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Experimental Design B/C

Posted: June 11th, 2009, 7:29 pm
by Jim_R
Discussion for Experimental Design B/C.

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: August 3rd, 2009, 5:58 pm
by ZekeBud
Before this gets kicking again, remember to read the rules, look at a rubric and practice, practice, practice.

Odds are, the rules won't change too much, so a similar rubric to this one for Division C would probably be rather important to you: http://www.tufts.edu/as/wright_center/p ... _c_div.pdf

Important notes:
You must include everything. If you leave it out, you're not going to get credit and you won't get those shiny medals.

Be specific and clear. If you don't label things carefully and you don't adequately explain your statements, it's just as bad as not including anything.

Work as a team. This is a timed event, so you need to work in unison to make sure everything gets done.


Go and check the Wiki and the Archives for more info and examples. Those should keep you going for quite some time and bring you a great deal of experience.

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: August 4th, 2009, 9:32 am
by srsvball95
Here's the link to the wiki. Its the same for Division B and C: http://scioly.org/wiki/Experimental_Design

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: September 11th, 2009, 11:36 am
by Iustitia
What kind of people do you want for this event? There's like 6 applicants in our school :cry:

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: September 11th, 2009, 1:04 pm
by eyeball138
People who are perfectionists and pay attention to lots of detail are usually good for this event.

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: September 11th, 2009, 1:24 pm
by haven chuck
But speed is also important since there is a TON to cover in 50 minutes

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: September 11th, 2009, 7:48 pm
by eyeball138
True. You need perfectionists who can work quickly.

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: September 12th, 2009, 2:39 pm
by eyeball138
Just saw the rules, I didn't see any changes.

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: September 29th, 2009, 5:45 pm
by Phenylethylamine
Iustitia wrote:What kind of people do you want for this event? There's like 6 applicants in our school :cry:
There are different sections of the event, which each require different skills.

For the problem statement/hypothesis/materials/procedure part, which is very systematic, yes, you'd want a perfectionist, or at least someone good with detail. One of my partners last year wrote good 25-30 step procedures, including every. single. detail. to the point that someone completely clueless could have followed them easily (yeah, probably overkill, but pretty impressive, and impressive is often worth it in an event where the judging can be so subjective). You need to go in with a general structure in your mind and just fill in the relevant details and actual event-related information.

For the collection of data, making of graphs, and recording of observations, a perfectionist can also be useful, but mainly you just need someone who's not too much of a spaz (when you're throwing that paper airplane, you don't want it to hit the team three tables over; when you're measuring something, you want the end of that ruler to stay at the end of the object). Some knowledge of statistics and graphing is very useful, if not downright necessary. Also, you don't need to be a perfectionist about things like the lines of your data tables being perfectly parallel (*cough* pjgsciorox *cough*); as long as it's legible and doesn't give a serious impression of messiness, you're all good.

For the analysis/conclusion/future experimentation/possible errors, you need someone who can write a lot of intelligent-sounding bull as quickly as possible. If you're running out of time, you may need someone to start writing these sections before the relevant data is actually collected, in which case whoever does it needs to have some idea of the conclusion you expect. Some knowledge of statistics is also helpful here, mainly for the analysis part. The bigger your scientific vocabulary, the better.

Keep in mind that these don't have to be three separate people; those are just the skills needed for each part.

Re: Experimental Design B/C

Posted: September 29th, 2009, 5:57 pm
by nejanimb
Phenylethylamine, is that how you break the sections down? I'm curious, since that's not how we usually do it, and I'm always curious to hear other strategies.

The first section we do exactly the same, where one person does everything from the beginning of the lab up through the procedure. After that though, we have one person who does Data Tables, Stats, Graphs, and Analysis. We've always found that this is a full time job, and that just doing this takes the full time. Usually, this person will be the one who helps the experimenter if there is something that requires an extra hand. The last person does the experimentation, the Errors, the Conclusion, and PracticalApplications/Further Study. Observations are done by whoever feels like they have the time. I've always felt like the analysis section was linked closer to the graphs and stat section than the conclusion part, so we have a math-heavy analysis that the Stat person.

As far as the type of people who should do this event, they key is to have people who simultaneously are meticulous but are cool under pressure. Of course, this seems a bit paradoxical, and really there aren't many people who fit this bill. You also need people who are simultaneously good at following instructions and a plan, but who also are good at thinking on their feet to solve problems - again, these traits are not always found in the same person, so it definitely takes a particular kind of person to do experimental.

As far as breakdown of trying to build a team, besides fitting the general characteristics I just described, you'll want someone who can be very methodical and break down exactly what needs to happen (the intro person), someone who's good with numbers (for the stat section in the middle of the lab), and a calm and collected person who has a good science intuition to do the conclusion and experimentation.

Even though I make it sound very specific, I think just about anyone who takes the time to learn ED can do a pretty good job. Good luck!