Science Practice #5

Science Practice 5: The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.

The student can analyze data collected from an experimental procedure
or from a given source to determine whether the data support or does
not support a conclusion or hypothesis. For example, if the student conducts an experiment to determine if light intensity affects the rate of photosynthesis, he or she can construct a graph based on the collected data and use the graph to formulate statements, conclusions, and possibly a hypothesis. Alternatively, the student can draw conclusions from a provided data set. For example, given a graph depicting the percent change in the mass of potato cores after exposure to different concentrations of sucrose, the student is able to estimate the concentration of sucrose within the potato core. The student also is able to assess the validity of experimental evidence. Using the same example, if given hypothetical data showing that potato cores increase in mass when placed in solutions with lower water potential (a hypertonic solution), the student is able to explain why the data (evidence) are likely invalid: Since potatoes contain sucrose, they should increase in mass only when placed in solutions with higher water potential (hypotonic). After identifying possible sources of error in an experimental procedure or data set, the student can then revise the protocol to obtain more valid results. When presented with a range of data, the student is able to identify outliers and propose an explanation for them as well as a rationale for how they should be dealt with.

  1. 5.1  The student can analyze data to identify patterns or relationships.
  2. 5.2  The student can refine observations and measurements based on dataanalysis.
  3. 5.3  The student can evaluate the evidence provided by data sets in relation to a particular scientific question.

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