Biology Lab. Introduction to Science Essay
Biology Lab. Introduction to Science
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Exercise 1: Data Interpretation
Table 1: Water Quality vs. Fish Population
Dissolved Oxygen |0 |2 |4 |6 |8 |10 |12 |14 |16 |18 | |Number of Fish Observed |0 |1 |3 |10 |12 |13 |15 |10 |12 |13 | |
1. What patterns do you observe based on the information in Table 1?
The patterns that I observe based on the information in Table 1 are:
• The level of ‘Dissolved Oxygen’ consistently increases by an increment of 2 with each subsequent data point
• The ‘Number of Fish Observed’ seems to fluctuate with no real consistency (with the exception that after the peak # of 15 fish was observed, the next
3 data points reflect “10, 12, 13” which was the same # of fish that were observed in the exact order prior to reaching the peak 15. (In short, the pattern 10, 12, 13 seems to have repeated itself.)
• The level of ‘Dissolved Oxygen’ does not seem to decrease when the ‘Number of Fish Observed’ decreases
2. Develop a hypothesis relating to the amount of dissolved oxygen measured in the water sample and the number of fish observed in the body of water.
Based on the information provided in the table, I would hypothesize that the number of fish observed has no bearing on the level of oxygen dissolved. This hypothesis would be based on the fact that the dissolved oxygen steadily and consistently increased by an increment of 2 with each progressive data point. When the number of fish observed was significantly increased from 3 to 10, the dissolved oxygen level only increased by 2. Conversely, when the number of fish observed significantly decreased from 15 to 10, the dissolved oxygen still maintained that consistent increase of 2.
3. What would your experimental approach be to test this hypothesis?
The experimental approach that I would use to test this hypothesis would be to obtain a 2 freshwater fish tanks, fresh water, fish, an aquarium water level meter and a dissolved oxygen meter. In one tank, I would ensure that the aquarium was filled with a specifically determined level of water and measure the level of dissolved oxygen present with no fish. Then I would gradually begin adding fish daily, starting with one fish. Each day I would ensure that the water level remained the same as it was prior to adding the first fish and I would continue increasing/decreasing the total number of fish daily. I would also consistently measure the dissolved oxygen levels as I introduced or removed fish to observe the levels.
In the 2nd fish tank, I would ensure that the level of freshwater and dissolved oxygen matched the levels of the first fish tank prior to adding any fish. Then, I would add the maximum number of fish that I intended to observe in the 1st tank and observe the oxygen level. For the duration of the experiment, I would not ensure that the water level remains the same but I would not modify the total fish in this tank. I would also observe the oxygen levels in the 2nd tank throughout the experiment.
4. What are the independent and dependent variables?
The independent variable in this experiment would be the total number of fish being observed, and the dependent variable would be the dissolved oxygen.
5. What would be your control?
My control in this experiment would be the 2nd fish tank, which I would not fluctuate the total number of observed fish.
6. What type of graph would be appropriate for this data set? Why?
The most appropriate type of graph to utilize, which would best illustrate the data being compared in this example, would be a line graph. I would use a line graph because it most clearly and effectively demonstrates how the two independent data sets are related, as well as how their independent fluctuations in volume affect one another.
7. Graph the data from Table 1: Water Quality vs. Fish Population (found at the beginning of this exercise). You may use Excel, then “Insert” the graph, or use another drawing program. You may also draw it neatly by hand and scan your drawing. If you choose this option, you must insert the scanned jpg image here.
8. Interpret the data from the graph made in Question 7.
The data from the graph supports my hypothesis that the total number of fish
observed does not have any bearing on the level of dissolved oxygen, which steadily increases by a level of two with each data point.
Exercise 2: Testable Observations
Determine which of the following observations (A-J) could lead to a testable hypothesis.
For those which are testable:
Write a hypothesis and null hypothesis
What would be your experimental approach?
What are the dependent and independent variables?
What is your control?
How will you collect your data?
How will you present your data (charts, graphs, types)?
How will you analyze your data?
1. When a plant is placed on a window sill, it grows three inches faster per day than when it is placed on a coffee table in the middle of the living room. – TESTABLE
• Hypothesis – The plant will grow at a faster rate per day when it is placed on a window sill as opposed to being placed on a coffee table in the middle of a living room.
• Null Hypothesis – The location of the plant has no bearing on the
growth rate per day.
• Experimental Approach – I would gather four identical plants, two of which I would I would rotate between the living room and window sill daily, and the other two would remain static in their locations for the entire duration of the experiment. I would treat and care for all plants in an identical manner, ensure that their respective locations remained precisely the same, as well as measure and record the growth of each plant daily. After a sufficient period of time had elapsed, I would record the final relevant data in Excel, and insert a line graph with all four plants incorporated into a single chart, which would also demonstrate the growth rate over time.
