Ours is a water world. And thank heavens it is because if it
were not a water world, we would not be able to survive here. The
hydrosphere interacts with and influences all the other spheres in many, many
You have just completed demonstrations that explored many of the unique
characteristics of water. Now your task is to design and conduct an experiment
that investigates the interaction between water and an aspect of any other
sphere. WOW! How exciting is that! You get to
choose. And the world is your laboratory.
The options are
limitless. All you have to do is choose something from another sphere
(biosphere, atmosphere, or geosphere) and design an experiment that explores
how water interacts with something from that sphere.
I will give you
an example of an experiment that explores the relationship between water and
plants (a part of the biosphere). THIS
IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE. You may NOT use this experiment for this
[Most of you did this experiment in
might be “What is the effect of water on bean plants?”
might be “If I do not water bean plants then they will die.”
plan could be:
1. Get six bean plants that
are the same species and as close to the same size as possible.
2. Put all the bean plants on
the windowsill in the sunlight.
3. Give three bean plants a
cup of water every other day. Do give any water to the other three bean
4. Visually inspect the
plants once a day for 14 days.
5. Record observations on a
See how easy it
is! Remember, you cannot
do an experiment with
water and plants for two reasons. One, you already know what the result
will be. You probably did this already in second grade! Two, I have
already outlined the experiment. Part of what you need to learn in this
class is how to design your own experiment. You cannot learn that by doing
an experiment that I have already designed! So, off you go. Be
creative. Design your own experiment. But wait! Be sure to read the directions below
before you do anything!!!!!
· Whatever you decide
1. Determine what you want to
find out when you do your experiment. Write down the QUESTION
that you are
trying to answer.
If you are having trouble coming up with a question, think of the
various characteristics of water that you read about it Assignment 2.3 or
explored in Assignment 2.4.
· Surface tension
· Capillary attraction
· Melting point
· Boiling point
Once you have decided on which characteristic of water that you
would like to investigate, then start brainstorming about things that would
influence that characteristic. For example, you could explore how the
adding various substances (from other spheres) to water affects solubility,
evaporation rates, or boiling point. Or ask if air temperatures affect
transpiration rates, which types of soils hold the most water, or which types
of fabric experience the greatest capillary attraction. Try to think of
your own question. The possibilities are limitless.
2. Predict what you think the
outcome of your experiment will be. (Hypothesis)
3. Design an experiment to
test your prediction. Remember to include a control. Be very
specific. Tell me exactly what you plan to do. Tell me how much of
everything you plan on using. Tell me how long you plan on running the
experiment and how often you will check it. Tell me how you will record
your data. I want details!!!
your experimental design to me via email before going any further. I promise to
give you feedback on your design within three days. If the design is
scientifically sound, you may go ahead and conduct your experiment. If it has
flaws, we will work together until you have designed a valid, reliable
experiment---then you may go ahead and conduct your experiment.
5. AFTER you have received my
go-ahead, conduct your experiment. Be sure to keep detailed lab notes. Your lab
notes should contain a record of everything you did as well as all the data you
collected. Each entry should have a date on it (month/day/year).
6. Follow the directions
below to submit your assignment.
A. Re-send me your original
, your hypothesis
and your experimental
B. Send me your lab
. I want to the observations that you
recorded. Do not simply send me a summary of your results. I want to
see a record of your observations.
C. Based on your observations, write a conclusion
does your data tell you? What did you learn from your experimental
D. What kind of relationships did you find between water and the
aspect of the sphere you studied?
E. Do your findings support your hypothesis? Why or why not?
F. If you were to do this again, what would you change? Why?
G. What additional experiments could be performed?
Please, send me
the information requested in analysis questions A-G.
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!