Organism Observation Lab
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The purpose of this lab is to use the 4 question approach to generate research problems and hypotheses that you can test using an experiment. Your science project must use living organisms, because you are currently in biological science. Research project/problem ideas in biology (study of life) are generated by asking 4 questions: 1) What organisms are available for experimenting with? 2) What are the organism's measurable behaviors? 3) What can I change in the organism's environment? & 4) How can I measure that organism's response to the change? I have given you a suitable answer to the 1st question. You then practice going through the process with question 2, 3, & 4 so you can later decide what organisms you are going to use for your science fair project and be successful in generating a testable problem and hypothesis.
PART ONE: Free observation of behaviors
1) Place a few of your organisms into a petri dish and please put the lid on.
2) Spend the next 15 minutes or so making simple observations of your organisms (qualitative data).
PART TWO: Generating research problem ideas using 4 questions:
1) List at least 5 measurable behaviors (actions) that you observed in your organisms.
2) What are 5 factors you could change in the organism's environment to affect the behaviors (POSSIBLE INDEPENDENT VARIABLES)?
3) How could you measure or describe the response of the organisms to the changes (POSSIBLE DEPENDENT VARIABLES) using quantitative data measurements (please give 5)?
4) Generate from the above lists a list of at least 5 problems that could be carried out by your group. State your problems in the form of: "To what extent will (INSERT A INDEPENDENT VARIABLE--IV) affect the organism's (INSERT A DEPENDENT VARIABLE--DV)?"
5) For each of the problems you generated in step 4 write a hypothesis. Always state a hypothesis with direction like you did for the poster. Example: "As we increase the amount of light (IV) the plant growth(DV) with increase."