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Let's Do an Experiment!

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**Welcome to Parent Information Night**

Ridgecrest School Science Fair Dates: March 19th– project set up March 20th – judging March 21st – parent viewing night District Science Showcase will be in May!

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**Where Can I Get All of the Information Discussed Tonight?**

it.pinellas.k12.fl.us/schools/ridgecrest-es/

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**Begin your science project experience with a planning meeting**

Begin your science project experience with a planning meeting. You and your child will want to review this manual and the scoring rubric prior to starting the project. Some ideas to keep in mind are: This entire process should be fun. It is a great opportunity to spend time together doing something of educational value. B. Budget more time for the project than you think you will need...then double it. C. Topic selection should be at the child’s level. Please keep in mind that the ultimate project choice should remain with the child. The science book and the grade level benchmarks listed on flstandards.org are excellent resources for grade level appropriate ideas.

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**Science journal begins on Day 1 when ideas are being generated.**

Focus attention on what is being learned and the accuracy of the information being presented. Children should understand the necessary parts of the project. Follow the guidelines as well as all safety regulations. Encourage your child to refer to the rubric often to assess his/her own progress. If you have a question as the project progresses, ask the child’s teacher.

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**Science Showcase Rubric**

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**Avoid consumer economics or product testing projects (i. e**

Avoid consumer economics or product testing projects (i.e., which brand of popcorn pops the most kernels; which paper towel absorbs the most water; which brand of cereal has the most raisins; which battery lasts longest). Avoid models, demonstrations or inventions unless they are used to measure cause-and-effect relationships. Models created to gather data (i.e., which type of bridge structure will support the most weight; which shape of boat hull has the least water resistance; which type of propeller blade is most efficient in the wind; etc) are acceptable and are usually quite creative. Avoid any project that is dangerous, expensive, involves humans or vertebrate animals, involves controlled substances (cigarettes, alcohol, drugs), or is beyond the understanding or grade-level ability of the child. An adult supervisor must be present whenever students engage in manipulating supplies, materials, or equipment.

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**Presentation Board for Experiment Science Research Directions Question**

Independent Variable Dependent Materials List Set Up Conditions Directions Predictions with hypothesis circled Data Collection Graphs Results Statement Explanation Real World Uses Related to Research Science Journal

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New Rules for Displays No sharp object; glass; food; liquid (including water); chemical; microbe; laser operation; unshielded wiring; temperature exceeding 70o C; brand names of products; pictures of students; loud or distracting sound; bright or distractive light; pressurized gas; unshielded belt, pulley, chain or moving part may be displayed. Pictures of these (except as prohibited in the regulations above) may be taken to document and explain what was done in the experiment.

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**Brainstorm ideas… and then in your journal or diary make a list of subjects that interest you:**

weather, sound, water, gravity, floating, bugs, electricity, goop, vibrations, snow, force, plants, magnetism, weight, flight… roller coasters or marbles???

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**When choosing a topic, consider**

REAL WORLD USES. If your child can’t find a REAL use for the experiment, consider doing another project.

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**Experimental Real World Uses**

A description of ways, places, or situations where the information from your experiment might be useful. To classify as a 3-pointer… You must state at least three possible real world uses, with good detail Example: Skateboard park designers would need to make sure that ramps are far enough apart and steep enough that the boarders would be able to get enough momentum to reach the top of the opposite ramp. Water park designers have to design slides high enough that the force created by the water going down the slope will be great enough to push the rider to the bottom. Highway engineers would use this information when designing ramps that would safely allow vehicles to enter and exit highways.

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**The science research question**

has 2 parts Independent Variable (the one thing that will be changed) Dependent Variable (the one thing you are measuring based on the change) AND needs to be measurable.

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**Research Question Does _____________ affect ________________? OR**

What is the effect of _______ on ___________? OR When I change _______________, what happens to _______________?

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Research Question Does the height of a ramp (10 cm, 20 cm, 30 cm) affect the distance a marble will roll (measured in cm)? (3) Does the height of a ramp affect the distance a marble will roll ? (2) Does a ramp affect how far a marble rolls? (1)

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Independent Variable The one thing (or object) you will change in the experiment Like the height of the ramp

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**What is the independent variable?**

The independent variable will be the height of the ramp (1 cm, 3 cm, and 5 cm).

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**What is the dependent variable?**

How would you measure this? ALL measurements must be METRIC! (Centimeters, meters, celsius, grams, kilograms, seconds) The dependent variable is the distance the marble rolls in centimeters.

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Prediction List 3 ways the experiment might end up.

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Predictions 1. Increasing the height of the ramp will increase the distance the ball rolls. 2. Increasing the height of the ramp will decrease the distance the ball rolls. Increasing the height of the ramp will have no effect on the distance the ball rolls. To earn 3 points, 3 predictions that include the cause and effect (x and y) must be included! The hypothesis must be circled.

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**Hypothesis A hypothesis is an educated guess that predicts what you**

think will most likely happen in the experiment based on your research. To formulate a hypothesis, you must go back to your predictions!

