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SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY Step 5: Collecting and Analyze Data Created by: Mrs Gismonde

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Data After you design your experiment it is time to start collecting data! Your data and observations will always be collected in a table.

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Data Continued… There are a variety of ways to set up a data table. One style of data table will not work for every experiment you perform. However all data tables will include the following: Title Test Variables Outcome Variables Number of Trials Constants or Control Group (if needed)

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Example #1 (Title) Dependent Variable Trial 123Average (Test Variables) Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Control Group

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Example #2 (Title) Trial (outcome variable) Test Variable #1 Test Variable #2 Test Variable #3 Average 1 2 3 Control Group

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Example #3 Title Test Variable Outcome Variable Location #1Location #2Location #3Location #4 Average 1 2 3 4

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Analyzing Often, you will need to perform mathematical calculations on the data you collected. Scientists often use the measures of central tendency to assist in analyzing their data. The measures of central tendency include: Mean (average) Median Mode Need Help? Visit Science Buddies to review how to find the mean, median and mode.Science Buddies

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Analyze Continued… After you make mathematical calculations it is important to analyze your data. Analyzing your data means to examine the information you gathered whole and draw conclusions from it.

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Examine the table below 1. Which state sold the greatest total number of GMC cars over the study period? 1. Florida 2. Which state sold the least total number of GMC cars over the study period? 1. Illinois Number of GMC Cars Sold in Key States Throughout 2010 State Number of Cars Sold Quarterly JanuaryAprilJuly OctoberTotal California2,8542,6992,6112,71010,874 New York1,2392,8343,0021,5338,608 Illinois9212,7122,4171,0347,612 Florida3,4362,2802,4173,00111,134

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Data Checklist To help ensure accurate data ask yourself the following questions: 1. Is there sufficient data to know whether your hypothesis is correct? 2. Is your data accurate? 3. Have you summarized your data with an average, if appropriate? 4. Does your chart specify units of measurement for all data? 5. Have you verified that all calculations (if any) are correct?

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Data Checklist Continued… If you answer “no” to any of these questions you should go back and redesign your experiment.

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Graphs Another way to analyze your data is to create a graph. Graphs are used as a visual representation of the information you gathered throughout your experiment. Creating a graph will help you to interpret trends or patterns.

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Graph Results Different types of graphs are appropriate for different experiments. Types of Graphs: Bar Graph Line Graph Scatter Plot Each graph will contain the following information: Title Test variable on the x- axis Outcome variable on the y-axis Both the x and y axis are labeled in their units of measure (grams, centimeters, etc.). If you have more than one set of data, show each series in a different color (or symbol) and include a legend or key.

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Bar Graph A bar graph might be appropriate for comparing different trials or different experimental groups. It may also be a good choice if your test variable is not numerical.

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Line Graph An line graph shows the relationship between your outcome and test variables when both are numerical values and shows a change over time.

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Scatter Plot A scatter plot might be the proper graph if you're trying to show how two variables may be related to one another.

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Try It What type of graph might you use for the following data table? If you said a bar graph your are correct Number of GMC Cars Sold in Key States Throughout 2010 State Number of Cars Sold Quarterly JanuaryAprilJuly OctoberTotal California2,8542,6992,6112,71010,874 New York1,2392,8343,0021,5338,608 Illinois9212,7122,4171,0347,612 Florida3,4362,2802,4173,00111,134

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Check It Out

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Graph Checklist To help ensure you constructed an accurate graph you should ask yourself the following questions: Have you selected the appropriate graph type for the data you are displaying? Does your graph have a title? Have you placed the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis? Have you labeled the axes correctly and specified the units of measurement? Does your graph have the proper scale? (the appropriate high and low values on the axes) Is your data plotted correctly and clearly?

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Graph Checklist Continued… If you answer “no” to any of these questions you should go back and redesign your graph.

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Putting it all together Construct a data table from the information given below. **Make sure your data table includes a title, category headings, proper units and averages. You are a biologist studying the health of bald eagles in five key states: Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, Washington and Montana. You know that the greater the mass of a adult bald eagle, the healthier it is. Therefore, you capture and find the mass of 4 bald eagles in each of the above states. You come up with the following data: In Alaska the 4 captured bald eagles had a mass of 6.5 kg, 6.9 kg, 6.1 kg and 5.7 kg. In Washington the 4 captured bald eagles had a mass of 6.2 kg, 7.3 kg, 5.6 kg and 7.4 kg. In Idaho the 4 captured bald eagles had a mass of 5.8 kg, 6.2 kg, 5.2 kg, and 4.9 kg. In Montana the 4 captured bald eagles had a mass of 4.1 kg, 8.1 kg, 3.9 kg and 5.1 kg. In North Dakota the 4 captured bald eagles had a mass of 3.1 kg, 2.8 kg, 3.9 kg and 4.4 kg.

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Answer: You data table should look similar to the one below. Fix anything you might have incorrect.

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Graph your results Graph the average mass of the adult bald eagle in each of the four states. What type of graph would you use? Bar Graph Bar Graph Line Graph Line Graph Scatter Plot Scatter Plot

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Sorry Remember: we use a scatter plot if you are trying to show how two variables may be related to one another. For example: Temperature vs. melting time of ice cream Relationship: The hotter temperate is outside the quicker the ice cream will melt Click here to try again

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Sorry Remember: a line shows the relationship between your outcome and test variables when both are numerical values. Click here to try again

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Great Job Remember your graph should have… A title X-axis = test variable Y-axis = outcome variable Include labels (measures of units) on each axis Need Graph Paper? Click here to print a piece.here When you are finished click Here to continue. Here

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Check your graph. It should look similar to the one below.

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Use your data table and graph to answer the questions below: 1. Which location had the bald eagle with the greatest individual mass? 1. Montana’s Eagle #2 had the greatest mass of 8.1 kg 2. Was this the same location that appears to have the healthiest bald eagle? 1. No, Montana average mass of their bald eagles was 5.3 kg. Washington appears to have the healthiest bald eagles with a average mass of 6.63 kg. 3. If you were a biologist trying to help the bald eagle, which location would you spend most of your time? 1. I would go to North Dakota because their bald eagles appear to be unhealthiest because they have the lowest average mass.

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Assessment The Scientific Method: Summarize each of the following step of the scientific method. Make sure to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of each step and its importance in the overall process. 1) Define the problem or Ask a question. 2) Research your question or problem. 3) Form a hypothesis. 4) Design an experiment. 5) Make observations and analyze data.

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The End

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Bibliography Data Analysis & Graphing. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2011, from Science Buddies: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_data_analysis.shtml http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_data_analysis.shtml Data Table Worksheet. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2011, from http://blue.wths.net/faculty/gill/assignments/DataTblWS.pdf http://blue.wths.net/faculty/gill/assignments/DataTblWS.pdf

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