Sunday, January 27, 2013

Scientific Method Fun

This month we reviewed the steps of the scientific method and explored the question 'what is soil?'. The student were able to conduct background research on the school iPads with a high school TA.  From their research they each came up with three questions.  Not one student had the same question - it was great to see each of them grasping the topic in their own way:

   - how do plant deposits turn into soil?
   - how are the 70,000 types of soil different?
   - which types of soils are better for flowers?
   - how do earthworms turn dead plants into soil?
   - how many different types of soil are there in Oregon?
   - in hot places does soil have less water in it?
   - how many different colors of soil are there?
   - what is the difference between growing a plant in soil or mud?
   - how do things grow in soil?
   - how can some plant grow only in soil?
   - why is some soil red?
   - how much water and soil do you need to make mud?
   - how many types of soil is there around Rieke?

We then moved into our mini science project based on the observation "people like money".  I took them through the steps of the scientific method for this experiment;  below are their answers and the results of our project.  They did a great job collecting the data!  If you have a chance, ask them to explain the project to you in their own words.  As 'homework', see if your family could come up with conclusions to our little science project and think about how we could have done the experiment differently or what other questions you could ask based on the results.
Question - would people stop to pick up a quarter on the ground near the school.
- between 49%-60% of people will stop to pick up a quarter as they walk into school
- more students than parents will stop to pick up the quarter
- more boys than girls will stop to pick up the quarter
- glue a quarter to the cement near the front door to Rieke
- stand by the bike racks and record data for 20 minutes before school
- work in teams and count:
  1. how many people enter the school
  2. how many people try to pick up the quarter
  3. of the people who stop, how many are students or parents
  4. of the people who stop, how many are boys or girls
from 10:20-10:40 on Wednesday January 16
318 people entered the school
27 people tried to pick up the quarter
   2 parents         25 students
   13 boys           8 girls
our first hypothesis was incorrect - only 8% of people tried to pick up the quarter
our second and third hypothesis were correct

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