) for the dominant hand from ten classmates . Record these observations in Table 1.
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2011 for the course BIOL 11 taught by Professor Heyer during the Fall '08 term at UCSD.

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B11L02 - The Process of Scientific Inquiry Collecting,...

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