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EAS 10600 #M Group F

Hi Students from EAS 106 #M, this is Group F. You will be discussing here for the rest of the semester!


Lab 2: Scientific Method

  • Over the next 1-2 days, take some time to observe your surroundings (home, nearby park, street, etc.) and make note of anything that stands out. Keep in mind that your observations are not limited to what you can see and may include smells, sounds, tastes, and touch or feeling (hot/cold, soft/hard, etc).  Do you see anything that you can\’t immediately explain, something that causes you to pause and ask, \”I wonder why….?\”

    For the purpose of this discussion, we will work together to solve this \”problem\” using the scientific method. Your goal is to find a solution that will stand up to the review of your peers.

    1. Describe your observation. Provide sufficient detail (or photos if needed) so that others in the discussion can visualize the problem you see.
    2. Ask a question about your observation for which you do not know the answer. This question will usually include the words \”how\” or \”why\”. Note that if you have trouble forming an initial question, you might want to consider a different observation.
    3. With your question in mind, make 2-3 additional observations that you believe will help you answer the question.
    4. Go ahead and try to answer your question. The answer is your hypothesis and it should come in the form of a confident statement, then you should justify your statement with your observations.

    When you have completed these steps, write a paragraph to summarize your \”research\” and post your research to the discussion board. You should use formal language and grammar (no text-message speak), and the paragraph should clearly explain identify: 1) Your research question, 2) your observations 3) your hypothesis, and 4) how you tested your hypothesis, 5) your results and conclusions.

    After you have submitted your post, return to the discussion board, and review the \”problems\” that your classmates have solved. Post a reply to a minimum of 2 different problems that were \”solved\” by your classmates. In your reply, consider the following:

    Do you agree with the author\’s conclusions?  If so, explain what evidence you found to be the most compelling or conclusive. If not, explain why you are not convinced and suggest some additional observations or tests that could be used to address any lingering questions and reach a more defensible conclusion.

    Based on the author\’s initial results, what are some new questions that you might ask?

    Due Dates


    When posting replies, please be considerate of your peers. The discussion is intended to promote a collaborative learning environment, so be careful of your tone and refrain from inappropriate language or personal attacks. You may challenge others if the intent is to facilitate growth, but do not demand, harass, or embarrass. Encourage others to develop and share their ideas.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Over the past few weeks I had observed that throughout the day, at seemingly random intervals I would hear the sound of running water in my apartment lasting for about 10-15 seconds. It sounded like it was coming from the wall in my bathroom, very similar to the noise generated when a toilet is flushed and water moves through the pipes. However, nobody was flushing the toilet when this was occurring. So, my question was why is this happening and how can I get the noise to stop? Over the last two days I made 2 additional observations. Firstly, two nights ago I woke up to get a glass of water when the noise abruptly started. Fortunately, I was walking right past my bathroom when it occurred and I was able to observe that the noise wasn’t just coming from the wall in my bathroom but seemed to emanate from the toilet itself. Secondly, after about 15 seconds the noise stopped, and due to how quiet it was in my apartment that late at night I was able to observe an additional sound. It was a dripping sound, much like when a faucet is left on slightly and water drips out. This noise was also coming from the toilet, specifically the reservoir on the back of the toilet which could indicate a small leak of some sort.

    Based on these observations and my rudimentary understanding of how toilets function, I formed my hypothesis. If there was a small leak in the reservoir, then the water would slowly leak out causing the water levels to dip below the minimum threshold of water present in the reservoir, which in turn would cause the reservoir to be refilled exactly like when a toilet is flushed. And if I could stop the leak, then the toilet would stop needing to refill the reservoir and the noise would also stop. To test this hypothesis I decided yesterday to replace what is called the “flapper valve” in the toilet. As this is the valve that is opened when you flush a toilet, letting the clean water from the reservoir enter the toilet and flush the bowl, and would be a likely source for a leak. Then I waited to see if either the flushing or the dripping noise continued.

    As of this post the results have seemed to confirm my hypothesis, I have observed neither the flushing noise or the dripping noise since replacing the valve. So I concluded that my old flapper valve was faulty and was causing a small leak. In turn causing the refilling of the reservoir at seemingly random times, which was the noise I had originally observed. And finally, that replacing the old flapper valve with a new one stopped the leak and the subsequent noises.

    I live in a four family house and my room is mirrored next to my cousin’s room. I live on the right side of the second floor and she lives on the left side of the second floor. I observed that my room is always warmer than her room, even though we have central heating (long strip heaters attached to the base of the wall) and our rooms have the same square footage. We both have one window, one bed and two closets in our room. This made me wonder, why is my room warmer when we basically live in identical rooms? 

