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Science Practice 4

The student can plan and implement data collection strategies appropriate to a particular scientific question.
  • 4.1 The student can justify the selection of the kind of data needed to answer a particular scientific question.
  • 4.2 The student can design a plan for collecting data to answer a particular scientific question.
  • 4.3 The student can collect data to answer a particular scientific question.
  • 4.4 The student can evaluate sources of data to answer a particular scientific question.
My constant velocity buggy lab demonstrates my performance of all aspects of Science Practice 4. As a class, we identified the measurements that were required to answer the question and identified the measurement tools to use to make these measurements. (4.1) My group implemented best practices for experimental design. For example, we followed the “rule of 5s” – we performed five trials, each with five data points, in which the independent variable varied by a factor of five. In order to keep the buggy traveling in a straight line, we taped a meter stick to the floor which prevented the buggy from curving. However, this meter stick certainly affected the velocity of the buggy. I expect that the velocity of the buggy would be faster if the buggy wasn’t riding against the meter stick. While we consistently used the front-left tire to mark the position of the buggy, it was challenging to do so accurate as the buggy was in motion. Perhaps other measurement tools could have been used which would have been more accurate. (4.2, 4.3) When creating our graph, we consciously decided to include the data point 0,0 (0 meter position at 0 seconds) since we started the stopwatch when we released the buggy at the origin. Despite these sources of uncertainty, the data fits a linear relationship very well. Therefore, I am confident that the buggy was traveling at a constant velocity. (4.4)

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