Experimental Design

 

Today, students learned about the importance of experimental design. By designing and testing experiments, they learned about the interrelated steps that are crucial to the design of a good experiment.

First, students tried to design an experiment to answer the question “What kind of marble is the best”? but they realized that this question does not lead to a measurable and quantifiable hypothesis (an educated guess). Afterwards they changed their strategy and came up with a different question: “Which kind of marble bounces the highest: plastic, metal or wooden?” With this question, students were able to construct a hypothesis that can be quantifiable and were able to design and complete an experiment that yields a conclusion: plastic marbles bounce higher!

Students figured out by themselves that one of the keys of a good experimental design is to ask the appropriate questions. Ask them to explain to you their experimental design!

 

Diseño Experimental

Hoy los alumnos aprendieron sobre la importancia del diseño experimental. Al diseñar sus propios experimentos, aprendieron que existe una serie de pasos interrelacionados que son cruciales a la hora de diseñar un buen experimento.

Primero, los estudiantes intentaron diseñar un experimento que respondiera a la siguiente pregunta: “¿qué tipo de canica es la mejor?”. Pero, se dieron cuenta que esta pregunta no permitía plantear una hipótesis cuantificable. Luego, cambiaron su estrategia y plantearon otra pregunta: “¿cual tipo de canica rebota más alto, la canica de metal, plástico o de madera ?”. Con esta pregunta, los estudiantes sí fueron capaces de plantear una hipótesis cuantificable y además lograron diseñar un experimento que los llevó a la siguiente conclusión: las canicas de plástico rebotan más alto.

Los estudiantes se dieron cuenta por sí solos que una de las claves para el diseño experimental es plantear la pregunta apropiada. Pregúntele a su hija o hijo en qué consistió su diseño experimental.

 

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Author

Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

2 Comments:

  • avatar
    Kathy Cahill / Reply

    Keep up the great work Henderson 5!

  • avatar
    Amy Chin / Reply

    Solomon has been telling me lots about the egg carriers you all have been working on. Sounds like an interesting project where teamwork and creativity are very important. I look forward to hearing more about the different designs that students will come up with. I wonder what conclusions you all will come up with based on your questioning, observations and data collection. Science is so cool!!!! Happy Learning everybody!!

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