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Creating Experimental Links of Living to Life Science (CELLLS) part 2 Congratulations on designing an experiment!

! Now you will perform the experiments in this second part.

This assignment is due on Wednesday, December 8, at 5 pm.

There is no minimum or maximum length for the assignment, but it will probably be about 3-4 pages long. Recall that the process of hypothesis testing through experiments, evaluation of data and interpretation of data are important skills not only in science, but in making decisions in everyday life. Here is a reminder of steps in the scientific method. 1. 2. 3. 4. Observations and previous research Experimental question Hypothesis statement Experiments that will explicitly test the hypothesis as well as appropriate controls to validate the measurement techniques and isolate and quantify variables that are not of interest but that may affect the experimental results 5. Analysis, including display and statistical analysis, of experimental data 6. Interpretation of experimental data. Upon analysis, do the experimental results support the hypothesis? What are the sources of uncertainty in measurement, experimental design or analysis/ 7. What additional hypotheses arise from these results or how should additional experiments further test the hypothesis? In the first part, you went through steps 1-3 and the basic design of step 4. For the second part, you will carry out the experiments that you proposed and go through the same decision-making for the execution and analysis of experiments that a scientist goes through. You yourselves go through this process less formally on a daily basis with all sorts of decisions, such as Will I get home faster if I travel this route at this time of day? How long can a piece of pizza be left out and still be edible? Please go through the following steps for part 2:

Collect a small amount of pilot data. This is quite common in experiments, especially as one is developing new experiments. Pilot experiments are preliminary experiments where you test the basic experiment and measurements with a small number of subjects (1-3 usually). The purpose of pilot experiments is to identify issues in the experimental design, unforeseen variables or difficulties in measurements so that they can be corrected before the experiments are done for real. Describe and summarize your pilot experiment.

After doing your pilot experiment, what, if anything, did you change about your experiment? 2. Estimate how many subjects you will need to determine whether your experimental manipulations are generating differences in your measurements. State the number of subjects that you will be using for each condition and provide reasons why you chose that number. Generally, more subjects and measurements are better because they will tend to converge on the actual distribution. For example, if one tosses a fair coin 5 times, 4 heads and 1 tails would not be unusual. However, if one tosses a fair coin 10,000 times (obviously someone very patient), it would be very unusual to get 8000 heads and 2000 tails and would be much more likely to be near 5000 heads and 5000 tails. 3. Describe the performance of your experiments. Provide a copy of the measurements that you collected. Write down any observations about the experimental conditions that may affect how you will evaluate or interpret the data, including variables that may affect the validity of measurements. For example, are the subjects that youve chosen representative or are they skewed in some way that would affect your experiments? 4. Provide reasons why you have chosen a particular set of analyses of your measurements that you will use to support or refute your hypothesis. Perform the analysis. 5. Choose ways to display the results of your analyses and justify your choices. State why you think that these ways of displaying your results summarize the results accurately, and present the results in such a way that will aid in interpreting the results. 6. Describe qualitatively or quantitatively the variability in your measurements. List potential sources of variability. Describe one way to limit a source of variability in future experiments. 7. Determine whether measurements from different experimental conditions are considered different from one another. Describe the methods that you use to make this determination. Quantitative methods such as statistical tests of significance may be useful here but are not required. Some links to help guide your choices of statistical tests include: http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/statbigchart.html http://statpages.org/ http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/mult_pkg/whatstat/default.htm http://www.graphpad.com/www/book/choose.htm 8. 9. Draw conclusions from your experiment. Do the results support or refute the hypothesis? To what extent do you trust your experimental data and why? Comment briefly on how this experience and other previous experimental experience influences how you evaluate facts that you are presented with in classes or in various media.