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  • September 2013
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Activity 1.1.5: Time of Death Experimental Design

1. Identify the Problem or Question
State the research problem or question in one sentence.
The problem should be very specific and measurable.
Write one sentence in the form of a question or problem statement.

Problem Statement: How do different ambient temperatures affect the rate of body cooling?

2. Predict a solution to the problem or an answer to the question. This will be in the form of a hypothesis.
This solution design or hypothesis should be based on previously obtained knowledge or research and should be supported by scientific evidence. Identify the independent and dependent variables.
The independent variable is the variable that is varied or manipulated by the researcher. The dependent variable is the measurable effect, outcome, or response in which the researcher is interested. In other words, the independent variable is the presumed cause, whereas the dependent variable is the presumed effect. In an experiment, the independent variable is the variable that is controlled and manipulated by the experimenter; the dependent variable is not manipulated but instead is observed or measured for variations. Write a one or two sentence statement predicting the outcome of the experiment. In a separate statement, specify the independent and dependent variables.

Hypothesis:

The independent variable is:

The dependent variable is:

3. Design the experiment to be used to test your hypothesis. Include a list of all materials used.
Be specific.
Take all safety concerns into account.
Identify a control to be used for comparison if applicable.
Control all outside variables that could affect the outcome of the experiment. Clearly define how the data will be collected and recorded, including measurement units. Design a data table to use to record information.

Plan the strategy that will be used to summarize the data. For example, a graph might be used to summarize the data....

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