Announcements

Quarter 2 of School Year 2014-2015

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Click this link to update your table of contents quarter 2:
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Click this link to register your science fair project

Monday 10/27

 

Planner: Researching a Science Fair Project pg 48
EQ: Explain how to choose a science fair project that I am interested in discovering something new about?

Rubric:
1. Complete Project 1
2. Complete Project 2
3. Complete Project 3
4. Complete Summary
     
      A science project is science research where you produce a novel scientific contribution. It can come in the form of either new data that helps address an open question in a particular scientific field, or a new technique that improves upon methods currently being used in a scientific field.
Advanced Science Fair Project Guide
9 Reasons to do a science fair project

Step 1: Decide On an Area of Interest.

     The first step in coming up with a topic is to pick an area of science in which you're interested. You can start with something general like "biology," but from there you need to refine your interest to a sub-area, such as "the biology of aging," or a question in which you're intrinsically interested, like "How do people's cells change as they age?".

     There are many ways to arrive at an area of interest. Perhaps you've already done a science fair project that you want to significantly expand and take to the next level. Or maybe you have an intrinsic interest on which you'd like to build. Do you have a hobby, like building model airplanes, astronomy, or setting up aquariums, from which you can draw inspiration? Maybe there's a question that's always stuck in your mind that you'd really like to get to the bottom of. 
     
     Choose a partner who has similar goals and wants to pursue similar topics. Your science fair partner should be someone you can trust and that has the motivation to complete their part of the project. If you are unsure it would be wiser to work alone without someone that could hinder your progress.

Step 2: Seek Out a Mentor.

     If you don't already have a mentor, it is highly recommended that you seek one out! Who makes a good advanced science fair project mentor? Generally speaking, a mentor can be any science professional who is: in the field of science you're interested in researching, and who is willing to (and has the time to) speak with you, give you regular feedback about your ideas, and/or provide you with resources.

     It is wise to find anyone who is willing and able to help you complete your project that has any sort of with expertise, time, or resources. Ask anyone or multiple people for their help and if they can even dedicate just 5 minutes of their time to help you set up your experiment your project will be at that much of a higher level than just setting it up yourself.

Step 3: Narrow Your Idea Down to a Testable Question and Hypothesis.

     Once you have selected your general area of interest and you have your mentor(s) lined up, it's time to narrow your topic down to a testable question and to formulate your hypothesis. Ultimately, the goal for the top science fair competitions is to make a novel scientific contribution. In order for your contribution to be novel you need to know what has already been tried in the field and what the outstanding questions still are. You can do this by speaking to experts in the field (like your mentor) and by reading the scientific literature. To have the best possible science project, you will need to do both!

     You should first get an overview of the scientific papers already published in your area of interest. Reading review articles, which are papers that sum up and examine the results of many previous publications in the field, is a good place to start. Once you've gotten a better overview of the field, you'll want to delve into the primary literature, papers that originally reported the experimental methods and data. Once you settle on the question you want to research, you should refine the question by delving into the fine points of previously published experiments, as well as talk your ideas over with an expert in the field (like your mentor).

Step 4: Write a Project Outline.

After you've settled on the question to research, it is time to write a project outline. The project outline is a way to focus your ideas, questions, experimental priorities, and "to-do list" all in one place so that you can evaluate and improve it. This is a step that all scientists and engineers take. Once you've written your project outline, show it to your mentor or any other person (parents, teachers, etc.) who can give you feedback.

Researching Science Fair Projects pg 48
I. Choose a simple science fair project
Title:
Independent Variable:
Dependent Variable:
II. Choose a Earth science fair project
Title:
Independent Variable:
Dependent Variable:
III. Use the Topic Wizard to find a science fair project
Title:
Independent Variable:
Dependent Variable:
IV. Analyze Data
1. Explain what is similar about the projects you picked?
2. Explain how these projects can be combined to compare or contrast something new or unique?

3. The topic or project I am the most interested in exploring is _______________ because __________________________________________________________.

