This week in Discovery Science...

posted Sep 5, 2012, 12:19 PM by David E. Lawrence
Well, we're off to a great start in Discovery Science! I've been extremely impressed with our new crop of Discovery students -- so far they are curious, hard working, and really respectful to each other. Keep up the good work, everyone!

Our year has begun with a review of Experimental Design. We are learning to how to design simple, basic experiments that will allow us to safely and reliably test for relationships between two variables. We began the unit with a quick M&M experiment in which we each put an M&M in water and timed how long it took for the colored candy shell to dissolve off. Our investigative question was, "How does the color of an M&M affect the time it takes for the color to dissolve in water?" We were curious to see if one color dissolved faster than other colors.

Unfortunately (and intentionally on my part!) our experimental design was too flawed to reliably allow us to draw any conclusions. If you want to learn all the things we did wrong in our first experiment, ask one of our students -- they should be able to tell you all about our many extraneous variables that introduced error...

After learning about many of the things that can cause an experiment to go wrong, our students are now each designing a new M&M experiment. I'm excited to see what they have decided to test, and to see how their ability to design an experiment has grown!