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Science Experiment/ Report help

Posted: Thu May 08, 2008 8:24 am
by Just-T
Please Help! I am working on a Science Experiment/Report, and I decided to do the experiment Dog Toys:What makes One Favorite or a Flop to Fido?-That was listed on Science Buddies. My problem is that I can't figure out what the varibles are? Independent variable? Dependent variable? Controlled variable? Science buddies suggest that you conduct 4 experiments and 3 trials per experiment. You will use 4 dog toys per experiment-and continuing to use the same toys for each of the trials per experiment. I think that my dog-Harley would be the dependent variable(because he won't change), But what is the independent variable? I think that the independent variable would be the different type of toys used for each experiment, interactive toys, different shaped toys, different textured toys, favorite four-but how would that be worded? Various toys? Would various toys be the independent variable? Humm....not at all sure about controlled variable-maybe the location of the test-my living room, Harley-my dog, and maybe the same number of toys? I'm also not sure about how to measure this either. I am thinking that the nominal data (qualitative) collected in these experiments will determine which one of the dog toys will ultimately stimulate Harley the most. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Science Experiment/ Report help

Posted: Thu May 08, 2008 9:53 am
by tdaly
Just-T,

Welcome to the Ask an Expert forums!

For the benefit of other Experts who may respond to your question, the Science Buddies Project Idea that Just-T is working on can be found here: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p016.shtml.

My problem is that I can't figure out what the variables are? Independent variable? Dependent variable? Controlled variable?


Let me give you a brief overview of dependent, independent, and controlled variables. The independent variable is the thing that you purposely change. From reading you post and the Science Buddies Project Idea, it looks to me like your independent variable is, as you say in your post, the type of toy (interactive toys, different shaped toys, etc.). The dependent variable is the variable that changes in response to the independent variable. The dependent variable depends on the independent variable. It looks like you dependent variable is not necessarily your dog, but rather your dog's behavior/interest level. Controlled variables are things you keep the same in each experiment and in each trial. You list a few variables that you should control: the location of the test, the dog, and the number of toys. Some other variables that you might consider controlling are: the distance from the dog to the toys when you release him/her, the basket the toys are in, the time limit for all of the trials (see step 8 in the "experimental procedure" section of the Project Idea), and the time of day that you do the experiments. You should also take a look at step 15 of the "experimental procedure" for other ideas of variables to control.

For more information about variables, take a look at Science Buddies' guide to variables, found here: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... bles.shtml. If you don't understand the discussion found on that page, you may want to look at this page: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... test.shtml

A good way to present your dependent, independent, and controlled variables is in a list. Here's an example list:

Independent Variable: the type of toy (interactive toys, different shaped toys, different textured toys, favorite four)

Dependent Variable: Harley's behavior as measured by his interest level

Controlled Variables: the location of the test, using the same dog, and the number of toys... (you can add other controlled variables to this list)

Good luck with your project; let us know if you have any more question!

Working on a workable hypothesis

Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 2:07 pm
by Just-T
Hum....I am trying to figure out my hypothesis for my project? I am doing the project that is listed on science buddies, Dog Toys: What Makes One a Favorite or a Flop to Fido?

I was thinking the hypothesis might be....... If animals are offered enrichment toys then the toys may stimulate the animals natural behaviors.

or for my dog....If my dog is offered enrichment toys then the toys may stimulate his natural behavior.


Does that sound like a workable hypothesis?

I know that the hypothesis must be a testable statement....but I suppose that by the experiment this statement can be tested- by my dogs behavior during the experiment-right?

Thanks for any offered suggestions....

Re: Working on a workable hypothesis

Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:29 pm
by tdaly
Just-T,

Just so you know, we ask that you keep all of your questions regarding your project on the same thread. This helps the Experts be better able to help you. Because of this, I've combined your two topics into one with the subject "Science Experiment/ Report help".

Thank you,

Re: Science Experiment/ Report help

Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:46 pm
by tdaly
Just-T,

A hypothesis is an educated guess about how you think that your dependent variable will respond to your independent variable. Recall that your independent variable is the type of toy and the dependent variable is Harley's behavior as measured by his interest level (if you have expanded your study to include more than one dog, then you may adjust your dependent variable accordingly). You have the "If..., then..." form of your hypothesis, which is good, but let's take a look to make sure that your hypothesis relates your dependent and independent variables.

If animals are offered enrichment toys then the toys may stimulate the animals natural behaviors.
or
If my dog is offered enrichment toys then the toys may stimulate his natural behavior.


These are good; however, remember that you are measuring your dog's behavior by "interest level." Also remember that you are only testing (as best as I can tell) your dog, Harley, so you can't say "animals." You need to say "my dog." So perhaps you should rephrase your hypothesis like this: "If my dog is offered an enrichment toy, then he will have a higher interest level than if he were offered a different kind of toy."

Let me know if this make sense or if you have any more questions.

Good luck on the project!

Re: Science Experiment/ Report help

Posted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 2:16 pm
by libbs234
the variables are the types of toys