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Mt300-28 Big Ideas in Science: from Methods to Mutation Unit 9 Final Project

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Running Header: Unit 9 Final Project

Unit 9: Final Project
MT300-28 Big Ideas in Science: From Methods to Mutation
Professor Atkins

Submitted by
Paula Ahl
October 1, 2012
Each and every day, we are faced with having to make split-second decisions, and the need to solve random problems that we encounter. To reach those decisions and work those problems out you are subconsciously using the scientific method. Apply the five steps of the Scientific Method to two situations that could occur in your everyday life. Use the scientific method in the first scenario provided below to solve the problem at hand. Please come up with a second detailed scenario on your own and follow the same steps in the scientific method to find a resolution.

Scenario 1: You arrive home late at night. You walk up to the front door, unlock it, and reach in to turn on the light switch located just inside the front door. The light does not come on! Now what?

1. Name the problem or question you are trying to solve. One evening I came home late, my husband and children were out for the night, I unlocked the front door, reach in to turn the light on and it doesn’t come on. I go back to my car for the flashlight. I need to identify where the problem is generated from. Why doesn’t the light turn on when the switch is switched on?

2. What is your background research? Check the neighborhood to see if electricity is out. Check to see if breaker has flipped. Check to see if the light bulb has burnt out.

3. Construct a hypothesis based on the facts given. Don't make any claims that are not fully supported by the facts.

The light bulb burnt out sometime during the day because of a bad fuse.

Supporting evidence
When opening the front door to turn on the light, I flipped the switch but no light came on. I call neighbors to see if they had electricity since we live in a secluded area. After checking that the neighborhood still had power I then decided to check to see if a fuse had blown or if the circuit breaker had tripped. Upon investigating the circuit breaker it was determined that the problem didn’t lie there because the breaker had not been tripped. I proceeded back to the front porch and went unscrewed the light bulb and shook it. It made a noise inside the light bulb when shook to indicate that the bulb had blown. I went to the garage and retrieved a new light bulb put it into the socket and flipped the switch and the lights came on.

4. Test your hypothesis by checking it against the evidence, facts, and data.
Through process of elimination I look around the neighborhood. My neighbors have lights so the electricity is not out and there were no electrical disruptions during the day.
I proceeded to check the breaker box around the corner of my house. The breakers are all on and none of them have been tripped.
I take the light bulb out of the socket and shake it, it makes a small noise. I go to the garage for a fresh bulb and put it in. I turn on the switch and the light works.
5. Analyze and interpret your results.
I came home late from work and unlocked our front door, reached in to switch on the lights and no light came on. In checking with the neighbors there lights worked and so did the street lights in the neighborhood. There was no interruption with the electricity within the neighborhood. When checking the circuit breaker at the corner of the house all the breakers were in the on position and none of them had residue to indicate that any of the fuses had blown during the day. After eliminating those possibilities I proceeded to check the light bulb to see if the problem with the lights not turning on was the light bulb. After unscrewing the light bulb I replaced the old one with a new one and then lights worked.
6. Was your hypotheses true or false? Explain. The idea that the neighborhood may have had a power outage was false. The idea that the circuit breaker had flipped was false. The idea that the light bulb had blown at some point during the day was proven true.
Scenario 2: Develop your own detailed problem/observation and apply the scientific method to solve.

1. Name the problem or question you are trying to solve. I wake up late for work. I get dressed, go out to my car, unlock it, get in, start the car but nothing happens. Now what?
2. What is your background research?
Check to see if the car has gas.
Check to see if the battery cables are properly secure.
Check to see if the lights have been left on from the night before.
3. Construct a hypothesis based on the facts given. Don't make any claims that are not fully supported by the facts.

The car will not start because the lights were left on all night.

Supporting evidence
In checking why the car won’t start I first check to see if there is gas. The tank is full. I then proceed to look under the hood to determine if the battery cables are properly secure and did not work their way loose. They were tight and secure. I then check to see if I had switched off the lights the night before when I returned home. To my surprise the light switch is turned to the on position which drained the battery overnight. 4. Test your hypothesis by checking it against the evidence, facts, and data.
First I check to see if the car had enough gas in it. The tank was full. I then check the battery cables to see if they were properly secure. A lose battery cable will not get enough power to the motor to start the car. Lastly, in checking if the lights had been turned off the night before the result was that the lights had been left on and this drained the charge in the battery. This resulted in no power to the engine to start the car the next morning.
5. Analyze and interpret your results. Since the lights were left on the night before the battery had enough time overnight to be drained of charge. In my personal experience (and the fact that my husband is an aircraft mechanic) when the lights are left on of a period of time the charge in the battery gets low enough that it will not start the engine. With the engine drained of charge when I tried to start the car to go to work the battery was dead due to the lights being left on.

