BIO 101 Scientific Method

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BIO 101 Lab 01: Scientific Method

To submit, read the lab, print or edit pages 6-10 to include your data, graph, and answers to questions. Save your document and upload the completed document as a Word or PDF file in Canvas.

If you have a disability that makes it difficult to complete this lab, please contact your instructor. Please provide your instructor a copy of the Memorandum of Accommodation (MOA) from NVCC Disability Support Services.

Objectives

●Use the Scientific Method to design and complete a simple experiment.

  • Identify the control and experimental groups in the experiment.
  • Recognize the conditions that are held constant during an experiment.
  • Identify the independent and dependent variables in the experiment.
  • Collect and analyze data using tables and graphs.
  • There are specific causes for observed events in the natural world.
  • The causes of these events can be identified.
  • There are patterns and rules that can be used to describe observations.
  • The patterns and fundamental rules of nature are universal.

Background:

Science is the process used to solve problems and to gain a better understanding of the natural world. Scientists are constantly looking for better and clearer answers to a wide range of questions. The basic method used to find the answers is called the Scientific Method. This method is based on a set of coreassumptions:

●Science is an ongoing process that results in an evolution of our understanding of the patterns and fundamental rules of nature.

The Scientific Method is a stepwise process used to develop answers.

  • Observation: Something that is seen or felt with the senses.
  • Question: How or why did an event occur?
  • Hypothesis: A tentative and testable answer to the question

4.Experiment: A controlled event that generates data.

5.Conclusion: After analysis of the experimental data, there will be 2 possibilities for a conclusion:

A)the hypothesis is consistent with the data and the conclusion is “Do not reject the hypothesis”

OR

B)the hypothesis is not consistent with the data and the conclusion is “Reject the hypothesis.”

The question formulated from the observation must be logical and answerable. Hypotheses developed from questions must be based on relevant information, testable, and falsifiable. Experiments should be designed to minimize variability, meaning only small details/variables (preferably only one) should be varied during the experiment in order to test the hypothesis. These controlled experiments are best when only one variable is changed. Lastly experiments must be repeatable to help ensure there is no bias in the results.

While an experiment is conducted, conditions are measured and monitored closely. Some conditions of the experiment are held constant and remain the same during the experiment. For example, a researcher testing the effect of nutrient conditions on plant growth will give each plant the same amount of water,sunlight, air conditions, temperature, etc. The independent variable is the experimental condition that theresearcher changes during the experiment in order to test the hypothesis. In the plant growth example, the concentration of a particular mineral could be the independent variable. Ideally, only one variable is changedwhen testing a hypothesis. The dependent variable is measured during the experiment, and the measurements are carefully recorded. For example, the researcher measuring the effect of a mineral on plant growth will grow identical plants with and without a particular mineral. The researcher will give each plant (experiment) the same amount of water, sunlight, amount of soil, and conduct the experimentover the same time period. The researcher can then measure the dependent variables such as: plant height, plant color, flower production, fruit production, etc. This data can be recorded in tables or charted on graphs. When graphing data from an experiment the independent variable is on the horizontal (X-axis) and the dependent variable is on the vertical (Y-axis).

Cornell, B. 2016. Soil Content. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ib.bioninja.com.au/options/option-c-ecology-and-conser/c6-nitrogen-and-phosphorus/soil-content.html. [Accessed 24 April 2020].

Experiments are often submitted for peer review and are repeated by other scientists. The results of an experiment often stimulate additional hypotheses and experiments. Over time, a large number of experiments that investigate a natural phenomenon and generate consistent data may lead to a consensusamong scientists about the interpretation of this data. A theory may be formed from this scientific consensus. In some branches of science, a theory develops into a law, which is generally expressed by a mathematical formula used to explain and predict actions. In physics and chemistry there are several examples of laws.

In this experiment, you will use the internet to research resting heart rate and recovery after exercise, use your lecture textbook and the internet to learn more about the scientific method, and collect data on your own heart rate to complete the data set.

Materials:

 

  • Calculator
  • Internet
 

  • Stop watch or timer
  • BIO 101 lecture textbook

Safety:

When running in place keep a safe distance from others and objects around you.

Procedure:

Before Data Collection

1.Use the internet to research how exercise affects heart rate and heart rate recovery after exercise.

2.Before you collect your own data, complete questions 1-4 on page 6 (based on your internet research).

Data Collection

1.Heart rate data from other students are provided for you. The data are organized into the following groups:

•A control group (those who did NOT exercise)

•An experimental group (those who exercised).

The groups were randomly selected (mix of male and female), but your heart rate data are missing.

2.Each student was given an identifying number in order to keep track of the data. The Students inthe Control Group are be labeled C1, C2, C3, C4, and so on. Students in the Experimental Group are labeled E1, E2, E3, E4, and so on. You will be part of the experimental group, E16, unless you have a disability that prevents participation (then you will be part of the control group, C16). Conduct the experiment as described below and add your data into the data table in the appropriate box.

  • Practice finding your pulse points on either your wrist or neck. This will be essential when measuring your heart rate from either the wrist or neck pulse points.
  • Determine your resting heart rate. Use one of the pulse points at either your wrist or neck to countyour heart beats during a 15 second time frame (use a clock or timer). Multiply by 4 to calculate your resting heart rate in beats per minute. Record this data for yourself in the “Rest” column of the row for E16 (or C16), depending on which group you chose to be part of.
  • The Experimental group ran in place for two minutes. You are E16 in the Experimental group, so you should also run in place for two minutes (or sit in place if you are C16 in the Control group). For your safety,move to a place that will allow you to exercise without running into another person or any large objects.
  • Immediately after running in place (or sitting for the control group), measure your heart rate as described in step 1. Use one of the pulse points at either your wrist or neck to count your heart beats during a 15 second time frame. Multiply by 4 to calculate your heart rate in beats per minute. Record thisdata in the Time 0 (T – 0) column of the Data Table below.
  • Every two minutes for the next ten minutes measure your heart rate as described in step 1. Useone of the pulse points at either your wrist or neck to count your heart beats during a 15 second time frame. Multiply by 4 to calculate your heart rate in beats per minute. Record these data points in the Data Table below. Both groups, Control and Experimental, measured their heart rates every 2 minutes for 10 minutes.
  • After you have recorded your data in the row for E16 (or C16), complete the data table on page 8 by calculating the average heart rates at each time for the Experimental Group and for the Control Group.
  • On page 9, graph the heart rate averages data on the graph paper provided. Your graph should have two lines (one for the Experimental Group average values and one for the Control Group average values). Be certain to label the x-axis and y-axis.

Answer questions 5 -10 on page 10.

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