L3 - Formulating Hypothesis/Engineering Goals

Lesson 3

Strategies employed

1.Connect (Hook and Hold) (5 mins)
+ Introduce students to the idea that a scientific hypothesis consists of 3 major variables: Independent, dependent and constant variables. Using these variables, they are to craft their hypothesis.

2.Acquire and Make meaning (Receive Knowledge and skills, and understanding learning outcomes) (40 mins)

+ Students will be directed to write their Group Research Proposal by using this link:

http://1drv.ms/1OEXK7g

or

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0Bw72rpuy2MMLa2FXU2k1RkhGd1U


+ Refer to the website
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_variables.shtml#whatarevariables

+ Students are required to identify the following of their research question:
•          (a)   Independent variables
•          (b)   Dependent variables
•          (c)   Control variables

+ They are to post these 3 variables into their blogs.
+ The students are now required to write their hypothesis in their blog page.

They can refer to the guide here:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_hypothesis.shtml

An example is found in the ISS Blog page below for students to understand the relationships between the variables and hypotheses.

3.Transfer (Formative checks, reflections, etc.) (5 mins)
+ They must post their hypothesis according to the correct format as demonstrated in the examples below.


There are 6 types of research, so 6 examples are given below:

Question 1: Test a Hypothesis
Different brands of handphones are tested for the radiation that they emit during standby, dial mode and receive mode.

(a)   State the independent variable [1]
      different brands of handphones

(b)   State the dependent variable [1]
      Radiation emitted from different handphones

(c)   Suggest a hypothesis [1]
      Samsung handphones have the greatest amount of radiation emitted 
(Note: There are no right or wrong answer but it is just a guess in formulating hypothesis)

(d) State 3 variables that you should keep constant. [3]
      Handphones should be fully charged.
      Handphones should be of the same battery capacity
      Handphones should be brand new

Question 2: Measure a value
The mass of jupiter is calculated using the following steps:
  • Take pictures of Jupiter and its 4 moons every night over 30 days through a telescope at 8 pm. 
  • Plot a graph of the position of each of the 4 moons over 30 days.
  • Determine the period of each of the 4 moons.
  • Measure the distance between the moons and the center of jupiter from the x-t graphs.
  • Plot a graph of T^2 against r^3.
  • Calculate the gradient.
  • Let gradient = 4pi^2/GM and calculate M since G is known.
  • Calculate the percentage error of the value of G. 

(a)   State the independent variable. [1]
      the radius of different jovian moons from the center of jupiter 

(b)   State the dependent variable. [1]
      the period of each of the jovian moons 

(c)   Suggest a hypothesis [1]
       The mass of jupiter determined should be 1.898 × 10^27 kg and have a percentage error of less than 5%.
(Note: There are no right or wrong answer but it is just a guess in formulating hypothesis)

(d) State 3 variables that you should keep constant. [3]
      All the photographs should be taken with the same magnification.
      All the photographs should be taken at the same time.
      All the photographs should be taken with the same sky conditions (e.g. clear skies) 

Question 3: Finding relationships
The rebound rating is the ratio of the height the ball bounces to, divided by the height the ball was dropped from. Use the rebound rating to measure the bounciness of new tennis balls vs. balls that have been used for 10, 20, 50, and 100 games.

(a)   State the independent variable. [1]
      the number of times the tennis balls have been used
      (e.g. 0, 10, 20, 50, 100 games)

(b)   State the dependent variable. [1]
      The rebounce ratio
      = height of rebounce / height where tennis ball is dropped

(c)   Suggest a hypothesis. [1]
      The more times the tennis ball is used, the lower is the rebounce ratio
OR
      The more times the tennis ball is used, the higher is the rebounce ratio
(Note: There are no right or wrong answer but it is just a guess in formulating hypothesis)

(d) State 3 variables that you should keep constant. [3]
      Height at which the tennis ball is dropped.
      The tennis ball must be dropped vertically downwards.
      There should not be any draft that may cause the falling tennis ball to drift.

Question 4: Mathematical Modelling
It is observed that when a ball bearing falls down a column of water, the speed increases but up to a point. In order to create a Mathematical Model of the phenomenon, the following steps were taken:
·      A high speed video is taken of the ball bearing falling down the cylinder
·      Using the video motion analysis software, a graph of velocity against time is created
·      As it looks like a graph of V = A - Be^(-Ct + D), it was used to fit the data
·      The coefficient of fit will tell us how close is the graph to the data 

(a)   State the independent variable. [1]
      Time from the point at which the ball bearing is released.

(b)   State the dependent variable. [1]
      The velocity of the ball bearing.

(c)   Suggest a hypothesis. [1]
      The velocity of the ball bearing varies with time in the following relation of V = A - Be^(-Ct + D)
(Note: There are no right or wrong answer but it is just a guess in formulating hypothesis)

(d) State 3 variables that you should keep constant. [3]
      Height at which the ball bearing is dropped.
      The ball bearing must be dropped vertically downwards.
      The temperature of the experiment must be the same.

Question 5: Observational and Observatory Research 
A curious student wants to find out the soil quality around the school compound.

(a)   State the independent variable. [1]
      Different locations around the school.

(b)   State the dependent variable. [1]
      The soil quality (e.g. Nitrates, Phosphorous, Potassium) 

(c)   Suggest a hypothesis. [1]
      The soil quality around the school is about the same.
(Note: There are no right or wrong answer but it is just a guess in formulating hypothesis)

(d) State 3 variables that you should keep constant. [3]
      Depth at which the soil sample is collected.
      Amount of soil collected at each site.
      Weather must be the same during the collection of sample.

Question 6: Industrial and Applied Research 
An innovative student wants to build an automatic attendance taking machine.

(a) State the market need or problem statement. [1]
      Currently, attendance taking has to be done manually or by scanning the thumb print or scan an identity card on a machine. All these actions are time consuming and requires additional logistics such as an attendance sheet or electronic scanner.

(b) State the engineering goal. [1]
      To develop a proximity-based sensor that can take attendance of a class without any action by the teacher.

(c) State 3 design specifications of this prototype. [3]
      There should be a display screen.
      The device should be handy and easy to carry.
      The device will be able to detect the sensor card from 50 meters away.

(d) Explain how do you prove that you have achieved your engineering goal. [1]
      Carry out a Trial Test to see how many percent of the attendance is captured by the device and compare it with manual attendance taking. 

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