The PICO (T) format is a way to develop a clinical question that lends itself to searching for evidence. Select a common nursing practice (e.g., wound care management) in your clinical setting and formulate a PICO question. Once you have formulated your question, conduct a library search and locate one scholarly article that addresses the topic you have selected. Post your clinical question in the TD, explain the PICO(T) elements, and provide a full reference of the article you selected.


The skills involved in formulating and analyzing clinical questions form the foundation for effectively accessing the evidence related to nursing practice in any setting. Being able to find the relevant evidence related to a clinical question is a second crucial skill in evidence-based practice. The PICO (T) format is a way to develop a clinical question that lends itself to searching for evidence. In this discussion question will focus on the following course outcome:

CO # 4: Analyze data from relevant sources to inform the delivery of care will help guide the discussion.

Remember to use all parts of the PICO(T) P = population, I = intervention, C = comparison, O = outcome. The last component, time, is not always used in the PICO format.

Your classmates and I will give you feedback on the clinical question and PICO(T) terms. You can then use the clinical question and PICO for the assignment that is due in Week 5. Remember to include both the clinical question and each part of the PICO(T). Here is an example:

Clinical question: In newly diagnosed persons with type 2 diabetes, is individual dietary teaching more effective than group dietary teaching for HgA1C control?

P = Newly diagnosed persons with type 2 diabetes

I = Individual dietary teaching

C = Group dietary teaching

O = HgA1C control

Make Good Decisions about Your Health Care The most comprehensive consumer health text available, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions offers a panoramic view of the health marketplace. You’ll learn how to sharpen your critical consumer skills so you can distinguish valid health claims from those that are fraudulent or misleading. By offering science-based facts and guidelines, Consumer Health provides the tools you need to make smart decisions about health care products and services for yourself and your family.

Some of the many new and revised topics include:

Updated information on health care economics, refl ecting the most recent legislation and debates regarding insurance and mandatory coverage and how it affects you.

New and expanded material on complementary and alternative medicine, including the latest on fad diseases, “energy medicine,” accreditation standards, and diploma mills.

Current research and information on nutrition and weight management, including “detox” products, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, and the newly-designed MyPlate food guide.

About the Authors

Stephen Barrett, M.D., has been investigating and writing about consumer health issues for more than 40 years. His Quackwatch website serves as a clearinghouse for information on health frauds and quackery. He serves as Vice President of the Institute for Science in Medicine, is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, edits Consumer Health Digest, and is a peer-review panelist for several top medical journals.

William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H., is a health educator and professor in the Department of Public Health at California State University, Los Angeles. He is also the associate editor of Consumer Health Digest, co-host of the Credential Watch website, and a member of the editorial board of the journal FACT (Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies: An Evidence-Based Approach).

Manfred Kroger, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society at The Pennsylvania State University, where he has won several teaching awards. He is a science communicator for the Institute of Food Technologists and is scientifi c editor of its online journal, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. He is also associate editor of the Journal of Food Science and a scientifi c advisor to the American Council on Science and Health.

Harriet Hall, M.D., a retired family physician and colonel, served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. Her administrative positions included chief of clinic services and director of base medical services. She now devotes her time to investigating questionable health claims and writing and lecturing about pseudoscience, quackery, “alternative medicine,” and critical thinking. She is a contributing editor to both Skeptical Inquirer and Skeptic magazines and a founding member and editor of the Science-Based Medicine blog.

Robert S. Baratz, M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D., an expert on quality of care, is president and medical director of South Shore Health Care in Braintree, Massachusetts, where he practices internal, oral, and occupational medicine. He serves on the medical faculties of Boston University and Tufts University and is used as a consultant by many regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

Select at least three products or practices from Chapter 6’s sections: “Questionable Self-Help Products” or “Questionable Practices” (pages 98-107).

1. Find at least two websites per item selected that promote these practices or products in a positive way, and provide links to these sites (6 total).

2. Based on what you have learned in previous chapters, describe what helps you identify these sites as questionable?

3. What are your thoughts, opinions, or experiences with your selected three products or practices?

4. Review at least 2 other classmates’ posts, and share your opinion about their selections and comment

GED 120 Introduction to Humanities

Welcome to California Coast University. I hope you will find this course interesting and useful throughout your career. This course was designed to meet the unique needs of students like you who are both highly motivated and capable of completing a degree program through distance learning. Our faculty and administration have been involved in distance learning for almost forty years and understand the characteristics common to successful students in this unique educational environment. This course was prepared by CCU faculty members who are not only outstanding educators, but who have real world experience as well. They have prepared these guidelines to help you successfully complete your educational goals and to get the most from your distance learning experience.

