2 Let’s Do A Science Project! If we just read about Science and DON’T DO Science, we will NOT have the learning experiences necessary to be successful in Science.Ask participants to answer the following question:Why do we do these investigations? What is the true benefit to children?Allow them time to discuss as groups and share the answers.
3 Effective Student Investigations ObservingHypothesizingMeasuringClassifyingCollecting and Interpreting DataPredictingExperimentingInferringCommunicatingActivities that activelyinvolve students in theprocess skills…The scientific process includes all of the process skills!
4 Nature of Science Standards Met When Working on a Science Project! The student knows that it is important to keep accurate records and descriptions to provide information and clues on causes of discrepancies in repeated experiments.The student knows that a successful method to explore the natural world is to observe and record, and then analyze & communicate the results.The student knows that to compare and contrast observations and results is an essential skill in science.The student understands that people, alone or in groups, invent new tools to solve problems and do work that affects aspects of life outside of science.The student knows that data are collected and interpreted in order to explain an event or concept.The student knows that through the use of science processes and knowledge, people can solve problems, make decisions and form new ideas.Briefly review the standards that are covered when doing a science project. Remind participants that these standards require consistent review and practice. By repeatedly completing science investigations in different topics, students will cement their understanding and acquire mastery of these standards. The Nature of Science strand of standards is woven into all topics in science.
5 Start With A Diary! Remember that a science project is the diary! The board is simply the display.Record all information in the diary.Later, if you decide to display it for others, share it by creating a board!Hand out the project diaries to the participants. Remind them that these diaries are the real project. Suggest that students can use many resources as their diaries. A science notebook, a journal, paper stapled together into a booklet, can all be used as diaries. For our purposes, the pre-printed diaries will be used. Remind participants that they are available through the science department.***Important!! Although there is no place in the pre-printed diaries for students to record problems or discoveries, they should still record these somewhere. This can be anything they encounter that they didn’t expect, problems they had with trials, or any other information they want to remember later. They should be encouraged to write this down on a piece of paper to attach to their journals later.
6 When beginning to plan for a science project, start with the creation of a topic statement. I am interested in studying: weather, sound, water, gravity, floating, electricity, goop, vibrations, snow, force, magnetism, weight, or flight?sports?Although there may not be a section in the project diary for this, it should be recorded somewhere. Suggest that participants record this on a post-it note and include it in their diaries.Allow the participants the opportunity to record topics in science they would like to investigate for a project.Explain that this type of brainstorming is most useful when students are deciding on an individual or group project for the express purpose of completing a project for a showcase or science fair. However, it can also be used by teachers when trying to see what interests students.weather?plants?animals?music & sound?
7 Swing TimeA science investigation into the physical effects of swinging pendulums.For purposes of this institute, we will be experimenting with pendulums in an investigation titled “Swing Time”. Pendulums are easy use, have few materials to gather, and require little set-up.Suggest that pendulum investigations are easy for teachers to use for learning how to conduct the scientific process and complete a science project.
8 Research QuestionWhat is the effect of ________ on the speed of a swinging pendulum?Make a list of the possible things we could change (manipulated variable) in this investigation.Have the participants work in small groups or partners to generate ideas for manipulated variables. Some ideas could be: mass of the “bob”, length of string, or degree of swing. Once participants generate the lists, share out and record on the board or chart paper. (Encourage them to do the same with their students!)Participants should then write a research question for their groups to investigate.Ask for volunteers to share their research questions.
9 Does __X__ affect __Y__? What is the effect of __X__ on __Y__? Research QuestionA research question should be phrased properly. It should reflect student understanding of what they are testing.Does __X__ affect __Y__?ORWhat is the effect of __X__ on __Y__?As long as the question contains both variables, it is considered to be a good question. Teachers may ask about including details about the variables in the question such as “the length of string,” or “the number of swings (periods) in a certain amount of time” Tell them that although details are useful, making sure the variables are in the question is most important. When including details, it is important not to weigh down the focus of the question. If the question becomes too wordy, it may take away from the understanding of the question.
10 The research question is… What is the effect of mass on the period of ten pendulum swings?This research question has been selected for the “Swing Time” experiment, and will be used throughout this presentation as an example of how to complete various components of a science experiment.