Subsequently, based on the information contained within the data points, and the line graph comparison, I would draw a final conclusion and present my data to interested parties in the form of a brief Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. I would include a brief summary of the intent of the experiment, a detailed explanation of the tools and exact process in which I used to conduct my tests, and all of the raw data statistics relative to the daily growth rate of all four plants.
• Dependent Variable – The location of the plants.
• Independent Variable – The growth rate of the plants.
• Control – The 2 static plants.
2. The teller at the bank with brown hair and brown eyes and is taller than the other tellers. – NOT TESTABLE
3. When Sally eats healthy foods and exercises regularly, her blood pressure is 10 points lower than when she does not exercise and eats unhealthy foods. – TESTABLE
• Hypothesis – Sally’s blood pressure will be lower when she eats healthy
foods and exercises regularly.
• Null Hypothesis – The fact that Sally eats healthy foods and excercises regularly will have no effect on Sally’s blood pressure.
• Experimental Approach – I would first observe and record, for a sufficient period of time, Sally’s eating habits, exercise regimen, and blood pressure, when she is not eating as healthy or exercising as regularly to accurately gauge a reliable average of the range of her blood pressure in this phase of the experiment. Then, I would ensure that Sally was placed on a healthy eating plan, approved by a nutritionist, and prescribe an exercise routine. Sally’s eating habits and exercise regimen would again be recorded daily, along with her blood pressure statistics and other relevant information.
I would track and record the daily relevant statistics in Excel, and I would also use a line graph to illustrate the comparison of her blood pressure over time under the two different scenarios. Subsequently, based on the information contained within the data points, and the line graph comparison, I would draw final conclusion and present my data to interested parties in the form of a brief Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. I would include a brief summary of the intent of the experiment, a detailed explanation of the tools and exact process in which I used to conduct my tests, and all of the raw data statistics relative to the changes in Sally’s blood pressure as well as her diet and exercise habits throughout the experiment process.
• Dependent Variable – Sally’s eating and exercise plan.
• Independent Variable – Sally’s blood pressure reduction.
• Control – the phase of the experiment when Sally’s blood pressure is observed and recorded when she is not eating healthy or exercising regularly.
4. The Italian restaurant across the street closes at 9 pm but the one two blocks away closes at
10 pm. – NOT TESTABLE
5. For the past two days the clouds have come out at 3 pm and it has started raining at 3:15 pm. – NOT TESTABLE
6. George did not sleep at all the night following the start of daylight savings. – NOT TESTABLE
Exercise 3: Conversion
For each of the following, convert each value into the designated units.
1. 46,756,790 mg = _46.7568 kg
2. 5.6 hours = _20160 seconds
3. 13.5 cm = _5.31496_ inches
4. 47 °C = 116.6 °F
Exercise 4: Accuracy and Precision
During gym class, four students decided to see if they could beat the norm of 45 sit-ups in a minute. The first student did 64 sit-ups, the second did 69, the third did 65, and the fourth did 67. 2. The average score for the 5th grade math test is 89.5. The top 4th graders took the test and scored 89, 93, 91 and 87. – Both
Yesterday the temperature was 89 °F, tomorrow it’s supposed to be 88°F and the next day it’s supposed to be 90°F, even though the average for September is only 75°F degrees! – Precision
Four friends decided to go out and play horseshoes. They took a picture of their results shown to the right: – Neither
A local grocery store was holding a contest to see who could most closely guess the number of pennies that they had inside a large jar. The first six people guessed the numbers 735, 209, 390, 300, 1005 and 689. The grocery clerk said the jar actually contains 568 pennies. – Neither
Exercise 5: Significant Digits and Scientific Notation
Part 1: Determine the number of significant digits in each number and write out the specific significant digits. 405000 – 3 (405)
0.0098 – 2 (98)
39.999999 – 8 (39999999)
13.00 – 4 (1300)
80,000,089 – 8 (80000089)
55,430.00 – 7 (5543000)
0.000033 – 2 (33)
620.03080 – 8 (62003080)
Part 2: Write the numbers below in scientific notation, incorporating what you know about significant digits. 70,000,000,000 = 7 X 1010
0.000000048 = 4.8 X 10-8
67,890,000 = 6.789 X 107
70,500 = 7.05 X 104
450,900,800 = 4.509008 X 108
0.009045 = 9.045 X 10-3
0.023 = 2.3 X 10-2
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