Louise Culver's Science Classes

Science changing society…

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September 12, 2014

Warm Up: As part of a study of the dynamics of belief in groups, some social psychologists once infiltrated several small cults.  Among the groups observed was one led by a woman who was given the fictitious name of Mrs. Marion Keech.  The events described really took place.  Mrs. Keech claimed to have made contact with extraterrestrial beings, and she regularly revealed to her followers what she claimed were messages from her contacts.  One day, she said that her contacts had told her that they were going to destroy the world.  She even gave a specific day on which this was supposed to happen.  These extraterrestrial beings also told her, she claimed, that they would rescue her, and anyone else who wished to be saved, if they would wait at a designated location.  On the appointed day, Mrs. Keech and her followers were at the designated place.  The day wore on, but the world did not end.  Finally, Mrs. Keech informed her followers that she had received a telepathic message from her contacts informing her that they had decided to spare the world from destruction because she and her followers had been so strong in their faith that the rescue would indeed take place.  The psychologist undercover observer reported that the assembled followers returned to their homes apparently strengthened in their belief that Mrs. Keech was indeed in contact with powerful extraterrestrial beings.

  1. What hypothesis have Mrs. Keech’s followers formed about her?
    2. What evidence in this discussion supports this hypothesis?
    3. Propose an experiment which would be a good test of this hypothesis, and explain why it would count as a good test.

–Whole group discussion–Is this science? Why or why not?

–Whole Group: Read NSI-NS10 (EarthComm) (me) modeling each role & filling out a graphic organizer.

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September 9, 2014

Warm Up: A study was created to test the effects of jazz on people’s sleep patterns. The hypothesis of the experiment was that if people listened to jazz music as they fall asleep, they will sleep for longer periods of time. For the experiment, 2 groups of people were created. One group was placed in a quiet room where they went to sleep and they were timed on how long they slept. The other group was placed in a room where jazz music played softly as they began to sleep and played throughout the night. As each group awoke, their sleep times were monitored.

Identify the Following: Dependent Variable, Control Group, Independent Variable, Experimental Group


–Finish Vocabulary Presentation.


–It’s Only a Theory! The Scientific Method https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Re8QxKZdm0  (7:27 minutes)


–Four Box Synectics: Independent variable, dependent variable, constant, control, hypothesis, qualitative observation, quantitative observation, inference, question, Science, pseudoscience, scientific law, scientific theory, empirical evidence


—-T.O.D. Individuals: What is science and what is it not?

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Leo placed two circles of paper in a Petri dish (something used for growing bacteria). One circle of paper was soaked in penicillin. The other had nothing on it. He poured a liquid filled with bacteria into the Petri dish. Both circles of paper were placed in the Petri dish about 3cm apart.     At the end of the experiment, a circle with a radius of 2cm formed around the circle of paper soaked in penicillin. There were no bacteria growing in the 2cm circle. No change had occurred around the other circle of paper. The bacteria were growing well.

-What was the independent variable?

-What was the dependent variable?

-What was the control?

-Was there a constant variable?

If yes, explain.

Small Groups: Analyze (model analytical questions-stems) Experimental Scenarios! à small groups compare answers with answer keys; Any Questions?

Small Groupsà whole Group: What is science and what is it not?

–Vocab Presentation: pseudoscience, science, scientific law, scientific theory, empirical evidence

–T.O.D. Individuals: What is science and what is it not?


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September 5, 2014

Warm Up: Lisa is working on a science project. Her task is to answer the question: “Does Rogooti (which is a commercial hair product) affect the speed of hair growth”. Her family is willing to volunteer for the experiment.

Describe how Lisa would perform this experiment. Identify the control group, and the independent and dependent variables in your description.


There would be two groups. The control group would not get the product while the experimental group would get the product. The independent variable is the amount of product and the length of hair growth is the dependent variable. Lisa will measure the length of her family’s hair each day for a month and graph the results for each group. She will then analyze the results to see if Rogooti resulted in quicker growing hair.  


Individuals: Finish- Experimental Scenarios! 

–Individuals Experimental Design Crossword


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