11 Science Content Statement A science content statement should describe your topic using scientific language. It should be as thorough as possible.Use library books, textbooks, encyclopedias, and internet resources to help you find information. Then write down what you learned.Because the participants will be doing an investigation on pendulums, they will need to generate the information for this section either by group discussion or through the use of text books if available at your site. You may wish to find some fourth and fifth grade text books, a ScienceSaurus, or locate some websites for display on the screen for this section.
12 Questions to help develop a Science Content Statement… What do we know about pendulums?What do we know about motion?What do we know about friction and its affect on objects?What is gravity?Do not supply answers to these questions. Allow participants to use them to help determine what they know.
13 Science Content Vocabulary friction A force between two surface rubbing together. Friction works against motion.motion A change in position of an object.gravity An attractive force between two or more objects over a distance. The more mass an object has the stronger the gravitational force.Newton’s Laws Isaac Newton established laws of motion toexplain consistent movement.
14 Science Content Statement Now, try writing yourcontent statement!Based on the research question, have them work together to write and record their science content statements. They do not have to write identical statements however, they can work together if they choose to.Remind them that their science content statement should describe their topic using scientific language and vocabulary. This should be as thorough as possible and should be several sentences long.Remind teachers that it should be stressed with students that they write their content statement in their own words. Students tend to want to copy someone else’s words or download information from the internet and record it in their diary verbatim. This is not acceptable and needs to be explicitly taught and stated to students.Ask for volunteers to share their content statements.
15 Science Content Statement A pendulum is any mass (or “bob”) attached to a point of suspension which swings back and forth on a rope or chain.Pendulums can be found in old clocks and other machinery. A playground swing is a pendulum as is the flying trapeze.The mass will swing back and forth after a first push, because of the influence of gravity.The time for one complete vibration (from the starting point and back again) is called the “period” and is measured in seconds.Here are some notes to help participants in developing their science content statements about pendulums.
16 Manipulated VariableThe one thing (or object) you will change in the experimentMake sure that participants understand that there must be only one manipulated variable. If two changes are made in an investigation, how would you know which change was responsible for the effect? Always stress a “fair” test when conducting an experiment.
17 Record your manipulated variable in your diary! What is the manipulated variable in your investigation?The manipulated variable is ________.Record your manipulated variable in your diary!
18 Manipulated VariableThe manipulated variable is the mass at the end of the pendulum.Here is the manipulated variable for the “Swing Time” experiment.
19 Responding VariableWhat will you measure in this investigation that will determine if there is an effect?Now, write your responding variable in your diary!Ask the participants to think about what is being measured in the investigation. Remind them that metric measurement is used in science projects. Also tell them that when recording this variable, they should always add the detail which explains what measurement, centimeters, grams, liters, etc., will be used.For our purposes today, we will be measuring ten periods (time it takes a pendulum to swing back and forth ten times) in seconds.
20 Responding VariableThe responding variable is the speed of ten period swings in seconds.This is the responding variable for the “Swing Time” experiment.
21 Now, discuss and write your Remember to add details! Set-Up ConditionsAlso known as the “constants” these are the things (materials & procedures) that will remain constant to ensure that the manipulated variable is the only thing being tested .Now, discuss and write yourown set-up conditions.Remember to add details!This list should be extensive and participants need to know that this is something that they should lead students in completing. Discussion is also encouraged here. Students need to picture the investigation and may need to go back to this later as they begin to set up the investigation. They should consider all things that need to remain the same as they conduct all of the trials so that the only thing they change is their manipulated variable.
22 Set-up Conditions Length of string (40cm) Same size dowel rod or pencilMass of washersSize of metal paperclipThe same stopwatch used for all trialsSame person as time keeperThe angle of the dropHere are the set-up conditions for the “Swing Time” experiment.
23 Predictions The responding variable can increase. There are three ways a manipulated variable can affect the responding variable.The responding variable can increase.The responding variable can decrease.There may be no effect on the responding variable.There are generally three ways an experiment can turn out: there can be an increase, a decrease, or no change in the responding variable (what you are measuring). Therefore, to make sure that students understand these possible outcomes, they should record all three of them.Some rewording of the manipulated variable may be needed when writing the predictions. Depending on the manipulated variable, the predictions may be easy to write, or more challenging.
24 PredictionsNow, write your three prediction statements.Add your manipulated variable to the blanks below._________________ will increase the speed of ten pendulum periods._________________ will decrease the speed of ten pendulum periods.3. _________________ will have no effect on the speed of ten pendulum periodsDirect groups to write their own predictions in their diaries. Have volunteers share with the whole group.
