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Understanding Fossil Butte In the southwest corner of Wyoming, there is a flat-topped mountain called Fossil Butte. A fossil of a fish was found near the.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Fossil Butte In the southwest corner of Wyoming, there is a flat-topped mountain called Fossil Butte. A fossil of a fish was found near the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Fossil Butte In the southwest corner of Wyoming, there is a flat-topped mountain called Fossil Butte. A fossil of a fish was found near the top of the Fossil Butte in a rock formation that is about 50 million years old. Fossils of other kinds of fish, as well as turtles, have been found at Fossil Butte. The land around Fossil Butte is dry, and the Pacific Ocean is more than 1000km away. How could fossils of sea-dwelling animals have formed at Fossil Butte?

2 Understanding Fossil Butte 1) Working with a partner, think of several questions that a scientist might ask in order to understand why there are fish fossils in the desert of Wyoming. Write these questions on a sheet of paper. 2) Discuss your questions with your partner, and suggest a possible answer to each question. 3) How could a scientist go about fishing an answer to each of the questions?

3 WHAT IS SCIENCE? The Scientific Method & Parts of the Experiment

4 GOALS OF SCIENCE Investigate and understand nature Investigate and understand nature Explain events in nature Explain events in nature Use those explanations to make useful predictions Use those explanations to make useful predictions

5 The Scientific Method There are FIVE main steps to the scientific method: There are FIVE main steps to the scientific method: 1. Stating the Problem (from an observation) 2. Forming a Hypothesis 3. Setting up a controlled experiment 4. Recording and analyzing the results 5. Drawing conclusions

6 STATING THE PROBLEM This can be in the form of a question or statement. This can be in the form of a question or statement. Implies that an observation has been made to lead to a question… Implies that an observation has been made to lead to a question… Science is based on experimentation and observation Science is based on experimentation and observation Observations can be: Observations can be: Made directly with your senses Made directly with your senses Color Color Taste Taste Shape Shape Feel Feel Smell Smell

7 INFERENCES In contrast to observations, which are things that we see or measure, inferences are conclusions based solely on observation In contrast to observations, which are things that we see or measure, inferences are conclusions based solely on observation The only rule of inferring is to be logical The only rule of inferring is to be logical They are always tentative, meaning, they are not final explanations They are always tentative, meaning, they are not final explanations Can be changed when new information is gained, or observations are made Can be changed when new information is gained, or observations are made

8 FORMING A HYPOTHESIS A testable statement, a possible explanation that explains known facts and predicts new facts A testable statement, a possible explanation that explains known facts and predicts new facts Should be in the form Should be in the form If... then… If... then… Cause and Effect Cause and Effect Why? Or How? Why? Or How?

9 DESIGNING AN EXPERIMENT Must have several things: Must have several things: VARIABLES VARIABLES Experimental Group(s) Experimental Group(s) receives all of the conditions of the experiment receives all of the conditions of the experiment Independent (manipulated) Variable – one thing that is changed Independent (manipulated) Variable – one thing that is changed Dependent (responding) Variable – measurable result of the independent variable Dependent (responding) Variable – measurable result of the independent variable Control Group Control Group receives all of the conditions of the experiment except one (the independent variable) receives all of the conditions of the experiment except one (the independent variable) used as a means for comparison in the experiment used as a means for comparison in the experiment CONSTANTS (things that do not change) CONSTANTS (things that do not change) Factors in the experiment that are maintained throughout the experiment, they remain the SAME throughout Factors in the experiment that are maintained throughout the experiment, they remain the SAME throughout PROCEDURE PROCEDURE Must be clear and detailed Must be clear and detailed

10 RECORDING & ANALYZING DATA RECORDING DATA RECORDING DATA Numerical data should be graphed and/or tabled Numerical data should be graphed and/or tabled Observations should be written in clear, complete sentences. Observations should be written in clear, complete sentences. TWO TYPES OF DATA TWO TYPES OF DATA Qualitative – descriptive; a behavior or appearance Qualitative – descriptive; a behavior or appearance Quantitative – numerical data Quantitative – numerical data Independent variable (unit) Dependent variable (unit)

11 RECORDING & ANALYZING DATA ANALYZING DATA ANALYZING DATA Attempt to figure out what the collected data means… why did it happen as it did? Attempt to figure out what the collected data means… why did it happen as it did? Independent variable (unit) Dependent variable (unit)

12 Graphing Graph Graph A visual display of information or data A visual display of information or data Three main types Three main types LINE GRAPH LINE GRAPH BAR GRAPH BAR GRAPH PIE GRAPH PIE GRAPH

13 Line Graph Shows how data changes over time or shows basic trends Shows how data changes over time or shows basic trends Plotting data Plotting data Independent variable = x-axis Independent variable = x-axis Dependent variable = y-axis Dependent variable = y-axis

14 Bar Graph Compares information collected by counting groups Compares information collected by counting groups Plotted the same as a line graph Plotted the same as a line graph

15 Pie Graph Shows how some fixed quantity is broken down into parts Shows how some fixed quantity is broken down into parts

16 FORM CONCLUSIONS Be sure to draw conclusions based on the data collected. Be sure to draw conclusions based on the data collected. Make inferences based on prior knowledge and the new knowledge gained in the experiment. Make inferences based on prior knowledge and the new knowledge gained in the experiment. DO NOT restate the procedure or simply restate the results… DO NOT restate the procedure or simply restate the results… How do the results compare to your hypothesis? How do the results compare to your hypothesis? How can this data be used further? How can this data be used further? What other tests could be done? What other tests could be done?


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