Getting ready for the STEM Expo: Critiquing an Experiment
In today’s lesson, a review of the scientific method was used as a guide for the students’ critique of a (fictional) experiment about dogs having a preference for certain colored foods. Students reviewed a lab notebook of questionable merit to learn about the design of good experiments, and the scientific method in general. After discussing the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the experimental notes, we compiled everyone’s comments on the board.
The most important points we learned were that a good scientific experiment needs to have:
- A well-defined question
- A hypothesis that is testable in a way that can be quantified with numbers
- Experiments must be repeated three times – but more is better!
- Results should be reported as averages
Students: If you’re curious what color(s) dogs can see, click on the link for an example.
Does this make you rethink the conclusion of the experiment?