Hypothesis Generation And Testing

Session 1 Activity and Presentation

Hypothesis Generation and Testing

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An important step in the scientific method is forming a hypothesis. The hypothesis is formed by examining the observations carefully and making an educated guess as to what the outcome might be. That hypothesis will then be tested through experimentation. This activity today illustrates the basic steps of hypothesis formation and testing.

Materials Needed

One coin
Online Students:

You are going to flip a coin several times and note how many heads or tails you get. You already have some idea (I bet) of what the outcome will be. Before you get started, think about the outcome you expect. Review the following steps in order to complete this activity.

Use the Session 1 Activity and Presentation Session 1 Activity and Presentation – Alternative Formats document to complete this exercise.
Write down your prediction of what you think will happen if you flip a coin 30 times (i.e., how many heads versus tails will you get). You are developing a hypothesis by writing down your predictions.
Now, flip your coin 30 times. Record your results as tally marks in the first row of the table.
Did you get a 50:50 ratio between heads and tails? Did you get what you expected? Likely, you did not get exactly a 50:50 ratio. Was your prediction wrong? If not, revise your hypothesis and describe the issue in the “Prediction” column of the second row in the table.
Flip your coin another 30 times and record your results along with your previous 30 flips. Now, what do your probabilities look like?
Complete one last round of flipping your coin 30 times. How does it improve your results? What would you do to get results that are even closer to 50/50?
Then create a 7-8 slide PowerPoint presentation that includes the following slides:

An introduction to the activity, explaining its purpose.
Your hypothesis about the outcome of the activity
Procedure: How you tested and potentially revised your hypothesis (i.e., brief instructions about how the activity was performed)

Provide enough information in case someone else wanted to reproduce your experiment.
Your results (include your table and a brief comparison of the probabilities)
If you need help creating a table in PowerPoint refer to this tutorial

Your conclusion (which should include discussion on the following questions)
How well did your hypothesis corresponds to what you actually found when you experimented?
Why your results may not totally match your expectations?
What variables might influence your results?
How does this simple experiment apply to how experimenters in science get the best results?
Note: Do not use the “notes” section at the bottom of your PowerPoint slides as this section will not be visible in Blackboard for instructors to view while grading the assignment.

Click on the Session 1 Activity and Presentation link to submit your assignment by the posted due date. Review the rubric available in Due Dates and Grades for specific grading criteria.

In-Seat Students:

This activity will be completed in class. After completing the in-class activity, create a 7-8 slide PowerPoint presentation summarizing your learning in this activity. Your powerpoint must include the following slides:

An introduction to the activity, explaining its purpose and how the activity is done.
Your hypothesis about the outcome of the activity
How you tested and revised your hypothesis
Your results (include your table and a brief comparison of the probabilities)
Your conclusion (which should include discussion on the following questions)
How well did your hypothesis corresponds to what you actually found when you experimented?
Why your results may not totally match your expectations
How does this simple experiment apply to how experimenters in science get the best results?

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