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**Going back to the predictions…. Which prediction do you think **

Hypothesis Going back to the predictions…. Which prediction do you think will most likely happen? Increasing the height of the ramp will increase the distance the marble rolls. 2. Increasing the height of the ramp will decrease the distance the marble rolls. 3. Increasing the height of the ramp will have no effect on the distance the marble rolls.

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**I think that increasing the**

Hypothesis I think that increasing the height of the ramp will decrease the distance the marble rolls in centimeters.

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Hypothesis This year, students will not list their hypothesis separately. Students should circle the prediction that is their hypothesis. Increasing the height of the ramp will increase the distance the marble rolls. 2. Increasing the height of the ramp will decrease the distance the marble rolls. 3. Increasing the height of the ramp will have no effect on the distance the marble rolls.

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Materials This is a list of items that will be used in the investigation. It should be very specific and include the size, quantity, and descriptions of each material needed so that someone else could duplicate your project.

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**Materials List Sample 1 point list: marble ruler 5 blocks**

measurement tape

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**Materials List Sample 2 point list: marble ruler 5 blocks**

centimeter measurement tape or meter stick flat surface journal or diary with data collection chart

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**Materials List Sample 3 point list:**

marble that will roll down a grooved ruler ruler with a groove 5 blocks with a height of 1 cm each centimeter measurement tape or meter stick flat surface journal or diary with data collection chart

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**Set-Up Conditions These are also known as the “constants”.**

These are the things (materials & procedures) that will remain constant to ensure that the independent variable is the one and only thing being tested .

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**Set-Up Conditions 3 POINTS The same ramp must be used each time.**

The marble must be rolled from the same spot on the ramp each time. It must be released without adding any extra force. The same centimeter ruler must be used to measure the distance each time. The ruler should be lined up with the edge of the ramp in the same manner each time. The ramp must be set up on the same surface each time. The same marble must be rolled each time. 2 POINTS same ramp same marble same ruler same place 1 POINT ramp marble ruler height

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**Experiment Directions**

-Step-by-step list of how you set up the investigation -Describes how each material will be used -Written clearly so that another scientist could replicate the experiment

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Directions 1. Set up the ramp with a height of 1 cm using one block and the grooved ruler by placing the ruler on the edge of the block. 2. Place the marble at the top of the grooved ruler with your finger on top of it. 3. Release the marble by lifting your finger upward. 4. Observe the marble rolling down the ramp. Note any observations in your diary. 5. When the marble stops rolling, measure the distance rolled with the centimeter tape measure or meter stick by extending the measuring device from the bottom of the ramp to the point beside the stopped marble. 6. Record the distance in the data chart. 7. Repeat steps 2-6 nine more times. 8. Set up the ramp with a height of 3 cm by stacking 3 blocks and by placing the ruler on the edge of the block. 9. Repeat steps 2-6 ten times using the ramp with a height of 3 cm. 10. Set up the ramp with a height of 5 cm by stacking 5 blocks and by placing the ruler on the edge of the block. 11. Repeat steps 2-6 ten times using the ramp with the height of 5 cm.

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Data Collection An organized and complete account of everything that was measured and observed in the experiment (using metric units). There should be at least 10 or more trials.

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**Trials 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Data Table 1 cm 12cm 16 cm 15 cm mean**

Height Of Ramp Trials 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 mean 1 cm 12cm 16 cm 15 cm

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**More on Data Collection…**

Data is usually presented in a chart form that includes units of measure. Chart should include averages (mean) of the trials given. These (mean) scores will be used later in the graph and results statement.

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Graph A mathematical picture of the data, using (mean) averages to plot the data in the experiment.

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**Mean Distances Marble Rolled in Centimeters**

140 130 120 110 100 Distance Marble Rolls Centimeters Dependent Variable (Y) 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 1 cm 3 cm 5cm Height of Ramps Independent Variable (X )

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Results Statement: Did the independent variable affect the dependent variable? Use the data and graphs (from the experiment) to explain what happened in the experiment. Now scientists…, examine your data and write your results statement! Be sure to include the mean in your results statement.

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**Sample Results Statement:**

The mean distance the marble rolled for the ramp with a height of 1 cm was 15 cm. The mean rolling distance for the marble on the 3 cm ramp was 34 cm. The mean rolling distance for the ramp with a height of 5 cm was 62 cm. These results showed that the distance that the marble rolled was greater, on average, for the ramps that were higher.

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Explanation This is a summary of findings that evaluate experimental procedures for their effectiveness and determine possibilities for further study.

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Explanation Example: Increasing the height of the ramp increased the distance the marble rolled in centimeters. I predicted that increasing the height of the ramp would decrease the distance that the marble rolled. The procedures I used were effective. However, I could have used a pencil instead of my finger so that no pressure was placed on the marble when it rolled down the ruler. In the future, I may study the type of material used on a ramp.

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**Ask your teacher for more information!**

Each teacher will have their own requirements as far as due dates. Science fair entry forms and research guides are available on the Ridgecrest Website. Entry forms are due on January 25th, 2012! Ask your teacher for more information!

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**Ridgecrest School Science Fair Dates:**

March 19th – project set up March 20th – judging March 21st – parent viewing night District Science Showcase will be in May!

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**will be on sale after the meeting for $5.**

Questions??? Project Boards will be on sale after the meeting for $5.

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