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PROPER USE OF TERMS ON PRESENTATION BOARD

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:34 am
by georgioltd1
I have a question about my daughter's (8th grade) Science Fair Project. I am helping her finish the material displayed on the presentation board. Project is due tomorrow.
This year she decided to do a project that was particularly relative to the student body at her school (Public Charter School with grades Pre-K - 9th). As a 13 year old, she is understanding even more the importance of a healthful diet...and, the consequences of eating junk food. With childhood obesity a growing concern in our area, she hopes to provide the information in a fun, eye-catching format that will appeal to, and educate, students of all ages at her school.

Project is determining WHICH OF THESE TOP TEN FAVORITE SNACK CHIPS HAS THE MOST AND LEAST AMOUNT OF FAT?
Procedure- place 1/4 oz. of each chip type in center of a 7" X 7" area on graph paper. Crush each type of chip between wax paper and graph paper.
Results- wait one minute after crushing chips, hold graph paper against sunlit window pane and count how many squares on graph paper are saturated by grease.

QUESTIONS:
(1)For the purposes of this project, is it appropriate to refer to the grease residue as fat? (2)Is it appropriate to use the terms variables and independent variables, axis-x and axis-y in the data ( block graph)?
(3)In this experiment are the chips VARIABLES and results of the test INDEPENDENT VARIABLES?

Thanks so much for your kind input.

Re: PROPER USE OF TERMS ON PRESENTATION BOARD

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:57 am
by JMP
Hi,

This sounds like a great project for an 8th grader. In answer to your questions:

1) I think it's perfectly okay to refer to the grease released from the chips as fat, as long as you have defined it that way earlier in your write up. You'll probably write somewhere "we measured the amount of fat in our chips by determining how much grease the chips released..." This should let anyone reading know how you are defining fat. Your daughter may want to be aware that this is probably not an accurate measure of ALL of the fat in the chips and be able to mention it as a potential limitation of the experiment, but for labeling purposes and such, I think you're fine.

2) In general, for your graph, you wouldn't label the axes as x-axis and y-axis or "Independent Variable" and "Dependent Variable." You would label them as what you actually looked at/measured. So in the case of your experiment I am envisioning a bar graph where along the bottom (x-axis) you have the different kind of chips (each type of chip tested will get a bar), and on the y-axis you have the amount of grease released (as measured by the number of squares on your graph paper were saturated by grease). You would then label the x-axis "Chips" or "Types of Chips" and have the type of chip for each bar graph, and you would label the y-axis "Amount of Grease (or Fat) Released." It's also common to have a unit of measure included, so in your case that would probably be "Amount of Grease Released (# Squares)" or something like that.

3) See the following link to a page we have on independent and dependent variables to help explain them further. http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... bles.shtml
In brief, the independent variable is what the scientist is changing, and the dependent variable is what the scientist is measuring. You are changing the type of chip, and measuring the amount of fat in each type of chip, so I think in your previous post you had the independent and dependent variables switched.

I hope this helps, and that preparing the board goes well. Feel free to post again here if you still have questions on variables or anything else comes up.

JMP

Re: PROPER USE OF TERMS ON PRESENTATION BOARD

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:13 pm
by yvetteds
Hi - I hope you don't mind me jumping in here since throughout my high school biology teaching career I've always tried to reinforce healthy eating for all my students - to the point that they knew I'd be reading food labels of the snacks they tried to eat in class :) ; so I was wondering if you were planning on including the nutrition label and ingredients information for these chips you are testing - would be really interesting to see if your results were consistent with what the labels tell us. This is such a good learning experience at the age where kids can start making healthy decisions for themselves!

Good luck!