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Sugar and Water Solubility Experiment

Grade and Content Area: 8th Grade – Life Sciences

Overview

The Interactive Science Lab lets middle school students conduct science experiments through Second Life without the hassles of doing them in real life. Along with Second Life being fun for the students to experience, each experiment has a game with a scoring system that helps keep the students entertained while learning. Upon arrival to the lab, the students can walk around to find a lab station to sit at and then click an object to receive a Heads-Up-Display(HUD). The HUD is used to control the experiments, display directions, and to provide multiple choice questions to evaluate what the students have learned. Currently the students can choose from two experiments on the HUD: The Sugar and Water Solubility Experiment or The Redi Experiment.

Lesson Plan

Description of the Science Content of the Module: Scientific Method concepts such as: Variables, controls, proper methods, and other terminology.

Game Play:

Upon entering the lab the students must right click on a stool and select sit in order to sit down. After sitting you must left-click on the test tube holder on your desk in order to recieve a HUD. After you accept the HUD you must go into your inventory and right click on the HUD you recieved and select wear to attach it. You must then click The Sugar Water Solubilty experiment in order to start it even though the first step is a pretest. After this all directions for the experiment are included in the HUD.

Experiment Directions:

When students first start the experiment they will see the purpose of the experiment and a broad overview of the game: “First you will place sugar in a measuring cup, then put the sugar in a water cup, and then time how long it takes the sugar to dissolve in the water. Your score in this game depends on how constant you keep the variables that can affect your results.” They then need to press continue to start the pretest.

The students must left click on the bag of sugar and drag it to the side of the measuring cup to pour the sugar. They can repour the sugar amount by clicking the measuring cup or the can put the sugar in the water cup by clicking continue.

Then they will time the sugar dissolving by clicking the water cup when it stops glowing. After the students complete all 3 cups they will take the posttest. Then the experiment is over.

Pre and Post Test Questions (doc)
Pre and Post Test Questions (pdf)

National Science Education Standards: Grade 8

  • Standard A
    DESIGN AND CONDUCT A SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION. Students should develop general abilities, such as systematic observation, making accurate measurements, and identifying and controlling variables. They should also develop the ability to clarify their ideas that are influencing and guiding the inquiry, and to understand how those ideas compare with current scientific knowledge. Students can learn to formulate questions, design investigations, execute investigations, interpret data, use evidence to generate explanations, propose alternative explanations, and critique explanations and procedures.
    COMMUNICATE SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND EXPLANATIONS. With practice, students should become competent at communicating experimental methods, following instructions, describing observations, summarizing the results of other groups, and telling other students about investigations and explanations.

Ohio Content Standards: Grade 8

  • Scientific Inquiry:
    Grade 8 Indicator 1: Choose the appropriate tools or instruments and use relevant safety procedures to complete scientific investigations.
    Grade 7 Indicator 1: Explain that variables and controls can affect the results of an investigation and that ideally one variable should be tested at a time; however it is not always possible to control all variables.
    Grade 6 Indicator 3: Distinguish between observation and inference.
    Scientific Ways of Knowing:
    Grade 8 Indicator 1: Identify the difference between description (e.g., observation and summary) and explanation (e.g., inference, prediction, significance and importance).
    Grade 8 Indicator 2: Explain why it is important to examine data objectively and not let bias affect observations.
    Grade 6 Indicator 1: Identify that hypotheses are valuable even when they are not supported.

NSF
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0538588. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.