    Over the course of two days, while the heater was on, I observed both rooms at different portions of the day. I made two observations. First, when I was in my room around 1:30 pm, more than half of my room was covered by sunlight. Then I went into her room a minute after and there was only one strip of sunlight, covering about ten percent of her room. I checked again at the same time, the next day and it was the same case. More than half of my room was covered with sunlight while there was only a strip of sunlight in hers. The sun is only out during the daytime so again at night, when the central heater was on, I went back to her room. I can feel the heat radiating from my heater intensely when I go near it; there is a small space between my bedframe and the heater. Then I went to my cousin’s room and when I located the heater, I could feel it faintly because half of the heater is behind a closet and the other half is covered with storage bags. This led me to my hypothesis. If there is more sunlight and heater surface area exposure, then the room will be warmer.

    I tested the sunlight theory by blocking most of the sun with my curtains and leaving a small peak for the sunlight to enter. My room was cooler than normal. The next observation was that the heat surface area was entirely exposed in my room as there was nothing blocking it. In my cousin’s room, because of the furniture placement, half of the heater was covered by a closet and the other half with storage bags. This blocked off some heat from radiating into the room, therefore, it was cooler than my room. I tested this theory by placing blankets on top of my heater, and I noticed again that it was cooler than before when the heater was entirely exposed. My hypothesis is supported by the observations that I made. My room gets significantly more sunlight than my cousin’s room, thus making it warmer. Also, my heater is exposed entirely, therefore radiating more heat into the room and making it warmer.

    Last week I forgot to water the pothos plants that were placed around my house and was worried that the soil had dried out and the plants would die, because I had already been watering them inconsistently for the past month. When I went to water them earlier this week I noticed that the leaves of the plants by the windows were drooping and becoming yellow, while the plants placed by the bathroom were still green and seemed to be thriving. The plants by the bathroom were in a shady place where they weren’t exposed to much sunlight. I thought this was strange that the plants receiving less sunlight were thriving while the plants by the window were withering. I hypothesized that the plants by the bathroom were thriving as a result of less sunlight, which would prevent water in the soil from evaporating. 


    Over the next two days I observed the plants carefully and checked how moist the soil was in each pot holding the plants. Three days after watering the plants again I saw that pots near the windows contained very dry soil, while the soil from the pots near the bathroom were generally more moist. This observation seemed to support my hypothesis, since there was more water in the soil of the plants that were exposed to less sunlight. However, I wanted further evidence, so I decided to relocate the plants that were near the window so that they were also near the bathroom, but I did not water them anymore to establish the practice of only watering them once a week. After two days, the leaves of the relocated plants started to grow straight and look greener than they were when they were drooping in the previous window spot. When I checked the soil, all of the pots had moist soil including those that had previously been near the window. The soil had already dried when I moved the plant near the bathroom and I did not add water to the soil after moving it, but after two days near the bathroom it was moist again. Unfortunately this disproved my theory about the water evaporating from the soil and led me to consider that there may be an unknown source of water. 


    Finally I realized that each time I checked the soil from the plants near my bathroom it had been in the evening, after everyone in my house had taken a hot shower. We leave the bathroom door open when showering so the vapor doesn’t get trapped and to avoid mold growing in the humidity. This meant that hot water had been running for about three hours straight and causing water vapor to leave the bathroom into the rest of the house, reaching the soil in the plants. This explains why the plants by the window were more dried out than those by the bathroom, and why the plants by the bathroom seemed to always be well watered even though I was failing to water the plants regularly. 

    Tajria, based on your observations and the results of your experiment I definitely agree with your conclusion that both the exposure to sunlight throughout the day and the significantly less obstructed heater at night are causing your room to be warmer than your cousins. The portion of your experiment when you placed blankets on top of your heater, resulting in cooler overall temperatures in your room, is particularly convincing.

    One new question I thought of was what is the cause the reduced sunlight in your cousins room? Could it be the orientation of your building to the path of the sun this time of year? Or maybe there is a large building nearby, the shadow of which hits your cousins window and not yours? I’m sure the answers would be simple, but I am curious nonetheless! Very well done by the way!

    Natalia, based on your observations and the results of your experiment I have to agree that your hypothesis of the sunlight evaporating the water out of the soil in the plant near the window was not supported by the results of your experiment.  I find the evidence of moist soil being present in the plant pot that was relocated away from the window even after days without intentional watering especially convincing. One extra question I can’t help but ask is I wonder if the water vapor from the shower could be enough to sustain the plants by itself, without any additional watering on your part? By the way I think it was a great choice on your part to decide to conduct further experiments even after your initial experiment seemed to confirm your hypothesis, excellent job!