25 Predictions More mass will increase the speed of ten pendulum periods. More mass will decrease the speed of ten pendulum periods.Mass (more or less) will have no effect on the speed of ten pendulum periods.Here are the predictions for our pendulum experiment.
26 Hypothesis A hypothesis is a statement that predicts what you think will most likelyhappen in theexperiment.
27 Hypothesis Go back to the predictions…. Which prediction do you think is most likely to happen?More mass will increase the speed of ten pendulum periods.More mass will decrease the speed of ten pendulum periods.Mass (more or less) will have no effect on the speed of ten pendulum periods.Have participants select their own hypothesis from the three predictions. Remind them that this is an INDIVIDUAL choice and should be encouraged to be done independently from others.You may also wish to tell participants that a hypothesis can be wrong! The students tend to want to go back and change their hypotheses if they selected the wrong prediction. Stress the point that even when a student selects the wrong hypothesis, learning has taken place, especially if the student has conducted an investigation to find the answer to their question.
28 HypothesisThe pendulum with the most mass will increase the speed of ten periods due to the force of gravity pulling on the mass.This is the hypothesis we have chosen for the “Swing Time” experiment.
29 Materials This is the list of items that will be used in the investigation. Itshould be veryspecific and include thesize, quantity, anddescriptions of eachmaterial needed so thatsomeone else couldduplicate your project.Explain to participants that this is EXTREMELY important. If the specifics for each material needed is not supplied, then another person trying to do this investigation would not be able to set up the same exact investigation.
30 Materials ListNow, write a detailed materials list for your investigation.Tell participants that this list can be bulleted. They need to think about the design of their investigation before completing the investigation. After they finish this step, allow them to gather their materials and bring them back to their tables.Allow them to share how they had to think about their investigation design in order to determine what materials they would need.Also explain that the first step of their directions will be “Gather all materials.” Therefore, they should be ready to start the investigation when they have their materials.
31 Materials List String (40cm) Meter stick Dowel rod or pencil Washers (“bobs”), two or morePaperclip (attached at the end of the 40cm of string, used to attach washers)Desk or tableStop watchMasking tape (to attach dowel to desk)Data tableThis is the materials list for the “Swing Time” experiment.
32 Experiment Directions This is a step-by step list of how you set up the investigation and what you did (or how each item in your materials list will be used) and the exact order it was done.This list needs to be very clear and specific. Have the participants share any ideas or activities they have used in their classes to help students write directions. A popular lesson is the one where students write directions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After they write the directions, the teacher attempts to follow the directions. However, students quickly see that if their directions are followed exactly, the result may not be a sandwich!This part of the investigation should be carefully completed and written as specifically as possible. It can correspond with the actual doing of the investigation. The group can write the directions as they do the investigation.
33 Now, write the directions for your experiment! Gather all materials.The first step should always be “Gather all materials,” since that is what needs to be done first.Then the participants can start their investigation and write the directions at the same time. They should be advised that as teachers, they will need to do one or more “class” investigations to help students see how to design the investigation and decide what the directions should be. They can also provide materials lists and directions for students in the beginning until students begin to see how to do this on their own.You may wish to discuss that in later steps, they may wish to show students how to write shorter directions by saying “repeat steps __ through __” for nine more trials, etc., in order to shorten the number of steps.
34 Experiment Directions Gather all materials.Tape a dowel rod or pencil so that it hangs over the table/desk edge.Tie 40cm of string to the end of the dowel/pencil. The length of each pendulum is measured from the pivot point to the middle of the “bob”. Use a meter stick to measure accurately.Tie a large paper clip to the end of the string.Attach one metal washer to the paper clip.Pull the pendulum back parallel with the table top.Stopwatch timing begins at the release (not a push) of the mass (washer) and ends after the tenth period.Record this data in your data chart.Repeat for 10 trials.Add a second mass (washer) and repeat steps 6 through 9.Here are the direction to complete the “Swing Time” experiment.
35 Data CollectionThis is an organized and complete account of everything that was measured and observed in the experiment (using metric units). There should at least 10 trials.Explain that a data table should be used whenever possible to help students see the organizational aspect of this step.
36 Data Collection Trials 12345678910LessMassMoreTotalManipulated VariableAverage (Mean)Students can draw their own data table or use the printed table provided (such as in the pre-printed diaries).The participants should begin their investigations at this point. You will facilitate this and when most participants have completed all trials, you should go onto the next slides.
