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Science Learning Activity

Science Learning Activity

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Published by: bbmsscience on Sep 06, 2009
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07/27/2010

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Science Learning Activity
By Megan McGolrick, Andriea Neto, and Beverly Barnes
Title: Using Excel to Analyze DataCurriculum: Middle School Science- Science ResearchGrade-Level Span: 8
th
grade
PURPOSE (Objectives):
Students in 8
th
grade science will:1.Be able to follow a procedure.2.Be able to collect and record raw data with precise measurement.3.Be able to use Microsoft Excel to input data, convert units from English (inches) to Metric(cm) and calculate averages and uncertainty (error).4.Be able to use Microsoft Excel to create a bar and line graph.
DESCRIPTION:
This learning activity will take 4-5 50-minute class periods in the science classroom and computer lab.Students will be paired with a partner. Each student will need a computer. One will be used to view aPower Point titled “Creating a Spreadsheet” and the other will be used to complete the spreadsheet onMicrosoft Excel. (If fewer computers are available, then students will do both activities on one computer.)Students need access to Microsoft Excel and Power Point.
Day One Procedure
:1.The teacher should model skills needed in data collection including: marking a starting pointwith tape on the floor, how to perform a standing jump, using the stop watch, how to run inplace safely, and using a yard stick and how to measure to the tenths place.2.Assign students into pairs.3.Give students 20 minutes to collect data.4.Students should complete 10 trials of a standing jump.5.Students should then run in place in place for 2 minutes and then complete 10 trials of astanding jump.6.All information should be recorded in inches to the nearest tenth.D
ays Two and Three Procedures:
1.Students should be reminded of computer lab procedures including: walking to and from thecomputer lab, how to enter and exit the lab, seating arrangements, logging in, and savingwork.2.Students need to bring their data from the previous day.3.Students will be working in pairs using 2 computers.4.Students should open up a new Excel document (or the template for modification) on one of the computers and save it as their own file. If only one computer is used, there is a link to ablank spreadsheet on the PowerPoint. The blank spreadsheet will update as the studententers data into the spreadsheet.5.Students should open up the PowerPoint presentation on the other computer and follow thedirections to record and analyze their data.6.Project the PowerPoint to assist students.
Microsoft Excel Directions (Power Point Directions)
1.Open the Excel template provided.2.Save it as your own .xls file.3.Go to view-header and type your name.4.Enter data for the trials in inches.5.If anything pops up to ask if you are managing a list SAY NO!
 
6.Use a formula to convert data from inches to cm (multiply inches times 2.5) and then use edit-fill down for the other four cells.7.Highlight all four columns and then click format-cells (choose number and 2 decimal places.)8.Click insert-function to calculate an average for the two columns with centimeters only.9.Use a formula to calculate uncertainty (error) highest minus lowest divided by two for the twocolumns marked “centimeters” only.10.Re-type the averages for each data set into a new worksheet. Name the worksheet“Averages” (or use the template worksheet called averages).11.Create a line graph of all trials- open it in a new worksheet and call the worksheet “Graph 1”(use apple key to highlight cm columns only). Be sure to add titles for axes and an overall titlefor the graph.12.Create a bar graph of averages with labels- save in a new worksheet and call the worksheet“Graph 2”. To name the series go to chart-source data then click series. You can rename theseries (the blue line).
Day Four Procedure:
1.Distribute Data Analysis Rubric to students and read through the meeting expectations column.Take questions as needed.2.Students should use their data in the Excel worksheet to calculate a range (take the averageminus the uncertainty for the bottom number of the range, and the average plus the uncertaintyfor the top number of the range). Clarify that this is a BEST VALUE range, or a range of theaverage with error (uncertainty) factored in, and not the other “range” that is used in math.Ex: if the average is 10.5 and the uncertainty is 0.25, the range of the average would be10.25-10.75).3.Students should compare the two ranges of the averages to see if there is overlap. This can bemodeled with colored chalk on a chalkboard. If there is overlap, then it is impossible to draw aconclusion based on your data. Overlap means the data is not statistically significant. No overlapmeans the data is significant, and you can compare the two averages to each other.4.Students should write a data analysis in paragraph form that follows the guidelines in the rubric.Students who are struggling should take time to identify the manipulated and respondingvariables (MV and RV). They should also identify any sources of error when conducting their procedure (poor measurement, one partner leaving for the restroom, moving the tape, etc.)5.Students should each complete an individual rubric when submitting their work. The dataworksheet and two graphs should be stapled to the data analysis.
Example of Worksheet with proper labels:
(This is also the template that would be used for modification).
TYPE YOUR NAME HERE Standing jump before and after exerciseReg Jump (in.)Reg Jump (cm.)Post-run Jump (in.)Post-run Jump (cm.)trial 1trial 2trial 3trial 4trial 5trial 6trial 7trial 8trial 9trial 10averagehighest
 
lowestH-Luncertainty
Example of Completed Worksheet:
TYPE YOUR NAME HERE Standing jump before and after exercise.Reg Jump (in.)Reg Jump (cm.)Post-run Jump (in.)Post-run Jump (cm.)trial 148.00120.0050.00125.00trial 248.50121.2550.50126.25trial 349.00122.5049.00122.50trial 448.00120.0050.00125.00trial 549.50123.7549.50123.75trial 648.50121.2551.00127.50trial 748.00120.0051.25128.13trial 849.50123.7551.00127.50trial 949.50123.7550.50126.25trial 1049.00122.5050.00125.00Average121.88125.69Highest123.75128.13Lowest120.00122.50H-L3.755.63Uncertainty1.882.81
Example of Data Analysis in Paragraph Form
Will a human’s ability to jump from a standing position be improved by exercising beforehand?This question has been analyzed, researched, and tested in a controlled experiment. Data shows that theaverage jump with no exercise beforehand averages 40.3 centimeters. With an uncertainty of 0.7 the bestvalue range, or range of the average including error, is 39.6-41 centimeters. Ten trials were conducted ina precise manner and error was minimized throughout each trial by starting at the exact same location for the jump each time. Next, a different subject spent two minutes exercising by running in place. Then,when the muscles were warmed, that subject performed the same jump procedure as the subject with noexercise. The average for the ten trials of this procedure was 41.5 centimeters. There was an uncertaintyof 1.2, so the best value range was from 40.3 to 42.7 centimeters. It is interesting to note that theuncertainty was 0.5 centimeters greater for the jump with exercise. Perhaps the subject was more tiredtowards the end of the trials and had difficulty jumping as far in a consistent way. When the two dataranges are analyzed, there is an overlap in the average ranges. The average ranges overlap from 40.3-41centimeters. That means that there is an amount of 0.8 centimeters where the data could fall for bothtesting groups. Due to the overlap in averages with the error factored in, we cannot draw a clear conclusion about the data. Despite taking caution to conduct a controlled experiment, the data is notsignificant.

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