Scientific Process (Fortune Telling Fish)
The intent of the first lab of this semester is to introduce you to scientific process.You will be working with a small group of your classmates to determine how a “fortune teller fish” works. Be complete, neat, concise, and analytical. Show in writing your ability to THINK like a Physicist! All responses on your paper must be ORIGINAL (don’t work so closely that your reports sound and look alike!)
- Get a “Fortune Telling” fish from your instructor in class.
- Take the fish out of the package and place it on your notebook paper.
- Write down your observations about your fish (use your senses).
- Now, pick up the fish and place it on your palm.Watch the fish at least for 30 seconds on your palms. Write down your observations.Do your other palm. Write down your observations and what the envelope says about your personality.
- Exchange fish with your classmate.Place your partner fish in your hand and then write down your observations.
- One criteria of science is that there is a NATURAL explanation for the observations using our senses. This means that we cannot use a “miracle” or other supernatural events to explain the fish’s movements. Share your observations with other members of your group.
Part II:Determining an Explanation
- Problem: What question are you trying to solve?
- Why do you think that the fish moved?Was it a miracle or is there a natural explanation as to why the fish behaved the way it did?
- Develop a hypothesis with an if/then/because statement from your answer in number 1.Remember the hypothesis has to account for the fish’s behavior and it must be testable.This means that we should be able to design an experiment to see whether or not your hypothesis is valid
Hypothesis 1:____________________________________________________________________________ _Hypothesis 2: ____________________________________________________________________________ __
Part lll:Choosing an Experiment
Experiment: What are you testing and how will you test it? Design a simple experiment that will test your hypothesis. The item being tested in the experiment is called the VARIABLE, the untested comparison group is called the CONTROL. A good experimental design will only test one variable at a time.
- After discussing in class, the possible explanations of why the “fortune telling” fish moved in your hand, within your assigned group pick which hypothesis you are going to test.Write that information below.
Part IV:Designing an Experiment
Plan and conduct your experiments to determine which hypothesis best describes the fish’s behavior.
- Problem:What you trying to solve in question form.
- Background information:Your background knowledge before starting the experiment.
- Hypothesis:If, then, because statement.
- Materials:A list of things you will need to make your experiment successful.
- Procedure:Step by step process of the experiment.Should be at least 5 steps but no more than 15 steps.
- Results:The results section should include all tabulated data from observations during your experiment. This includes charts, tables, graphs, and any other illustrations of data you have collected. You should also include a written summary of the information in your charts, tables, and/or other illustrations.
Independent Variable – What you are testing
Dependent Variable – What you will measure
Constants – 3 things that will stay the same
8) Conclusion:What were you trying to do? Try to explain why you did or did not see what you were expecting. Restate your hypothesis and state whether it was supported, or rejected and why. Critique your experiment for sources of error, limiting factors, and/or assumptions that would affect the integrity of your experiment? (There are always some!) What would you change/ improve/ omit/ add, etc.? Future Hypothesis / New Experiment? Attach a separate sheet of paper if needed.