Presentation on theme: "Understanding Fossil Butte"— 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 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.Discuss your questions with your partner, and suggest a possible answer to each question.How could a scientist go about fishing an answer to each of the questions?What other kinds of fossils have been found here? Is there evidence that a lake or inland sea existed in Wyoming at the time the fish lived here?Students ma not be able to suggest answers for all of their questions. Students may know that most fish fossils are formed in layers of mud and sand, which is evidence that the are was once under water.Scientists would have to dig to look for more fossils and catalog what is fond in the same layers with the fish. Geologists would have to map the fossil deposit and look for evidence of a lake shore or inland sea.
3 The Scientific Method & Parts of the Experiment WHAT IS SCIENCE?The Scientific Method &Parts of the Experiment
4 GOALS OF SCIENCE Investigate and understand nature Explain events in natureUse those explanations to make useful predictions
5 The Scientific MethodThere are FIVE main steps to the scientific method:Stating the Problem (from an observation)Forming a HypothesisSetting up a controlled experimentRecording and analyzing the resultsDrawing conclusions
6 STATING THE PROBLEMThis can be in the form of a question or statement.Implies that an observation has been made to lead to a question…Science is based on experimentation and observationObservations can be:Made directly with your sensesColorTasteShapeFeelSmell
7 INFERENCESIn contrast to observations, which are things that we see or measure, inferences are conclusions based solely on observationThe only rule of inferring is to be logicalThey are always tentative, meaning, they are not final explanationsCan be changed when new information is gained, or observations are made
8 FORMING A HYPOTHESISA “testable” statement, a possible explanation that explains known facts and predicts new factsShould be in the form“If... then…”Cause and EffectWhy? Or How?
9 DESIGNING AN EXPERIMENT Must have several things:VARIABLESExperimental Group(s)receives all of the conditions of the experimentIndependent (manipulated) Variable – one thing that is changedDependent (responding) Variable – measurable result of the independent variableControl Groupreceives all of the conditions of the experiment except one (the independent variable)used as a means for comparison in the experimentCONSTANTS (things that do not change)Factors in the experiment that are maintained throughout the experiment, they remain the SAME throughoutPROCEDUREMust be clear and detailed
10 RECORDING & ANALYZING DATA RECORDING DATANumerical data should be graphed and/or tabledObservations should be written in clear, complete sentences.TWO TYPES OF DATAQualitative – descriptive; a behavior or appearanceQuantitative – numerical dataData TableIndependent variable (unit)Dependent variable (unit)
11 RECORDING & ANALYZING DATA Attempt to figure out what the collected data means… why did it happen as it did?GraphTitle: Dependent variable vs. Independent variableDependent variable (unit)Independent variable (unit)
12 Graphing Graph A visual display of information or data Three main typesLINE GRAPHBAR GRAPHPIE GRAPH
13 Line Graph Shows how data changes over time or shows basic trends Plotting dataIndependent variable = x-axisDependent variable = y-axis
14 Bar Graph Compares information collected by counting groups Plotted the same as a line graph
15 Pie GraphShows how some fixed quantity is broken down into parts
16 FORM CONCLUSIONSBe sure to draw conclusions based on the data collected.Make inferences based on prior knowledge and the new knowledge gained in the experiment.DO NOT restate the procedure or simply restate the results…How do the results compare to your hypothesis?How can this data be used further?What other tests could be done?