37 GraphThis is a mathematical picture of the data, using (mean) averages to plot the data in the experiment.Make sure that participants understand that bar graphs are the most often used form of graph. Primary students may wish to use a pictograph. Sometimes a line graph is needed if you are measuring change or growth over time (such as the average height of plants over a month or the change in temperature over a 24 hour period).
38 Swing Time Graph Time in Seconds for 10 Periods Responding Variable (Y)Time in Seconds for 10 PeriodsReview the labels of a graph:Title (at the top to describe the overall data presented).The manipulated variable (x) goes along the bottom or horizontal axis and should be labeled.The responding variable (y) goes along the left side or vertical axis and should be labeled.Label each axis and include the unit of measure being used (example of responding variable: Time in Seconds for 10 Periods) (example of manipulated variable: mass of washers: less mass 17 grams, more mass 34 grams)The interval of the scale should be appropriate for showing the data averages.Have participants create their graphs.Manipulated Variable (X) Graph the average of the trials.
39 Experiment ResultsUse the data and graphs (from the experiment) to explain what happened in the experiment.Did your manipulated variable affect your responding variable?If so, explain how?Have participants look back at their data tables and graphs.Remind them that these statements should describe what happened in the experiment. They should try to explain as much as possible about what happened. Answer these questions: What does your graph show? Did the manipulated variable affect your responding variable? If so, describe that effect. Try to use mathematical terms such as “twice as much, one third as much, or no significant difference.” Remember that there should be a SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE in the numbers in order for there to have been an effect. Averages that are too close do not demonstrate a real effect.Avoid words that cannot be measured such as “healthier, better and greener.”Avoid using the words, “I proved” since one investigation is not enough proof to be conclusive.
40 Results Statement:Did the manipulated variable affect the responding variable?Now, examine your data and write your results statement!Ask them to talk with their groups and then record their results statements.Have volunteers share their results.
41 ConclusionExplain whether or not your data supports, or fails to support your hypothesis. (give facts & reasons from your experiment)Participants should look back at their hypothesis and determine if they were correct or not. This statement should explain whether the student’s hypothesis was correct. It is perfectly fine if the data does not support the hypothesis. The focus should be on learning about how the experiment turned out!
42 Conclusion Now, write your conclusion. Did the data support or fail to support your hypothesis?I predicted ____________________. My results (support, do not support) this prediction because _____________.Now, write your conclusion.Have participants write their conclusions and then ask for volunteers to share theirs.
43 Real World UsesThis is a description of the ways, places, or situations where the information from your experiment might be useful.Explain to participants that at times, this may be a stretch. However, the connections that students make between science and their everyday world, no matter how much of a stretch, are still very important. Students recognize science in the real world more than any other subject area. Therefore, this step encourages them to look around and apply what they are learning to what they see around them outside of school.
44 Now, write your real world uses! Encourage participants to list and explain at least 3 ways, if possible.Have volunteers share. If possible, encourage a discussion of what they think students might come up with.
45 Real World UsesToday the primary use of a pendulum is in timekeeping, such as a grandfather clock.Knowing the effect mass has on a pendulum would definitely help the man on the flying trapeze. He would understand that no matter how big or small the other aerial artist was, the trapeze would always come back to him at the same time.Most children enjoy playing with a pendulum we call a swing.Here are three real world uses that support the “Swing Time” experiment.
46 Reflections Encourage students to write a paragraph which includes thoughts, concerns, discoveries,or further questions to explore.What might you do differentlynext time? (give reasons)Although not a formal part of the scientific process, this is an important, natural part of any project. Students (and your participants) should be encouraged to reflect on what they have learned and should write at least one paragraph that addresses each of the statements. Explain to participants that this could be an authentic assessment tool to use in the classroom and becomes even more valuable if students worked in groups to complete the project. This should be done independently and can help a teacher genuinely assess what a student has learned. It does not go on a science board, however, it could be placed at the end of the diary.Before going further, have participants complete their reflections paragraph(s) and attach to their diaries.
47 Presentation Board for Experiment Science ContentStatementManipulatedVariableRespondingSet UpConditionsResearch QuestionPredictionHypothesisDataCollectionGraphsResultsStatementConclusionReal WorldUsesDirections MaterialsThis slide can be used later as teachers put their projects together on their big boards.Remind them that the diary can be placed on the table in front of the board.Diary