Your high school science students will visit interactive lab and activity stations to distinguish between independent and dependent variables, use the scientific method, and analyze data by calculating means and creating graphs. My students LOVE station days! This gives them the chance to walk around the room, work with their peers, and conduct hands-on activities to reinforce the learning objectives. An answer key and post-station quiz can be found at the end of the document. Enjoy!
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Instructions: Divide the class into four groups, and assign each group a station at which to start. Students will spend 12 minutes at each station. It is important that you keep time, and inform the students when it is time to switch stations. If some students are not able to finish all of the questions at each station, they can either finish the questions as homework, or be given additional time in class the next day.
Duration: 48 minutes, 12 minutes at each station
Prerequisite Student Knowledge: This project works best at the end of a unit on the scientific method. Ensure that your students understand the difference between independent and dependent variables. I always teach my students the mnemonic “DRY MIX.” “DRY” stands for the DEPENDENT variable which RESPONDS to the independent variable, and is plotted on the X-AXIS. “MIX” stands for the MANIPULATED variable, which is the DEPENDENT variable, and is plotted on the y-axis. Your students should also understand the importance of keeping all variables constant except for the independent variable. Finally, they should know how to calculate the mean of a data set. Remind them to add each of the data values, and then divide by the number of data values.
Station Set-Ups: (When an item says (several) beside it, consider the number of students in each group. Provide one of each item for each group member).
o Several 200 mL beakers
o Access to water (sink)
o Cheap paper towels
o More expensive paper towels
o Print and cut out several sets of the experiment cards (found in this document)
o Several meter sticks
o Several pennies
o Access to water (sink)
o Several pipettes
o Several 50 mL beakers
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