6. Was your hypotheses true or false? Explain.
There was enough gas in the car so this was proven false.
The battery cables were properly secure so this was proven false.
The lights were left on all night which drained the battery of charge was proven true. This was because the battery did not have enough of a charge to spark the battery. This in turn would not let the car start up in the morning.
As you have seen throughout this course, science is intricately interwoven with our lives: in the food we eat, in the clothes we wear, in the computers we use for this course, science has had a hand in them all. Answer the following questions:

1. Describe a typical day in your life from the time you wake up, until the time you go to bed. Describe how science impacts you and your routine throughout the day.
A typical day in my life starts at 4:30am when my alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button and take a little extra time to get up. When the second alarm goes off I start my day. I shower and get ready for work. I do not eat breakfast in the mornings during the week so I leave for work at 5:45am. I travel 30 minutes to work, park my truck, walk up to the time clock, clock in and my work day begins at 6:30am. I work in HR where I am constantly entering employee data in the computer all day. I have lunch at 11:20am and I’m back from lunch at 12:00pm. I usually eat my lunch and take a short nap. After lunch I again enter more employee data into the computer so that I have everything completed by 4:30pm when it is time to go home.
After work I clock out, walk to my truck, and begin the 30 minute drive back home. Once home I spend 30 minutes playing with my grandchildren and deciding what to cook for dinner. Once dinner is finished and the dishes are done it is around 8:00pm. At this time I spend at least 1 ½ to 2 hours on my school work to get it all complete for the week. I retire to bed between 9:30 and 10:00pm, and spend another hour discussing the day’s events with my husband before going to sleep.
If it wasn’t for science how would I be able to get up on time to go to work? There would be no alarm clock to wake me up and believe me I need an alarm clock I don’t think the chickens could wake me. Without science there would be no hot water for showers. The advancement in technology provides me with the means to be able to drive a vehicle the 30 minutes it takes to get to work. Where would I be without the computer to complete all of the employee data entry that I do on a daily basis and with my online schooling? If it were not for what has been achieved through science we would still be doing everything by hand and taking twice or three times as long to get the job done. Science impacts me from the time I get out of bed in the morning until I go to bed at the end of the day.

2. How has science improved your quality of life and why?
Science has improved my quality of life in a lot of ways. In an article by Childs, C. (2013) he lists ten ways to improve the quality of your life they are “meditate, get in the zone, do something bold every day, learn something new, debate something, spend time with a child, go outside, recognize what makes you happy, stop broken thoughts, and don’t stress about it”. In looking at these ten ways to improve the quality of my life I do some of them every day. I try to learn something new every day even if it is something small, I know what makes me happy because it is my family and the fact that God has allowed me to live another day, I spend time with my children and grandchildren daily, and I’ve learned to not let things stress me out because there will be something every day that will come up and will bug me so I just don’t stress about it, it’s not worth it. 3. Are there any negative impacts that science has had? What are they and why?
In researching some of the negative impacts that science has made I came across a few that revolves around humans. One negative impact is water pollution. This negative impact is threatening to humans. According to the website (2013) the “dyes and soaps that are deposited into rivers, streams, and ponds causes the water to become undrinkable”. This is also bad for the fish and other creatures that live in the water because they can be poisoned.
In this same website (, 2012) it states that the destruction of the ozone layer is another negative effect of science. The highly toxic smoke that is comes from chimneys in industries that release chemicals has now left a hole that can be seen near the North Pole.
4. Do you believe that you could survive without science? Why or why not?
No, I do not believe I could survive without science. That is because I am spoiled. If I didn’t have a television so I could watch NCIS I would go nuts. Or if I didn’t have a computer to do my homework I probably would not be where I am today. The advancement of technology has allowed us to communicate and function on a daily basis through our computers and cell phones that most of us would hate to give up. In an article by Aron, J. (2008) he writes “Science is important because it satisfies our curiosity about the world we live in”. 5. How has this course impacted the way you view science?
I have never really cared much about science. In high school the only science that I need to take was basic science in order to graduate. I have never been interested in science. This course has made me look at things a little differently in regards to what advancement science has made in just the last 30 years since I graduated. In 1980 you would not have thought that you could get a college degree online without having to physically be at a brick and mortar campus. I would not have imagined that today there would be three computers in our house. Or that you could keep up to date with your high school classmates without being in the same location or vicinity. Who would have thought that you could do most of your banking online and not travel to the bank to make a deposit or withdraw money? This class has opened my eyes more to what I see around me and I look more closely at my family and how far we have come. I never really thought about DNA and what it entails and what you can gather just from your genes until taking this course. I can say that I have been enlightened.

Trefil, J., & Hazen, R. M. (2011). The Sciences: An Integrated Approach (6th ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Childs, C. (2012). Ten Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Life. Retrieved from (2012). What Are The Negative Effects Of Science And Technology In Human Perception In Reality? Retrieved from
Aron, J. (2008). Why is Science Important? Retrieved from

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