Is It Really True?
How do you use science skills in your life? In this project, you will develop
a testing procedure to discover whether a common belief is true or false.
You will begin by making a list of common beliefs. List at least three
different ones, and for each one briefly explain how that belief could be
investigated scientifically. Then, you will choose one of these to form the
basis of your project. As you learn about the process of scientific inquiry, you
will apply what you learn to the investigation of the common belief you
have chosen. You will develop a hypothesis, design an experiment to test
that hypothesis, carry out the experiment, and draw a conclusion about your
hypothesis. Before you begin the experiment, your teacher needs to approve
your design. As part of your design, you will need to plan a way to collect
data. Finally, you will draw a conclusion about your hypothesis and create a
poster that summarizes your experiment for the class.
Make a list of three common beliefs, and record them on Worksheet 1. For
each common belief you list, briefly describe how you might test whether
that belief is true or not.
Choose one common belief to investigate further. Write a hypothesis
related to this belief, and record your hypothesis on Worksheet 2.
Design a controlled experiment to test your hypothesis. Record the
manipulated variable, the responding variable, and variables kept
constant on Worksheet 2. Write and record the procedure you will follow.
Record the materials you will need to carry out the experiment. Describe
what data you will collect and how you will organize your data.
Submit your written plan to your teacher for approval.
After receiving permission from your teacher, carry out your experiment.
Collect and record data.
Use the data you’ve collected to make a graph, if a graph would be
Draw a conclusion about whether the data support your hypothesis or not.
Create a poster that summarizes your experiment for the class. On your
poster, include the common belief you tested, the hypothesis you
developed, a description of the experiment you designed, the data you
collected, and the conclusion you drew.
What Is Science? ■
Lab Chapter Project
What Is Science?
As you make your list of three common beliefs, talk to classmates,
friends, family, and adults in your neighborhood. Discuss with others
how you could test each belief.
Study the process of scientific inquiry as discussed in Section 2. Your
investigation of a common belief should be carried out in a scientific way.
Make sure the hypothesis you develop is testable. You must be able to
gather evidence that will either support or disprove your hypothesis.
As you design your controlled experiment, consider how much time will
be needed to carry it out. You want to be able to collect the data you need
in a period of about 1 to 2 hours.
Remember that in a good experiment, you will make quantitative
observations. These observations will give you data that you can
organize in a data table and then use to make a graph, if a graph is
appropriate. Review the section Creating Data Tables and Graphs in the
Skills Handbook of your textbook.
Include as much information as you can on your poster. You may want to
use chalk or crayons to add color to your poster.
What is Superstition?
According to Webster's dictionary, superstition is n. any belief that is inconsistent with the known laws of science or with what is considered true and rational; esp., such a belief in omens, the supernatural, etc.
Halloween is traditionally the time when common superstitions, folklore, myths and omens carry more weight to those who believe. Superstition origins go back thousands of years ago. Beliefs include good luck charms, amulets, bad luck, fortunes, cures, portents, omens and predictions, fortunes and spells.
Bad fallacies far outweigh the good, especially around Halloween when myths run rampant. When it comes right down to it, many people still believe that omens can predict our destiny and misfortune -- particularly for the worse.
Black cats have long been believed to be a supernatural omen since the witch hunts of the middle ages when cats were thought to be connected to evil. Since then, it is considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.
An ancient myth our ancestors believed was that the image in a mirror is our actual soul. A broken mirror represented the soul being astray from your body. To break the spell of misfortune, you must wait seven hours (one for each year of bad luck) before picking up the broken pieces, and bury them outside in the moonlight.
In the days before the gallows, criminals were hung from the top rung of a ladder and their spirits were believed to linger underneath. Common folklore has it to be bad luck to walk beneath an open ladder and pass through the triangle of evil ghosts and spirits.
If an owl looks in your window or if you seeing one in the daylight bad luck and death will bestow you.
At one time salt was a rare commodity and thought to have magical powers. It was unfortunate to spill salt and said to foretell family disarray and death. To ward off bad luck, throw a pinch over your shoulder and all will be well.
Sparrows are thought to carry the souls of the dead and it is believed to bring bad luck if you kill one.
Unlucky Number 13
The fear of the number 13 is still common today, and avoided in many different ways. Some buildings still do not have an official 13th floor and many people avoid driving or going anywhere on Friday the 13th.
To bring good luck, the horseshoe must lost by a horse and be found by you, with the open end facing your way. You must hang it over the door with the open end up, so the good fortune doesn't spill out.
Another origin of the 'lucky horseshoe' is the belief that they ward off witches. Witches, it was once believed, were opposed to horses, which is why they rode brooms and pitchforks instead. By placing a horseshoe over a door, the witch would be reluctant to enter. (Hat tip: Iris)
Clover is believed to protect humans and animals from evil spells and is thought to be good luck to find a four leaf clover, particularly for the Irish.
These lucky charms are thought to ward off bad luck and bring good luck. You mush carry the rabbit's foot on a chain around your neck, or in your left back pocket. The older it gets, the more good luck it brings.
Two people are to pull apart a dried breastbone of a turkey or chicken and the one who is left with the longer end will have their wish come true.