Lab 1: Heart Rate Lab (Revised Fall 2010)
Heart Rate, Physical Fitness, and the Scientific Method
Prelab Assignment Before coming to lab read carefully the following pages on the scientific method and then answer the prelab questions at the end of this lab handout. Be prepared to discuss and/or hand in your responses to the prelab questions at the start of lab. Introduction Biology is a dynamic field of study whose aim is to unravel the mysteries of life itself. Throughout history, humans have been curious about the world around them. Through the millennia people have observed the natural world and have asked, “why?” Those that have advanced our biological knowledge the most, whether the great scientists of the centuries before us, such as Robert Hooke (Discovered cells in 1665) and Charles Darwin (Co-developer of the theory of evolution by natural selection in 1859), or modern molecular biologists such as James Watson and Francis Crick (Discovered the structure of DNA in 1953), have certain traits in common: They have inquiring minds, great powers of observation, and they use a systematic approach to answer their questions that intrigue them, the scientific method. In this course you will have ample opportunity to develop your scientific skills. The weekly laboratory exercises are designed not only to stimulate your curiosity and heighten your powers of observation, but also to introduce you to and allow you to practice the scientific method. This laboratory activity will allow you to learn about and practice the scientific method as you study the impact of physical exercise on cardiovascular fitness. In this experiment, cardiovascular fitness will be determined by using an arbitrary rating system to “score” fitness during a variety of situations. The heart rate will be measured while standing, in a reclined position, as well as during and after physical exercise. Goals of this Lab: • Use a computer and exercise heart rate monitor to measure the human heart rate. • Determine the effect of body position on heart rate. • Identify, describe, and practice the steps of the scientific method • Define and identify scientific questions. • Define hypothesis and identify the qualities of a good scientific hypothesis. • Design an experiment to test a hypothesis. • Correlate the fitness level of individuals with factors such as smoking, the amount of daily exercise, or other factors identified by students. • Collect data and summarize it in tables and graphs. • Interpret experimental data and discuss the validity of these interpretations and conclusions Scientific Method The scientific method is neither complicated nor intimidating, nor is it unique to science. It is a powerful tool of logic that can be employed any time a problem or question about the world around us arises. In fact, we all use the principles of the scientific method daily to solve problems that pop up, but we do it so quickly and automatically that we are not conscious of the methodology. In brief, the scientific method consists of Observing natural phenomena Asking a question (or questions) based on one’s observations Constructing a hypothesis to answer the question Testing the hypothesis with experiments Drawing conclusions about the hypothesis based on the data resulting from the experiments Publishing results in a scientific journal Experiment 27: Biology with Computers
Lab 1 - Biol 211-Page 1 of 24
Lab 1: Heart Rate Lab (Revised Fall 2010) Making Observations The scientific method begins with careful observation. An investigator may make observations from nature or from the written work of other investigators, which are published in books or research articles in scientific journals, available in the storehouse of human knowledge, libraries. The following example will be used as we progress through the steps of the scientific method. Over the last couple of years you have been observing the beautiful fall colors of the leaves...
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