Again, we hope that you will find this course both helpful and motivating. We send our best wishes as you work toward the completion of your degree.


Thomas M. Neal President

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotation in review. Copyright © 2009 by California Coast University First Printing 2002



GED120 Introduction to Humanities

Course Number GED 120

Course Title Introduction to Humanities

Catalog Description This course explores the conduct of human life with emphasis on understanding the esthetic sense, an important element in the art of being human. The course focuses on key events, styles, movements and figures of Western art, philosophy and religion which are all essential to exploring the esthetic human experience. Students will learn to think critically about how the past themes, movements and creative genius have impacted, and still influence, the modern world which we live in today.

Units of Credit 3 Units of Credit

Course Objectives Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

• Identify major themes, systems, and movements in the history of philosophy, art, and humanity.

• Understand how these themes—”spirits”—developed, lead to one another, and work together today.

• Integrate and think critically about these systems, and your relationship to them and the world.

Learning Resources Textbook: Adventures in the Human Spirit Fifth Edition, 2007 Philip E. Bishop Pearson / Prentice Hall

ISBN: 0-13-224456-4

All course examinations are based on the contents of the textbook required for this course. To successfully complete the examinations, you will need the textbook. You may rent the textbook from our Rental Library or you may purchase the textbook from other sources.

The Study Guide

The Study Guide was designed to help you further understand the material in the textbook and master the course content. Each Study Guide chapter corresponds to a chapter in the textbook.

Additional Readings and Online Resources To help you to further understand this subject material, additional readings and online resources related to this course are listed in this Syllabus.



GED120 Introduction to Humanities

The Library Information and Resources Network, Inc. (LIRN) The Library Information and Resources Network (LIRN) is an online library resource that provides access to multiple research databases.

CCU doctoral candidates who enrolled in their program after February 1, 2010 receive complimentary access to LIRN.

If you are a current student enrolled in another CCU program and wish to request access to LIRN, you may do so for a one-time fee of $25. Please contact the CCU Library to fill out a Request for Online Library Resources form and submit it, with payment, to the University. You will be emailed a confidential identification number to use for the remainder of your studies at CCU.

Supplementary Materials

Unit Examination Answer Sheets* Final Examination Scheduling Form

*Master of Education and Doctor of Education students will not receive unit exam answer sheets. Unit Examinations for these programs require written responses.

Your Course Grade

Your grades on course examinations are determined by the percentage of correct answers. The University uses the following grading system:

A = 90% – 100% correct B = 80% – 89% correct C = 70% – 79% correct D = 60% – 69% correct F = 59% and below correct

Your grade in this course will be based on the number of points you earn. Grades are based on the percentage of points you earned out of a total of 500 points:

Four Unit Examinations

100 points each 400 points total 80% of your grade

Final Examination

100 points 100 points total 20% of your grade

Mastering the Course Content

In order to successfully complete this course, we recommend that you do the following before beginning:



GED120 Introduction to Humanities

• Be sure that you have the correct edition of the course textbook. Check the ISBN number of your textbook with the ISBN number listed on the cover page of this Study Guide.

• Review the Table of Contents at the end of this Syllabus. You will only be responsible for the chapters in the textbook that are listed in the Table of Contents.

Each Study Guide contains several components selected and developed by the faculty to help you master the content of the course. Each chapter in the Study Guide corresponds to a chapter in the textbook. Study Guides vary depending on the course, but most will include:

Learning Objectives Overviews Self Tests Summaries Key Terms Critical Analysis Questions (Master and Doctoral students only)

The most efficient way to complete this course is to read the materials in both the Study Guide and textbook in the sequence in which it appears, generally from beginning to end.

Read the Overviews and Summaries

Before reading a chapter of your textbook, review the corresponding Learning Objectives, Overview, Key Terms and Summary sections in the Study Guide. These were prepared to give you an overview of the content to be learned.

Review the Self Test

After you have reviewed the Study Guide summaries, look at the items on the Self Test. As you identify your areas of relative strength and weakness, you will become more aware of the material you will need to learn in greater depth.

