browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Data Driven Science

Posted by on November 25, 2012

Science is all about the data – so many scientists envision the data they are going to generate BEFORE they do experiments.
.

It is a good way of approaching a science fair project because you will know what you are going to do with your data even before you have it. Unfortunately, sometimes students collect a lot of numbers…. and then don’t know how to graph them, or which graph format is correct, or worse – didn’t collect the data correctly and now can’t graph them.

SO START WITH IMAGINING THE DATA. Here is an example from my lab notebook:

I always imagine the possible outcomes from the experiment BEFORE I conduct it and think about what each would suggest.

This is for an experiment that I was about to do. I knew I was creating different levels of a disturbance as my independent variable (x-axis) and that I was measuring the amount of metabolism in the bacterial community for my dependent variable (y-axis), but I DID NOT know what the data would look like – So I imagined all the possibilities, and what each possibility would suggest, and sketched them in my notebook BEFORE the experiment.

If you need help selecting a graph – check out the Graphing 101 tab under Scientific Method above for details.

In contrast….here is what my daughter’s school notebook looks like….

What a scientific notebook does NOT look like…

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
She’s not going into a science field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *