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FDSCI 101 S15 Day 15

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Richard Datwyler

on 2 November 2015

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Transcript of FDSCI 101 S15 Day 15

Day 13
Scientific Inquiry & Fair tests
Test review question 1
Which of the following is not created in a star?
a) Carbon
b) Iron
c) Helium
d) Hydrogen
e) all of these are created in a star

Who was the first scientist to propose that the Universe is expanding?
a) Albert Einstein
b) George Lemaitre
c) Isaac Newton
d) Galileo
e) Johannes Kepler

Test review question 2
The Uranium Decay Chain

Group Activity: Constructing Scientific Arguments

a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.


There are natural causes for things that happen in the world around us.

Basic Assumptions of Science

If your actual results don’t match your expectations, what are possible explanations?

Analyzing Results

Placebo and double-blind

Designing Fair Tests

How do you reliably test something that happened long ago?

Testing Ideas

The ratio of protons to neutrons determines the stability of the nucleus.

Unstable nuclei decay by either alpha or beta decay (among others).

Nuclear decay results in the formation of new elements.

Radioactive Isotopes

Consist of three sub-atomic particles.
Smallest building block of elements.
Element is determined by the atomic number
Isotope is determine by the mass number

What are Atoms?

As John Dalton first suggested, when chemicals react to for a new compound, atoms change their connections (bonds).
Since these connections are in terms of numbers of particles, the ratio of reactants is in terms of numbers, not mass.

What Was Happening

Building scientific arguments
Idea (Hypothesis/Theory)
Expectations (Expected/predicted results)
Actual observations
Why is it critical to generate expectations before experimenting?
Compare outcomes: Establish control group
Control variables: Keep everything else the same
Avoid bias: Objective measures
Significance of differences: Statistics & sample size
Divide into groups of four and complete the activity.
Answer the associated questions as a group in I-Learn.
1) What questions come to mind as you observe this reaction?
2) What are possible explanations for the question decided on by the class to examine?
3) What are some expected observations based on this hypothesis?
4) How would you go about testing your hypothesis to determine if the expected observations can actually be observed? Include a discussion of control variables and/or avoiding bias.
5) What are your actual observations? Do they support or reject your hypothesis? If you must reject your hypothesis, how might you refine it for a future experiment?
6) What assumptions have you made?

Your hypothesis/theory is right; the deviation can be shown to be statistically insignificant.
Your hypothesis/theory is right because the data matches your predictions better than any other theory.
Your hypothesis/theory is right, but an assumption has been violated.
Your hypothesis/theory is wrong.
There is consistency in the causes that operate in the natural world.
Evidence from the natural world can be used to learn about those causes.
Is it 'ok' to make assumptions?
Full transcript