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UNIT 1: The Scientific Method

DAYSHEET 21: M&M Scientific Method & Graphing Laboratory

Biology I

Name :________________________________________________ Date:____________________________

Bellringer: Carefully read over the following multiple-choice questions. Pick the answer the best
answer for each question.
1. Study the graph below. What
is the independent variable?

a. Abundance of hermit crabs

2.

b.

Number of shells found

c.

Coquina

d.

Low intertidal

e.

Medium Intertidal

f.

Rock type

g.

Basalt

Study the graph below. Which


statement best describes the
relationship between student
enrollment in Physical Science and
Chemistry during 1985 and 1986?

a. The number of students in both


courses declined
b. The number of students in both
courses increased
c. The number of Physical Science
students decreased as the number of
Chemistry students increased
d. During the 1985 and 1986 school
year, the number of Physical
Science students overtook the
number of Chemistry students.
e. The number of Chemistry students remained constant as the number of Physical Science students
increased

3. According to the graph, which town


had the greatest change in
population?

a. Riverton
b. Smallville
c. Woodland
d. Westfield
e. Ashenvale
4. This line graph compares the growth of plants that were kept in the sun for different amounts of time.
Which terms best describe the trend for plants in 9 hours of sunlight on days 9 and 10? Choose all that
apply.

a. Decreasing
b. Increasing
c. Rising
d. Falling
e. Constant
f. No trend
5. On which axis do you place the independent variable? __________________________
6. On which axis do you place the dependent variable? ____________________________
7. Zavonne wanted to test the effects of sugar consumption on focus in high school students. He decided
found 22 volunteers at his high school who were willing to participate. He mixed up 22 glasses of sugar
water. Each glass contained a couple of scoops of sugar. He asked all the volunteers to drink the sugar
water and then attend a math class for 90 minutes. At the end of the experiment, he had the 22
volunteers take a quiz to determine their level of focus during the math lesson.
Is this a good experiment? YES or NO
Why?

_____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Objective: I can use my understanding of experimental design to analyze experiments and graph
data.
Homework: Complete HW#21

Activity 1: M&M Laboratory


The scientific method is a way to think about problems and a way to
solve them. Scientists do not always follow the steps of the scientific
method in order. However, after a problem is solved, a scientist can
use the scientific method to explain how the solution was reached.
The scientific method can be broken down into the following parts:
1. State the problem (make an observation)
2. Form a hypothesis
3. Make a prediction
4. Controlled experiment
5. State a conclusion.
INTRODUCTION:
In this activity, you will follow the steps of the scientific method to discover how many candies of each color
are in one bag of M&Ms. It will show you how scientists record data on charts, make graphs, and draw
conclusions. Do not eat any of the candies until you are permitted, because it will affect your results. Do not
open the bag until you are instructed to do so.
OBJECTIVES:
1. Name and describe the steps of the scientific method.
2. Follow the steps of the scientific method to solve a problem.
3. Record data in a table or chart.
4. Construct a graph that shows the results of the investigation.
MATERIALS:

1 fun-size bag of M&Ms


Colored pencils to match M&M colors
Pencil/Pen

Pre-Laboratory Questions (10 points)


Directions: Use the information in the pre-lab reading to answer the questions below. All answers
must be written in complete sentences to receive credit.
1. What process will we be using to solve the activitys problem?
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
2. What materials must we collect prior to beginning the lab activity?
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What expert will you consult to gather information on the lab activity?
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
4. What tools will you use to record and organize your data?
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
5. At what point will eating the M&Ms be permitted?
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Directions:
1. State the problem: (Hint What are you trying to find out?)
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
2. Gather information: It is unlikely that you will find any information about colored candies in the library.
Most likely, your best sources of information are experts, people who have experience with colored candies.
Look around, and you will find some experts. In fact, you may be an expert yourself!
What colors of candies are found in these bags?
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Which color do you think is most common? ______________________________________________________
3. Form a hypothesis: Write a statement that tells how many candies you think will be in the bag and how
many there will be of each color. Remember, the total number of candies must equal the sum of candies of each
color.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Experiment! Open the bag of candies. No eating yet! Sort the candies by color.

5. Record and analyze data:


a. Write the colors of the candies in the first column of the data table.
b. Count how many candies there are per color. Record the results in the frequency column of
the table.
c. Add the numbers in the frequency column, from the top line to the bottom. Write the total
number of candies on the bottom of the frequency column where it says Total.
d. Determine the percentage that each candy color is of the entire bag, and record it in the
percentage column of the table.

e. Use the data that you entered to make a bar graph below.
i. Label the horizontal axis with the colors of the candies.
ii. Title your vertical axis.
iii. Label the vertical axis with the numbers from 1 to 12.
iv. Color the bars the same colors as the candies.
v. Give your bar graph an appropriate title.

6. Form a conclusion.
On the lines below, form a paragraph that answers the problem you looked to solve in
the M&M lab. Your paragraph should include:
An answer to the question addressed in #1.
The total number of candies in your bag and how many there were of each color
(frequency).
How your actual results compare with your hypothesis (was your hypothesis
correct? If not, how close were you?)
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________

HW21: Graphing Practice


Name ______________________________

Biology I
Date ________________

Directions: Use the bar graph below to answer questions 1-5.

1. At birth, what is the average number of red blood cells per mm3 of blood?
2. What appears to happen to the number of red blood cells between birth and 2 months?
3. What happens to the number of red blood cells between the ages of 6 and 8 years?
4. Between what ages is a human likely to have 4.6 million red blood cells?
5. After 14 years of age, do males or females have a higher red blood cell count?
6. Make an inference: Why do you think there is a difference in the number of red blood cells for
males and females after the age of 14?