Review the Critical Analysis (Master and Doctoral students only) The Critical Analysis questions are designed to help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the course subject matter. This section will encourage you to give additional thought to the topics discussed in the chapter by presenting vignettes or cases with real world relevance.



GED120 Introduction to Humanities

Read and Review the Chapter

Once you have the scope and organization of the chapter in mind, turn to the corresponding chapter in the text and read the material carefully. Keep the Learning Objectives, Self Test and/or Critical Analysis questions in mind as you read.

Highlight important concepts and information in your Study Guide and write notes in the Study Guide margins as you read. These notes will help you study for the Unit and Final Examinations.

Check Your Mastery of Each Chapter

When you feel that you have mastered the concepts presented in the chapter, complete the Study Guide Self Test and/or Critical Analysis questions without referring to the textbook or your notes. Correct your Self Test and review each Critical Analysis response using the Answer Key and Solutions Guide provided in the Study Guide. Your results will help you identify any areas you need to review.

Unit Examinations

Each course contains four Unit Examinations and a Final Examination. Unit Examinations usually consist of 25 objective (multiple choice or true/false) test questions as well as comprehensive writing assignments selected to reflect the Learning Objectives identified in each chapter. For Master of Education and Doctor of Education students, Unit Examinations consist of Written Assignments only. Unit Examinations may be found approximately every four to six chapters throughout your Study Guide. Unit Examinations are open-book, do not require a proctor, and are not timed. This will allow you to proceed at your own pace.

It is recommended that you check your answers against the material in your textbook for accuracy.

Written Assignments

Each Unit Examination includes a written component. This assignment may be in the form of written questions or case study problems. The written assignment affords the student an opportunity to demonstrate a level of subject mastery beyond the objective Unit Examinations, which reflects his/her ability to analyze, synthesize, evaluate and apply his/her knowledge. The written assignment materials are found immediately following each Unit Examination.



GED120 Introduction to Humanities

Written Assignment Requirements

• Always include your name, student number, course number, course title and unit number on each page of your written assignment (this is for your protection in case your materials become separated).

• Begin each written assignment by identifying the question number you are answering followed by the actual question itself (in bold type).

• Use a standard essay format for responses to all questions (i.e. an introduction, middle paragraphs and conclusion).

• All responses must be typed double-spaced, using a standard font (i.e. Times New Roman) and 12 point type size for ease of reading and grading.

• All online responses must be submitted as a MS Word Document file only.

Written assignments are judged on the quality of the response in regard to the question. Word count is NOT one of the criteria that is used in assigning points to written assignments. However, students who are successful in earning the maximum number of points tend to submit written assignments that fall in the following ranges:

• Undergraduate courses: 350 – 500 words or 1 – 2 pages.

• Graduate courses: 500 – 750 words or 2 – 3 pages.

• Doctoral courses: 750 – 1000 words or 4 – 5 pages.


All work must be free of any form of plagiarism. Put written answers into your own words. Do not simply cut and paste your answers from the Internet and do not copy your answers from the textbook. Plagiarism consists of taking and using the ideas, writings or inventions of another, without giving credit to that person and presenting it as one’s own. This is an offense that the University takes very seriously. An example of a correctly prepared written response may be found by visiting the Coast Connection student portal.

Citation Styles

The majority of your response should be your own original writing based on what you have learned from the textbook. However, if you choose to use outside material to answer a written assignment question, be sure to provide a reference (or citation) for the material. The following points are designed to help you understand how to provide proper references for your work:



GED120 Introduction to Humanities

• References are listed in two places.

• The first reference is briefly listed within your answer. This includes identifying information that directs the reader to your List of References at the end of your Written Assignment.

• The second reference is at the end of your work in the List of References section.

• All references cited should provide enough identifying information so that the reader can access the original material.

For more detailed information on the proper use of citations, please refer to the Student Handbook.

Submitting Your Unit Examinations by Mail

Send your completed Unit Examination along with any written assignments to the following mailing address:

California Coast University Testing Department 925 N. Spurgeon Street Santa Ana, CA 92701

Submitting Your Unit Examinations via the Internet

Students may access the online testing features via the Coast Connection student portal. Multiple choice Unit Examinations may be completed and submitted online. After logging in to your online account at, select the Testing link, then select Complete Unit Exam. It is recommended that you complete the Unit Examinations on the hard copy answer sheet first, then transfer the answers to the online answer sheet.

