Welcome to Science Buddies and thank you for your question. First, If you haven’t been, I suggest you check out the Science Buddies Project Guide here: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ndex.shtml
There is a section on variables and hypothesis. With that, given your daughters statement, I’m not sure I see what the independent and dependent variables are. An experiment is a search for the link between two or more factors. I think what you have here is part of a science experiment in which the characteristic seed count of a healthy apple is determined. Now you can determine if changing some independent variable changes the average seed count. You could find if there is a relationship between the size (small, med, large) or type of apple (granny smith, golden delicious, etc…) and the number of seeds. Of course you’d have to do the necessary background research.
For example (and only example, I don’t have any experience with the growing or harvesting of apples):
Question: Does the size of an apple affect the average number of seeds inside?
Variables: Independent – Size (small, med, large); Dependent – Ave seed count for each size range
Hypothesis: "If the size of a ripe apple is increased, then the average seed count will increase as well."
You would need to define your small, medium, and large range of apples, something like: small = less than 2oz, medium = 2-4 oz, large = greater than 4 oz. Get a large number of apples of the same type in each size class to determine the average seed count in each class. Tabulate, graph, plot data to determine if there is an appreciable relationship between the size of an apple and the number of seeds in its core.
Incidentally, I would name this experiment: “Comparing Apples to Apples: Size vs Seed Count”
Remember a project should have at least these 2 qualities:
- The question should be interesting enough to read about, then work on for the next couple months.
- There should be at least 3 sources of written information on the subject.
To take it a step further, you could identify the uses of such knowledge. Could this be used as an indication of the health of the tree? What sort of problems do apple juice producers run into with seeds? These are just some questions of the cuff, I don't claim any significant knowledge.
Hope this helps.
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