Tuesday 10/28

 

Planner: Forming an Accurate Hypothesis
EQ: Explain how to form an Accurate Hypothesis


Forming Hypothesis

1. Title of Project ___________________________________
I.V.  __________________________________________ 
D.V. ___________________________________________
If _____________________________________________
Then ____________________________________________
Because __________________________________________ 
Picture
2. Title of Project ___________________________________
I.V.  __________________________________________ 
D.V. ___________________________________________
If _____________________________________________
Then ____________________________________________
Because __________________________________________ 
Picture
3. Title of Project ___________________________________
I.V.  __________________________________________ 
D.V. ___________________________________________
If _____________________________________________
Then ____________________________________________
Because __________________________________________ 
Picture

Summary
1. The most difficult part in forming a hypothesis is _____________________ because _______________________________________________________.
2. One new thing I learned about forming a hypothesis is _________________ because ______________________________________________________.
3. The most important thing I learned about forming a hypothesis is ________ because ______________________________________________________

Hypothesis Chart - pg

1.       Independent Variable __________________________
|
V
2.     Dependent Variable____________________________
|
V
3.        Because (Research) __________________________

STEP 2: Constructing a Hypothesis CN - pg 

Tip #1:
A hypothesis is an educated guess about the question

To construct a hypothesis, all you really have to do is ask yourself what you think the outcome of the experiment will be. Use your head and research that you may have already conducted to help you guess what the answer will be.
Tip #2:
Use an "If...then..." statement

An "If...then..." statement is one that shows a cause and an effect relationship. For example, "If a plant is given acidic liquids, then the plant's growth will decrease." In this hypothesis, there is a cause (acidic liquid) that produces an effect (decrease in plant growth).
Tip #3:
The hypothesis must address the manipulated
and responding variables

The cause and effect in your hypothesis are related to the manipulated and responding variables in your question. For example, look at this question: "How does the type of music affect a plant's growth?" The type of music can be changed intentionally, so it is the manipulated variable. The plant's growth may change as a result of the type of music, so it is the responding variable. Your hypothesis must include an IV and DV: "I think that if a plant is exposed to classical music (MV), then it will grow very fast (RV) because..."
Tip #4
Right or wrong does not matter

At the end of the experiment you will find out whether your hypothesis was right or not. As a scientist, you should understand that it is not important that you "got it right." It is more important that you learned something about your topic. Don't get hung up on having the right answer.
Here are some examples of good hypotheses:

  • If a person reviews his or her class notes for 30 minutes each day, then his or her test scores will improve because he/she has reviewed and processed the information to remember it longer and in more detail.
  • If a person eats a healthy breakfast each day, then his or her writing skills will improve because their brain has the necessary nutrition to focus on learning.
  • If a plant receives light filtered through a blue piece of plastic, then it will produce more leaves because blue light causes green plants to grow faster.

Review of Constructing a Hypothesis

  1. Hypothesis answers the Step 1 question or problem
  2. The hypothesis contains an "If...then..." statement
  3. The independent and dependent variables from the question are addressed in the hypothesis.

Examples

The following examples will help you better understand how a good hypothesis should look. The better hypothesis will appear in bold.
Example 1
  • If people see funny commercials, then they are more likely to purchase a product.
  • If people prefer funny commercials, then funny commercials will produce more sales because people will remember them longer.
Example 2
  • If you spend a lot of time in the sun, then you will increase your risk of skin cancer.
  • If skin cancer is related to sun exposure, then people who spend more time in the sun will have a higher frequency of skin cancer because their skin will have more exposure to radiation.
Example 3
  • A plant that receives fertilizer will become larger than a plant that does not receive fertilizer.
  • If a plant is given fertilizer, then it will be larger than a plant that does not receive fertilizer because the added nutrients will allow it to grow more.

Wednesday & Thursday 10/29 & 10/30

 

Planner: Investigating a Research Question pg 49
EQ: Explain how to investigate a research question?

