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Scientific Method
Scientific Method


  1. Observation and Background Research
    • NOTE: The first two steps in the scientific process involve studying and observing natural phenomena of interest.
    • Observe the leaves and branches of the individual plant species. Each species comes from a different environment.
    • Compare each branch to one another and record your observations about any qualitative similarities or differences. Click Here to download Table A
    • Use leaf clippers to cut the leaves from the branches.
    • Make additional qualitative observations about the leaves from each species.
  2. Hypothesis Formulation
    • Think of some general questions that you might have after observing the different plant species.
    • Using these general questions, create a null and an experimental hypothesis.
  3. Experimentation and Data Collection
    • Weigh and record the mass of each leaf. Click Here to download Table B
    • Measure and record the length of each leaf from the petiole to the tip in the table.
    • Next, carefully trace each leaf outline onto a blank piece of computer paper.
    • Then, cut out and weigh and 4 x 4 cm square of the same paper, weigh the cutout tracing, and record these data in the table.
  4. Data Analysis and Conclusion
    • To calculate the leaf surface area, divide the surface area of the 4 x 4 cm paper square by the mass of the paper square, and multiply the resulting number by the mass of the leaf tracing.
    • Next, create a bar graph with your five plant species listed on the x-axis, and the surface area in square centimeters indicated on the y-axis.
    • Draw a trend line through the graph if a relationship is evident.
    • Using your qualitative observations and quantitative measurements, draw conclusions about the data you collected.


JoVE Lab Lab: 1 Procedure

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