    In the last few days, I have observed a lot of things but there was one thing that made me wonder why that is happening. I am allergic to a lot of food, so I cook for myself separately. I observed that the food I cooked for myself cannot be eaten after 1 day, they smell and tastes bad but on the other hand, the food my mom is cooking for my other family members can be eaten 7 days after it’s cooked. It happened recently and it made me wonder why the food that my other family member is eating in a good condition then the food I am cooking for myself.

    The next two days, I observed my mom cooking the food for them and how she refrigerates it. I observed that she puts a lot of ginger paste on the food where I don’t put any ginger paste in my food. The second thing I observed was that my mom puts the food on the very top of the refrigerator where the food is colder than where I put my cooked food in the middle of the refrigerator. After this I made a hypothesis, if you put the ginger paste in the chicken curry it will be in good condition for longer times than the curry without ginger paste.

    To test my hypothesis, I decided to cook the chicken curry by using some ginger paste and I also put it on the top level of the refrigerator. For the next 4 days, I tried the curry, and surprisingly it was in good condition with the taste and smell. I also tested my hypothesis by putting the curry my mom cooked in the middle of the refrigerator where I observed that the curry was good, but the taste and the smell slightly changed then the original taste. This helped me to create another observation about my hypothesis is that the refrigerator was not able to provide equal temperature to all the food items in the freeze. My hypothesis is not completely supported by my observations. Not only the ginger paste helps the curry to be in a good condition longer also the temperature in the freezer needs to fix so it can provide a better temperature to keep the food in good conditions. I would like to try this experiment more by fixing the temperature of the refrigerator and not putting any ginger paste in the curry.


    Afrina, based on the additional observation about the hypothesis, I would agree that it is partially but not completely supported by the results of your experiment. Ginger paste and the temperature of the refrigerator are both variables that affect the shelf life of the food, but temperature can also affect how much ginger paste is required. It would be interesting to know if a change in temperature would allow for less ginger paste or no ginger paste to be used and if there were a way to ensure that the temperature remains uniform throughout the refrigerator so all foods can stay in a good condition regardless of where they are placed.

    Windsor, based on your observations and the lack of flushing noises after changing the flapper valve, I agree that your hypothesis is supported by your observations. The effect of changing the flapper valve is the most compelling evidence supporting your claim because the immediate result of this action was the end of the sound, meaning it was directly affecting the toilet mechanism. One question I still have, out of curiosity and lack of knowledge on how toilets function, is how the old valve was faulty or became faulty over time and if it is possible to avoid this by using a more durable one.

    I agree that your hypothesis is not conclusive and might need some further experimentation. In your experiment, you stated that your mom’s food started to change in taste and smell when you put it in the middle rack. This was convincing that the temperature of the fridge plays a role in the freshness of the food. Further,  you put ginger paste in your food and also put it in the top part of your refrigerator. This brings the question, would the food still stay fresh for a couple of days without ginger paste, but in the top shelf of the refrigerator? I also agree with your last part, that you would need to try to cook your mom’s food without ginger paste and see if it makes a difference.

    Windsor, I completely agree with your conclusion based on your observations. You stated that once you replaced the flapper valve, the flushing noise and the dripping noise stopped at random times. This makes it convincing that the flapper valve was faulty and was causing the noises.

    Although I agree with your conclusion, in your hypothesis you stated that there was a leak in the reservoir.  This makes me question whether there was a crack or space between your old flapper valve that allowed the water to leak or was it actually a leak in the reservoir? I interpreted the leak in the reservoir as if there was a small hole or crack in the reservoir, therefore, I’m curious on which it is. Overall, you did an amazing job with this experiment and came up with a compelling conclusion!

    I thought my house was in pretty good shape since my dad is always making sure everything is fixed but apparently that wasn’t the case. As I was walking around I stepped on some water by the radiator and realized that there were small droplets off water coming from it. At that moment I wondered why this was the case since we recently changed the control valve.

    From that day on I checked on the radiator to determine whether in fact we were facing a faulty radiator or if there was another explanation as to why there was water on the floor. We don’t always have the radiator on because it gets too hot sometimes but this time I made sure I checked on the radiator when it was turned on and in fact the leak was coming from the control valve. Based on my observation, I concluded that by simply adding some packing this will solve the problem.

    I indeed decided to add some packing with my dads help of course and waited to see if the problem would get fixed. I waited until the next day to go verify if there was no more leakage and thankfully the problem was resolved. At first I wanted to replace the control valve as a whole but to safe money I decided to rethink what could be wrong and I remembered that simple things like worn seals and packing could be the cause of leakage.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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