The written assignments for each Unit Examination may be submitted online as well. After accessing the student portal, choose the Writing Assignment link and then select Writing Assignment Submission. If you will be submitting multiple Word documents, please upload and submit them one at a time.

Custom Lab Manual   UMUC Physical Science NSCI  101/103

© 2012, eScience Labs LLC  All rights reserved ● 888‐375‐5487


Table of Contents

Custom Lab Manual for Physical Science NSCI 101/103      Lab 1: Introduc on to Science    Lab 2: Types of Forces     Lab 3: Newton’s Laws    Lab 4: Acids & Bases    Lab 5: Chemical Processes        Lab 6: Light    Lab 7: Radioac vity


Time and Addi onal Materials Required

Time and Addi onal Materials Required for Each Lab

Lab 1: Introduc on to Science    o  Time Required: 60 minutes     o  Addi onal Materials Needed: None      Lab 2: Types of Forces    o  Time Required: 60 minutes    o  Addi onal Materials Needed: None      Lab 3: Newton’s Laws    o  Time Required: 60 minutes    o  Addi onal Materials Needed: A deep dish, water, 2 chairs (for  supports)

Lab 4: Acids and Bases

o  Time: 60 min.     o  Materials needed: Tomato juice, dis lled water, milk

Lab 5: Chemical Processes

o  Time: 60 min.    o  Materials needed: none      Lab 6: Light    o  Time Required: 45‐60 minutes    o  Addi onal Materials Needed: White paper      Lab 7: Radioac vity    o  Time Required: 45‐60 minutes    o  Addi onal Materials Needed: None


Lab Safety

Lab Safety  Always follow the instruc ons in your laboratory manual and these general rules:

Lab prepara on

 Please thoroughly read the lab exercise before star ng!

 If you have any doubt as to what you are supposed to be doing and how to do it safely,  please STOP and then:

Double‐check the manual instruc ons.

Check for updates and  ps.

Contact us for technical support by phone at 1‐888‐ESL‐Kits (1‐888‐375‐5487) or by  email at

 Read and understand all labels on chemicals.

If you have any ques ons or concerns, refer to the Material Safely Data Sheets  (MSDS) available at The MSDS  lists the dangers, storage  requirements, exposure treatment and disposal instruc ons for each chemical.

 Consult your physician if you are pregnant, allergic to chemicals, or have other medical  condi ons that may require addi onal protec ve measures.

Proper lab a re

 Remove all loose clothing (jackets, sweatshirts, etc.) and always wear closed‐toe shoes.

 Long hair should be pulled back and secured and all jewelry (rings, watches, necklaces,  earrings, bracelets, etc.), should be removed.

 Safety glasses or goggles should be worn at all  mes. In addi on, wearing so  contact  lenses while conduc ng experiments is discouraged, as they can absorb  poten ally  harmful chemicals.

eScience Labs, LLC designs every kit with safety as our top priority.  Nonetheless, these are science kits and contain items which must be

handled with care. Safety in the laboratory always comes first!


Lab Safety

 When handling chemicals, always wear the protec ve goggles, gloves, and apron       provided.

Performing the experiment

 Do not eat, drink, chew gum, apply cosme cs or smoke while conduc ng an experi‐ ment.

 Work in a well ven lated area and monitor experiments at all  mes, unless instructed  otherwise.

 When working with chemicals:

Never return unused chemicals to their original container or place chemicals in an                        unmarked container.

Always put lids back onto chemicals immediately a er use.

Never ingest chemicals.  If this occurs, seek immediate help.

Call 911 or “Poison Control” 1‐800‐222‐1222

 Never pipe e anything by mouth.

 Never leave a heat source una ended.

If there is a fire, evacuate the room immediately and dial 911.

Lab Clean‐up and Disposal

  If a spill occurs, consult the MSDS to determine how to clean it up.

 Never pick up broken glassware with your hands.  Use a broom and a dustpan and dis‐ card in a safe area.

 Do not use any part of the lab kit as a container for food.

 Safely dispose of chemicals.  If there are any special requirements for disposal, it will  be noted in the lab manual.

 When finished, wash hands and lab equipment thoroughly with soap and water.




