Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday January 3,2010- Observations and Mechanisms

Today in class, we talked about mechanisms and how to make proper observations. First, Mr. Finley added a liquid to a piece of notebook paper and told us to take observations. He said that observations should be things that we can sense with our five senses. Observations shouldn't be things we think that we know or assume, observations should be fact only. Then we began to take observations on the liquid on the paper. These are some of my group's observations:

-where the liquid hit the paper, the paper turned a darker shade
-the liquid smells like rubbing alcohol
-the paper gets wrinkled where the liquid touches the paper
-the liquid is disappearing
-the larger the spot of liquid, the more time it takes to disappear
-when the liquid was on the colored lines of the notebook paper, the lines blurred

After that, Mr. Finley told us that so far this year, we have been making explanations about the things that we have experimented. Explanations -------> why things happen. He said explained that we were now going to make mechanisms. Mechanisms -------> how things happen. Mr. Finley explained that mechanisms can be crazy ideas, but they have to be testable.
He started us of with an example mechanism for the liquid on paper. Ex. The table soaked up the liquid(the liquid went inside the table). We then started making mechanisms of the liquid on paper at our groups.These are the class's mechanisms

1. It went inside the paper
2. The air took it
3. Some other organism took it
4. When people smelled it the liquid on the paper for observations, it went up their noses

Lastly, we began to test our mechanisms. We made a chart with three columns. Th first column was the mechanism column, second was the test column, and the last column was the prediction column, when you think you are right. We only had time to fill out the chart for the example mechanism.

mechanism column: the table soaked the liquid up

test column: take the table away and repeat

prediction: the paper should stay wet

Before we could actually test the mechanism, the bell rung.

Some advice if people are getting mixed up with explanations and mechanisms. Think of them like this:


There are some pictures of liquid on paper on the top of the of my post taken at 20 minute intervals.


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