Your Task: For
this assessment, you will complete a worksheet where you will evaluate
some real world scenarios and determine if they are science or
pseudoscience. You will also design your own experiment that uses the
scientific method. Please save your work on the Science and You Worksheet and submit the file for grading.
Read the examples and answer the questions.
Remember to put each situation to the validity test by asking each of the following:
- Has it been tested and observed numerous times by more than one group of scientists?
- Is the study or data documented completely, and does it follow the scientific method?
- Does the information contain just the facts and avoid mixing in opinion and assumption?
- Is the information presented purely for public knowledge, avoiding being connected with a new product that is for sale?
- Does the information come from a third party that is not profiting from the results of the study?
- Is this information supported by any other studies that have been conducted by other companies or agencies?
Example 1 (5 points)
team of researchers are working on a project to make a new kind of
airplane fuel. During their experiment, there was an explosion that
destroyed the lab. While they were cleaning up the debris, they
discovered a number of pieces of frozen metal. The scientific community
was amazed. The researchers were so excited to report that they had
discovered a fuel that burns so hot that it becomes cold. They were not
sure of the true importance of their discovery but they knew it was
something that had never been seen before. The researchers quickly wrote
up a report, created a press release, and applied for a patent. The
news spread quickly through the world wide scientific community and soon
other scientists were trying to replicate their experiment. Much to the
relief of the original team or researchers, no other scientist could
ever replicate their find.
Would this example be considered science or pseudoscience? Support your decision with at least three reasons.
Example 2 (5 points)
at a university want to know if higher levels of nitrogen in fertilizer
will increase the production of tomatoes per plant. Twenty plants are
given normal levels of nitrogen and twenty other plants are given ten
percent higher levels throughout the growing season. The plants receive
the same levels of sunlight, water and are planted in the same soil on
one farm. At the end of the experiment the average number of tomatoes
produced is the same for each group. The scientists repeat the
experiment on two additional farms further south that season. The
researchers conclude that increasing nitrogen levels by 10% in tomatoes
is not beneficial.
Would this be a well designed reliable experiment? Support your decision with at least three reasons.
Example 3 (5 points)
is a new brand of water on the market that has been proven to relieve
headaches. It is selling like crazy! When the Food and Drug
Administration asked for scientific proof that the water actually does
what it claims to do, the owners of the company produced a scientific
research study that they had paid a group of scientists to perform. In
the study researchers gave this special water to a group of 50 people
who claimed to have a headache. The people drank the special water
whenever they felt thirsty over a period of 24 hours. After the 24
hours, 99% of the people reported that their headache was gone.
the Food and Drug Administration trust this scientific study and allow
the company to sell the water with this claim? Would this be an example
of Science or Pseudoscience? Support your answer with at least three
Example 4 (5 points)
group of researchers from a local lab are trying to get funding for a
research study to determine if the color blue is better than the color
green. They have written a proposal and submitted to the company that
could potentially give them the money needed to conduct the study. The
researchers proposed to carry out their study in four different
geographic locations and use variations of both the color blue and the
color green to ensure that they will gather reliable information.
Should the company give the researchers the money to conduct this study? Support your decision with at least three reasons.
Example 5 (5 points)
town of Seaside needs to build a new power plant. The old coal burning
plant produces too much pollution and is no longer safe. The mayor
decides that he will do some research on alternative forms of energy
like nuclear power plants and solar power plants.
types of resources should the mayor use to conduct his research? Why
would these be considered reliable source of information and why? What
types of resources are reliable? How can he use what he learns to make
the best decision for the town?
Part 2: (35 points)
your own scientific experiment. Your experiment must follow the
scientific method and meet the criteria described in the lesson in order
to be considered scientific. You do not have to conduct your
experiment; however, you are still responsible for including all the
steps of the scientific method. Since you will not be able to record
data or draw a conclusion, for the last two steps please include a
description of what each step involves.
Your points will be awarded as described below:
|Topic chosen–is it testable?||5 points|
|Experimental design–are the variables controlled?||5 points|
|Includes all steps of the Scientific Method, as described in the lesson, in proper sequence||10 points|
|Each step of the Scientific Method is appropriately used or fully explained as it applies to the experiment||15 points|
Step by Step Procedure:
What measurements or other method of data collection would you use?
How could you form a statement about your hypothesis based on the data?