Student Portal

Introduc on  o   Safety Video  o   Scien fic Method Video

Newtonian Mechanics

o  The Science of Sailing Video  o  The Moving Man  o  Slam Dunk Science  o  The Science of Skateboarding  o  Projec le Mo on  o  Ladybug Revolu on  o  Energy Skate Park

Chemistry and Light

o  Acid base reac ons  o Geometric Op cs


Log on to the Student Portal using these  easy steps:

Visit our website,,  and click on the green bu on  (says

“Register or Login”) on the top right side  of the page.  From here, you will be taken  to a login page. If you are registering your  kit code for the first  me, click the “create  an account” hyperlink. Locate the kitcode,  located on a label on the inside of the kit  box lid. Enter this, along with other re‐

quested informa on into the online form  to create your user account. Be sure to  keep track of your username and pass‐

word as this is how you will enter the Stu‐ dent Portal for future visits. This establish‐ es your account with the eScience Labs’

Student Portal.    Have fun!

Student Portal Content

  Lab 1: Introduc on to Science


Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

What is science? You have likely taken several classes throughout your career as a student, and know that it  is more than just chapters in a book. Science is a process. It uses evidence to understand the history of the  natural world and how it works. Scien fic knowledge is constantly evolving as we understand more about the  natural world. Science begins with observa ons that can be measured in some way, and o en concludes with  observa ons from analyzed data.


Following the scien fic method helps to minimize bias when tes ng a theory. It helps scien sts collect and  organize informa on in a useful way so that pa erns and data can be analyzed in a meaningful way. As a sci‐ en st, you should use the scien fic method as you conduct the experiments throughout this manual.

Concepts to explore:   The Scien fic Method

 Observa ons

 Hypothesis

 Variables

 Controls

 Data Analysis

 Unit Conversions

 Scien fic Nota on

 Significant Digits

 Data Collec on

 Tables

 Graphs

 Percent Error

 Scien fic Reasoning

 Wri ng a Lab Report

Figure 1: The process of the scien fic method


Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

The process of the scien fic method begins with an observa on. For ex‐ ample, suppose you observe a plant growing towards a window. This ob‐ serva on could be the first step in designing an experiment. Remember  that observa ons are used to begin the scien fic method, but they may  also be used to help analyze data.


Observa ons can be quan ta ve (measurable), or qualita ve  (immeasurable; observa onal). Quan ta ve observa ons allow us to rec‐ ord findings as data, and leave li le room for subjec ve error. Qualita ve  observa ons cannot be measured. They rely on sensory percep ons. The  nature of these observa ons makes them more subjec ve and suscep ble  to human error.


Let’s review this with an example. Suppose you have a handful of pennies. You can make quan ta ve observa‐ ons that there are 15 pennies, and each is 1.9 cm in diameter. Both the quan ty, and the diameter, can be pre‐

cisely measured. You can also make qualita ve observa ons that they are brown, shiny, or smooth. The color and  texture are not numerically measured, and may vary based on the individual’s percep on or background.


Quan ta ve observa ons are generally preferred in science  because they involve “hard” data. Because of this, many sci‐ en fic instruments, such as microscopes and scales, have  been developed to alleviate the need for qualita ve observa‐ ons. Rather than observing that an object is large, we can

now iden fy specific mass, shapes, structures, etc.


There are s ll many situa ons, as you will encounter throughout this lab manual, in which qualita ve observa‐ ons provide useful data. No cing the color change of a leaf or the change in smell of a compound, for example,

are important observa ons and can provide a great deal of prac cal informa on.


Once an observa on has been made, the next step is to develop a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement de‐ scribing what the scien st thinks will happen in the experiment. A hypothesis is a proposed explana on for an  event based on observa on(s).  A null hypothesis is a testable statement that if proven true, means the hypothe‐ sis was incorrect.  Both a hypothesis and a null hypothesis statement must be testable, but only one can be true.  Hypotheses are typically wri en in an if/then format. For example:



If plants are grown in soil with added nutrients, then they will grow faster than plants grown without  added nutrients.

If plants grow quicker when nutrients are added,  then the hypothesis is accepted and the null

hypothesis is rejected.

Figure 2: What affects plant growth?


Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

Null hypothesis:

If plants are grown in soil with added nutri‐ ents, then they will grow at the same rate as  plants grown in soil without nutrients.


There are o en many ways to test a hypothesis. However, three rules must always be followed for re‐ sults to be valid.

