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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:26 pm
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Tsunami project - data graphing help please!

Postby irishlake » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:50 pm

I feel incredibly stupid and helpless asking this question, because I am an environmental scientist, and a parent to a 5th grader.

My daughter conducted the "Effect of Water Depth on Wave Velocity" for her first ever science fair project. Everything has gone great until now - graphing her results. I have grown too accustomed to having a template when creating graphs for work.

We are using the NCES create a graph webpage. I thought it would be easier for her to do versus using Excel.

She has conducted her experiment. The average wave rates for three different water depths are as follows:

1 cm - 1.388 second across 1 meter
3 cm - 1.065 s across 1 meter
5 cm - 0.921 s across 1 meter

What's the best way to plot this on a graph? Line? Bar? Does it matter? She also wanted to graph her individual results per each of the 3 trials. (3 depths, 3 trials, 10 tests per trial)

We followed the SB procedure instructions, and put "water depth" on the x axis, and "wave velocity" on the y axis.

Both line graph and bar graph results look so weird to me!!!!

Also, how do we determine her official wave rate, in m/s? (she is reading this and refuses to believe my word, because I'm mom. :lol:) So we want to see what SB says.

Thank you!!!

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Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:42 pm
Occupation: Biostatistician/Data Scientist

Re: Tsunami project - data graphing help please!

Postby MadelineB » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:32 pm

Hello IrishLake,
Here's one suggestion for making a graph to show all of the data as your daughter suggests:

You could put water depth AND trial number on the x-axis and wave velocity on the y -axis. To do this, there would be 3 groups of 3 water depths for 9 sets:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
depth 1 depth 2 depth 3

each _ represent one trial at one depth. At each depth/trial combination, put a dot for each of the 10 tests.

Arranging the 3 trials for each depth lets you visually see the variability (or consistency) of the tests for each trial.

You say the plots that you made look odd. Perhaps you could scan the plots and upload the file so we could see!

Let us know if this helps!

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