scientific method

A Scientific Investigation – What types of food contain starch and protein?

Students learn about scientific investigation by carrying out key components of the scientific method, including developing experimental methods, generating hypotheses, designing and carrying out experiments to test these hypotheses and, if appropriate, using experimental results to revise the hypotheses. Students design and carry out two experiments that test whether starch and protein are found in some or all foods derived from animals or plants or both. 

Download Student Handout: PDF format or Word format

Download Teacher Preparation Notes:PDF format or Word format

We invite comments on this hands-on activity, including suggestions for other teachers who are planning to use the activity and any questions you have. If you would prefer to send your comments or questions in a private message, please write Ingrid Waldron at iwaldron@sas.upenn.edu 

Vitamins and Health – Why Experts Disagree

In this discussion/worksheet activity, research concerning the health effects of vitamin E is used as a case study to help students understand why different research studies may find seemingly opposite results. Students learn useful approaches for evaluating and synthesizing conflicting research results, with a major focus on understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies (laboratory experiments, observational studies, and clinical trials). Students also learn that the results of any single study should be interpreted with caution, since results of similar studies vary (due to random variation and differences in specific study characteristics).

The Student Handout is provided in the first attached file and the Teacher Notes are provided in the second attached file.

Carbohydrate Consumption, Athletic Performance and Health – Using Science Process Skills to Understand the Evidence

This discussion/worksheet activity is designed to develop students' understanding of the scientific process by having them design an experiment to test a hypothesis, compare their experimental design with the design of a research study that tested the same hypothesis, evaluate research evidence concerning two hypothesized effects of carbohydrate consumption, evaluate the pros and cons of experimental vs. observational research studies, and finally use what they have learned to revise a standard diagram of the scientific method to make it more accurate, complete and realistic.

The Student Handout is provided in the first attached file and the Teacher Notes are provided in the second attached file.

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