 The experiment must be replicable.

 Only test one variable at a  me.

 Always include a control.


Experiments must be replicable to create valid theories. In other words, an  experiment must provide precise results over mul ple trials Precise results  are those which have very similar values (e.g., 85, 86, and 86.5) over mul ‐ ple trials. By contrast, accurate results are those which demonstrate what  you expected to happen (e.g., you expect the test results of three students  tests to be 80%, 67%, and 100%). The following example demonstrates the  significance of experimental repeatability. Suppose you conduct an experi‐ ment and conclude that ice melts in 30 seconds when placed on a burner,

but you do not record your procedure or define  the precise variables included. The conclusion  that you draw will not be recognized in the scien‐ fic community because other scien sts cannot

repeat your experiment and find the same results. What if another scien st  tries to repeat your ice experiment, but does not turn on the burner; or, us‐ es a larger ice chunk. The results will not be the same, because the experi‐ ment was not repeated using the same procedure. This makes the results  invalid, and demonstrates why it is important for an experiment to be repli‐ cable.


Variables are defined, measurable components of an experiment. Controlling variables in an experi‐ ment allows the scien st to quan fy changes that occur. This allows for focused results to be meas‐ ured; and, for refined conclusions to be drawn. There are two types of variables, independent variables  and dependent variables.


Independent variables are variables that scien sts select to change. For example, the  me of day,  amount of substrate, etc. Independent variables are used by scien sts to test hypotheses. There can

If plants grow quicker when nutrients are added,  then the hypothesis is accepted and the null

hypothesis is rejected.

Accurate results all hit the  bulls‐eye on a target.

Precise results may not hit  the bulls‐eye, but they all

hit the same region.


Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

only be one independent variable in each experiment. This is because if a change occurs, scien sts  need to be able to pinpoint the cause of the change. Independent variables are always placed on the x‐ axis of a chart or graph.


Dependent variables are variables that scien sts observe in rela onship to the independent variable.  Common examples of this are rate of reac on, color change, etc. Any changes observed in the depend‐ ent variable are caused by the changes in the independent variable. In other words, they depend on  the independent variable. There can be more than one dependent variable in an experiment. Depend‐ ent variables are placed on the y‐axis of a chart or graph.


A control is a sample of data collected in an experiment that is not exposed to the independent varia‐ ble. The control sample reflects the factors that could influence the results of the experiment, but do  not reflect the planned changes that might result from manipula ng the independent variable. Con‐ trols must be iden fied to eliminate compounding changes that could influence results. O en, the  hardest part of designing an experiment is determining how to isolate the independent variable and  control all other possible variables. Scien sts must be careful not to eliminate or create a factor that  could skew the results. For this reason, taking notes to account for uniden fied variables is important.  This might include factors such as temperature, humidity,  me of day, or other environmental condi‐ ons that may impact results.


There are two types of controls, posi ve and nega ve. Nega ve controls are data samples in which  you expect no change to occur. They help scien sts determine that the experimental results are due to  the independent variable, rather than an uniden fied or unaccounted variable. For example, suppose  you need to culture bacteria and want to include a nega ve control. You could create this by streaking  a sterile loop across an agar plate. Sterile loops should not create any microbial growth; therefore, you  expect no change to occur on the agar plate. If no growth occurs, you can assume the equipment used  was sterile. However, if microbial growth does occur, you must assume that the equipment was con‐ taminated prior to the experiment and must redo the experiment with new materials.


Alterna vely, posi ve controls are data samples in which you do expect a change. Let’s return to the  growth example, but now you need to create a posi ve control. To do this, you now use a loop to  streak a plate with a sample that you know grows well on agar (such as E. coli). If the bacteria grow,  you can assume that the bacteria sample and agar are both suitable for the experiment. However, if  the bacteria do not grow, you must assume that the agar or bacteria has been compromised and you  must re‐do the experiment with new materials.



Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

The scien fic method also requires data collec on. This may reflect what occurred before, during, or  a er an experiment. Collected results help reveal experimental results. Results should include all rele‐ vant observa ons, both quan ta ve and qualita ve.


A er results are collected, they can be analyzed. Data analysis o en involves a variety of calcula ons,  conversions, graphs, tables etc. The most common task a scien st faces is unit conversion. Units of  me are a common increment that must be converted. For example, suppose half of your data is meas‐

ured in seconds, but the other half is measured in minutes. It will be difficult to understand the rela‐ onship between the data if the units are not equivalent.

