Experimental Design B/C

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Panda Weasley
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby Panda Weasley » March 7th, 2015, 6:32 am

This is my 3rd year doing ExpDes and thus far I have only had 1 test that was confusing and hard to do. It was this years Regionals test and they asked us to do "something related to sample accuracy", but it was phrased in a more confusing way. We were given a Styrofoam plate, 208 red beads, and 75 white beads. What we did was we made an experiment that was to the best of our knowledge related to sample accuracy and tested that. If you fill out the answer sheet well, even if the experiment doesn't make sense, you will be graded well. They grade by each section so if you look what the requirements for each section are and meet those requirements you will get a good grade even if your experiment makes absolutely no sense.
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby Skink » March 7th, 2015, 8:12 am

Okay, so I pretty much have the rubric down, but the thing is I only have 1 partner instead of 2.
Does that put me at a disadvantage?
Of course. This event is designed such that it takes three individuals to perform. If nothing else, you will be hard-pressed to take good qualitative observations with only two individuals, one for taking quantitative data and the other for performing, say. And, if the experiment takes two people to perform, the problem compounds. Folks can and have done it with less than three people, but it's a good case where it can only help you to bring a warm body, a friend, if you have one available.
What are some of the more challenging experimental designs you guys have gotten in the past(i.e. ones that have involved scientific principles you were not too familiar with)? How have you handled them?
Hard topics are relative nonissues because you can always ask the supervisor to help you if they give you a topic that you don't know anything about. The hard tests, in my opinion, are the ones that give you far more materials than you'll ever use because, then, you have to take a moment and reduce the list down to something more workable for your experiment. There is an occasional example if you read the old topics. Here's one I can think of offhand.
This is my 3rd year doing ExpDes and thus far I have only had 1 test that was confusing and hard to do. It was this years Regionals test and they asked us to do "something related to sample accuracy", but it was phrased in a more confusing way. We were given a Styrofoam plate, 208 red beads, and 75 white beads. What we did was we made an experiment that was to the best of our knowledge related to sample accuracy and tested that.
This...is odd, especially as a B level test. What I'm thinking for this one is that you would mix up the beads on the table in front of you as your population. Your IV would be the number of beads randomly selected from the population to be your sample for that trial with levels varying from anywhere from, I guess, ten beads to, say, fifty beads. Your DV would be the 'sampling accuracy' defined as the ratio or percentage of white beads present in the trial sample. We'd predict that the sampling ratio or percentage would increase as number of beads selected increases.

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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby Verdigris » March 7th, 2015, 11:23 am

It depends by what you mean by the rubric. They will most likely not give you the rubric in the way it's put on all the websites (sections with points per section listed, ext.), but the answer sheet is normally organized in a way that lists each section (for example there will be a header that says Hypothesis, and then space to write your hypothesis). I would recommend going ahead and memorizing the rubric and what they want for each section. It can be helpful to know in competition which parts are worth the most points so if you are running out of time you can skip sections that aren't as helpful point wise. Did this answer your question? Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
Just want to add: our group wasn't given an organized answer sheet at Regionals, just notebook paper, so there may be some differences.
Okay, so I pretty much have the rubric down, but the thing is I only have 1 partner instead of 2.
Does that put me at a disadvantage?
It usually helps to have a third person just for dividing up the work, and occasionally as a tie-breaker if you two disagree on something.
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Panda Weasley
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby Panda Weasley » March 7th, 2015, 12:16 pm

This is my 3rd year doing ExpDes and thus far I have only had 1 test that was confusing and hard to do. It was this years Regionals test and they asked us to do "something related to sample accuracy", but it was phrased in a more confusing way. We were given a Styrofoam plate, 208 red beads, and 75 white beads. What we did was we made an experiment that was to the best of our knowledge related to sample accuracy and tested that.
This...is odd, especially as a B level test. What I'm thinking for this one is that you would mix up the beads on the table in front of you as your population. Your IV would be the number of beads randomly selected from the population to be your sample for that trial with levels varying from anywhere from, I guess, ten beads to, say, fifty beads. Your DV would be the 'sampling accuracy' defined as the ratio or percentage of white beads present in the trial sample. We'd predict that the sampling ratio or percentage would increase as number of beads selected increases.
That's what we did! :D
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby navigator » March 13th, 2015, 4:57 am

I have a question about the "Suggestion for other ways to look at hypothesis given" part of the Applications and Recommendations for Further Use section. An alumni of the event told me that, instead of finding another possible experiment to examine your same hypothesis, you actually have to think of a different hypothesis that the data you procured can be used to answer. I did this on a test at an invitation and was marked correct. Is this actually right or is it the more obvious way? Thanks.
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby Skink » March 13th, 2015, 5:19 am

I think it's clear enough, but, so it's not 'my word versus theirs', let's link together the scoring rubric with the scoring explanation. The answer will be clear.

Suggestions for improvement of specific experiment are given
Suggestion for other ways to look at hypothesis given
Suggestions for future experiments given
Practical application(s) of experiment given

Add in the points from the scoring explanation with the sections in which they fit.

Suggestions for improvement of specific experiment are given
-Give at least one suggestion to improve the particular experiment you did (Other than we need better equipment or more time)
Suggestion for other ways to look at hypothesis given
-List another possible experiment to examine your same hypothesis
Suggestions for future experiments given
-Give at least one suggestion for a future related experiment
Practical application(s) of experiment given
-Give at least one practical application for the specific experiment done

It's unambiguous, then, that the alumnus was incorrect (or, at least, that the vast majority of event supervisors will score as you'd normally expect, anyway). What you were told is sort of, well, wildly different! Plus, I'm not really sure under what circumstances we'd ever stop to think about different hypotheses that our data set could address. That's unusual. So, yes, I'm confident that the 'easy' way is, also, the correct way. As a side remark, precedence is not a meaningful force in Science Olympiad. Just because an invitational event supervisor scored you one way does not suggest that it will recur!

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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby XJcwolfyX » April 16th, 2015, 6:45 pm

For qualitative observations, how do you observations about results not directly related to the DV?
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby jkang » April 16th, 2015, 11:14 pm

For qualitative observations, how do you observations about results not directly related to the DV?
An easy example of doing this is the Div. C experiment at Wright State (mixing baking soda with vinegar). My group's hypothesis was pretty simple: if you add more baking soda to a given amount of vinegar in a beaker, then you'll see a larger volume increase of a balloon that is covering the beaker. For this experiment, observations can be things such as: "volume of balloon increased quickly at first, and slowed down as the reaction progressed," "balloon expanded to point of being firm, stayed that way for ___ seconds," or just general observations about what happened in the experiment that aren't necessarily quantitative. Another good example is if you're doing chemical reactions, observations can be things like "precipitate formed," "solution turned into ___ color," and so on.
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby XJcwolfyX » April 17th, 2015, 7:29 am

Great, thank you!

But what if you were doing a physically experiment, like rolling a ball down a ramp or something with a parachute?
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Re: Experimental Design B/C

Postby samlan16 » April 17th, 2015, 2:27 pm

Great, thank you!

But what if you were doing a physically experiment, like rolling a ball down a ramp or something with a parachute?
It could be something as arbitrary as "the parachute was made out of white tissues" or "we were standing next to a table". That usually works.
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