Rubric:
1. Complete Classwork
2. Complete Background Research
3. Complete the summary

Investigating a Research Question
I. Class Work                                     
1. Title of Project ________________________________________________________
Science Fair Category ____________________________________________________
Independent Variable_____________________________________________________
Research Question _______________________________________________________
Key Search Words _______________________________________________________
2. Title of Project ________________________________________________________
Science Fair Category ____________________________________________________
Independent Variable_____________________________________________________
Research Question _______________________________________________________
Key Search Words _______________________________________________________
3. Title of Project ________________________________________________________
Science Fair Category ____________________________________________________
Independent Variable_____________________________________________________
Research Question ______________________________________________________ Key Search Words _______________________________________________________
II. Background Research
1. The research question is ________________________________________________. The answer is  
APA Citation:
2. A scientific drawing or illustration about my research question: (Draw, label, & 5 colors)
APA Citation:
3. The Science Fair Category of my project is _________________________________. This science is about
APA Citation:
Summary
1. The most difficult part in investigating a research question is _______________________________ __________________because ________________________________________________________.
2. One new thing I learned about investigating a research question is __________________________ __________________because _________________________________________________________.
3. The most important thing I learned about investigating a research question is _________________ __________________because _________________________________________________________.

Science Fair Categories


  1. Animal Science (AS)
  2. Behavioral/Social Science (BE)
  3. Biochemistry (BI)
  4. Cellular & Molecular Biology (CB)
  5. Chemistry (CH)
  6. Computer Science (CS)
  7. Earth/Planetary Science (EA)
  8. Electrical/Mechanical Engineering (EE)
  9. Material/Bio Engineering (EN)
  10. Energy & Transportation (ET)
  11. Environmental Management (EM)
  12. Environmental Sciences (EV)
  13. Mathematical Science (MA)
  14. Medicine & Health Sciences (ME)
  15. Microbiology (MI)
  16. Physics & Astronomy (PH)
  17. Plant Sciences (PS)

Internet research is used by many to gather information on and study a particular subject using resources published on the Internet. The websites and sources you use for your Internet research should  be written by professionals, experts, organizations, businesses, and other entities that are knowledgeable about that specific topic. Because the Internet is a public platform accessible to all, the information you can sometimes find may not be entirely factual, but instead be formed by opinions and speculation; making the information you gather for your research void and inaccurate. To find information that is wholly factual and accurate on the topic you are researching, you must know how to determine the credibility of the sources providing the information. 
Use major search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo to perform your research; as these tools will provide you with access to nearly all published websites made available to the public. These search engines will also display and rank websites for you according to topic relevancy based on the keywords you entered into the search engine.
2
Use keywords relevant to the topic you are researching. To find credible and relevant information about your topic on the Internet, you must use a combination of keywords related to your research.
Use specific keyword phrases to locate the most relevant information. For example, if you are looking for information on how to perform an oil change on a 2006 Honda Accord, enter specific keywords such as "oil change instructions 2006 Honda Accord" instead of a basic phrase such as "perform an oil change," which may bring back thousands of results for websites that feature oil changes on motorcycles, buses, boats, and all other automobiles.
Use alternate words or keyword phrases to locate additional research sources. For example, if you are performing research on foreign movies, use the words "films" or "shows" in place of movies to find additional sources that may provide you with more information on your research topic.
3
Review several pages of search results for valid information. In most cases, search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo will rank search results based on specific algorithms, such as website popularity
Look beyond the first page of search results to find information for your research. In some cases, you may be able to find websites with helpful information beyond the first five pages of search results.
4
Determine that the website is a credible and reliable source. If you are gathering facts for your research, you will want to verify that the information is being provided by professionals or certified experts in that particular field or subject.
Read the "About Us" section of a website to learn more about the authors or organization publishing the information. Review the extension of the website in the address bar to determine the source. If the website ends in ".edu," ".gov," or ".org," the information on the website is overseen by a school, government entity, or non-profit organization, respectively, and in most cases, is accurate.
5
Use current information for your Internet research. Some information is time-sensitive, and the sources you may find and use may be outdated or inaccurate. For example, if you are performing research on popular computer software, use information from an article published within the last few weeks or months, instead of an article published from several years ago.
6
Review each website for grammatical errors and broken links. If the website is credible and reliable, grammar and spelling should be accurate and all links should take you to the appropriate landing page. Websites with numerous grammatical errors and broken links may be copying their information from another source or may not be legitimate.
Cite or list all the Internet sources used in your research. This process is helpful if you need to revisit a website to include more information in your research, or if you need to provide your audience or employer with a list of sources used to compile your information. Copy or document the exact website link you used to access and provide information for your Internet research.

Friday 10/31
Halloween Spirit Events, Awards Assembly & Kaimiloa Activity