When calcula ng a unit conversion, significant digits must be accounted for. Significant digits are the  digits in a number or answer that describe how precise the value actually is. Consider the following  rules:

Addi on and subtrac on problems should result in an answer that has the same number of significant  decimal places as the least precise number in the calcula on. Mul plica on and division problems  should keep the same total number of significant digits as the least precise number in the calcula on.  For example:

Addi on Problem: 12.689 + 5.2 = 17.889 → round to 18

Mul plica on Problem: 28.8 x 54.76 = 1577.088 → round to 1580 (3 sig. digits)


Rule  Example

Any non‐zero number (1‐9) is always significant  45 has two significant digits

3.99 has three significant digits  248678 has six significant digits

Any  me a zero appears between significant num‐ bers, the zero is significant

4005 has four significant digits  0.34000000009 has eleven significant digits

Zeros that are ending numbers a er a decimal  point or zeros that are a er significant numbers

before a decimal point are significant

45.00 has four significant digits  15000.00 has seven significant digits

Zeros that are used as placeholders are NOT sig‐ nificant digits

62000000 has only two significant digits  .0000000897 has only three significant digits

A zero at the end of a number with no decimal  can be a significant digit

50 cm exactly has two significant digits (not  rounded)


Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

Scien fic nota on is another common method used to transform a number. Scien fic data is o en very  large (e.g., the speed of light) or very small (e.g., the diameter of a cell). Scien fic nota on provides an  abbreviated expression of a number, so that scien sts don’t get caught up coun ng a long series of  zeroes.


There are three parts to scien fic nota on: the base, the coefficient and the exponent. Base 10 is al‐ most always used and makes the nota on easy to translate. The coefficient is always a number be‐ tween 1 and 10, and uses the significant digits of the original number. The exponent tells us whether  the number is greater or less than 1, and can be used to “count” the number of digits the decimal must  be moved to translate the number to regular nota on. A nega ve exponent tells you to move the deci‐ mal to the le , while a posi ve one tells you to move it to the right.


For example, the number 5,600,000 can be wri en as 5.6 x 106. If you mul ply 5.6 by 10 six  mes, you  will arrive at 5,600,000. Note the exponent, six, is posi ve because the number is larger than one. Al‐ terna ve, the number 0.00045 must be wri en using a nega ve exponent. To write this number in sci‐ en fic nota on, determine the coefficient. Remember that the coefficient must be between 1 and 10.  The significant digits are 4 and 5. Therefore, 4.5 is the coefficient. To determine the exponent, count  how many places you must move the decimal over to create the original number. Moving to the le ,  we have 0.45, 0.045, 0.0045, and finally 0.00045. Since we move the decimal 4 places to the le , our  exponent is ‐4. Wri en in scien fic nota on, we have 4.5 x 10‐4


Although these calcula ons may feel laborious, a well‐calculated presenta on can transform data into  a format that scien sts can more easily understand and learn from. Some of the most common meth‐ ods of data presenta on are:


Table: A well‐organized summary of data collected. Tables should display any informa on relevant to  the hypothesis. Always include a clearly stated  tle, labeled columns and rows, and measurement  units.

Variable  Height Wk. 1 (mm)  Height Wk. 2 (mm)  Height Wk. 3 (mm)  Height Wk. 4 (mm)

Control   (without nutrients)  3.4  3.6  3.7


Independent   (with nutrients)

3.5  3.7  4.1  4.6

Table Example: Plant Growth With and Without Added Nutrients


Lab 1: Introduc on to Science

Graph: A visual representa on of the rela onship between the independent and dependent variable.  They are typically created by using data from a table. Graphs are useful in iden fying trends and illus‐ tra ng findings. When construc ng a graph, it is important to use appropriate, consistent numerical  intervals. Titles and axes labels should also reflect the data table informa on. There are several differ‐ ent types of graphs, and each type serves a different purpose. Examples include line graphs or bar  graphs. Line graphs show the rela onship between variables using plo ed points that are connected  with a line.  There must be a direct rela onship and dependence between each point connected.  More  than one set of data can be presented on a line graph. By comparison, bar graphs: compare results that  are independent from each other, as opposed to a con nuous series.