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THE EVIDENCE OF LIFE Activity 2, Some Like It Hot The Scientific Method Testing Hypotheses.

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Presentation on theme: "THE EVIDENCE OF LIFE Activity 2, Some Like It Hot The Scientific Method Testing Hypotheses."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE EVIDENCE OF LIFE Activity 2, Some Like It Hot The Scientific Method Testing Hypotheses

2 Summary Understanding and applying the scientific method is one of the key standards for K-12 science. Through exploration of recent scientific discoveries in microbial oceanography and astrobiology, students will utilize the process to explore the definition of life, its requirements and where it can be found.

3 Key Concepts Scientists utilize the scientific method to understand the natural world. Making observations is the first step in this process. Hypotheses are being formulated in the frontiers of astrobiology and microbial oceanography. Methods to test these hypotheses are being invented as we speak.

4 Where might we find life?

5 Objectives Students will look at novel evidence of life in astrobiology and deep-sea rock Students with make observations and hypothesize as the first steps in the Scientific Method. Hypothesize the requirements of “living organisms” Propose methods to test these hypotheses Formulate new hypotheses of what constitutes “Life”

6 Materials Computers with Internet access Wall memory sheets (24 x 36”) Felt pens Projector or photocopies of novel environments for discussion

7 Procedures – Making Observations Put up this image or provide photocopies to class. Explain the yellow is a crack in a thin section of rock surface. Martin Fisk 7/23/08

8 Procedures: Making Observations The source of the image is fossil rock (pillow lava) from deep ocean samples dated at 30 million years old. Have the class write a description of the magnified section of rock including estimated measurements.

9 Procedures – Forming Hypotheses Next show an 80 million years old sample with much longer canals (next slide). Ask the students to augment their descriptions. You may also tell them that scientists found only fuzz (slight indentations into the yellow cracks) in 8 year old pillow lava. Ask students to discuss ideas on what may have caused these canals and the changes. Tell them a dye used to detect DNA lights up along the canals (presence). Have them write their hypotheses (causative explanations of observations). Remind them of the rock’s sampling location. Ask what conditions or resources living organisms require.

10 80 million year old sample

11 Procedures – Scientific Method Assign a journal or free-write on the way scientists learn. Ask students to reflect on the process just completed. Brainstorm as a class collaboratively. Have students revise their first write-up. Provide instruction or have students enlighten the process using the following graphic organizers.

12 Making Observations about events, problems, issues, people, things, previous studies, etc. Formulating and Posing a Testable Research Question Gathering Background Information Questions did not meet Research Question criteria…not a research question…must Reformulate Research Question Constructing on Explanatory Hypothesis (Tentative answer) Research Question not answered (Proceed with Research Investigation) Conduct study for replication and reliability purposes Research Question Answered No further research needed The Scientific Method or the Research Investigative Process (R. Landsman 2001)

13 Methods Creation of Experimental Design Subjects Materials (Apparati, Supplies) Procedure (Step by step actions taken to conduct study) Who How to Obtain

14 Results Data Collection Quantitative Data Qualitative Data Data Analysis Discussion and Conclusion Discussion, Interpretation, and Conclusion Next Step Action Plan Based on new Observations, repeat the process

15 Procedures – Conducting Background Research Ask the class what their next step is. Have students search the web for possible explanations of these canals. Direct them to the following websites: find_life_in_tiny_martian_tunnels/

16 Procedures - Revising Hypotheses If students have not hypothesized that the tunneling is related to microbial sources, introduce the idea and this slide:

17 Procedures – Experimental Design Ask for individual or group revised hypotheses and reasons for revisions. Require citations or URL’s. Working in assigned groups, have students propose methods that scientists would use to test their hypotheses. Remind them to refer to their Background Research. Review the components prior to group work: –subjects or what is being studied – materials/equipment/supplies list – procedures

18 Assessment Ask students to write their imagined results and conclusion of their research investigation. Assess alignment with current research findings. Alternatively assign students a proposal for a microbial experiment that includes all the parts of the Scientific Method.

19 Additional Resources Robert Landsman, Research Investigative Process


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