The Scientific Method

As we’ve learned, scientists provide us with really useful information and discoveries about the world around us by asking important questions, formulating hypotheses or predictions, and then creating an experiment to test their predictions. Last week we designed our own division 4 experiment:

How can we improve push-up performance?

We created an experiment to test five different independent variables to see how they impacted the dependent variable (number of push-ups). We had a number of controlled variables in place – for example, the same person had to perform the push-ups to determine improvement. We predicted which of the following variables would have the greatest impact on performance.

  • energy drink

  • visualization

  • stretching

  • warm-up run

  • training (4 days)

Our results and data are posted below. Some important questions good scientific-thinkers would want to know include the following. Discuss them at home:

  • What interventions worked to improve performance? Which ones did not? Why?
  • What can we learn from this about physical performance? What advice could we give people who want to improve strength and performance?
  • Was this a fair test? Explain why
Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
MS visualization 1 5 +4
AD visualization 0 11 +11
TN visualization 10 17 +7
SC visualization 3 21 +18
AB visualization 5 10 +5
AVG: +9.0

 

Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
KL sports drink 0 1 +1
AL sports drink 21 26 +5
RN sports drink 20 25 +5
AS sports drink 10 3 -7
JY sports drink 13 23 +10
AVG: +2.8

 

Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
DK training 4 days 13 21 +8
MB training 4 days 6 14 +8
MK training 4 days 6 11 +5
ML training 4 days 5 8 +3
RG training 4 days 1 6 +5
KP training 4 days 8 15 +7
GS training 4 days 5 12 +7
AVG: +6.14

 

Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
BL stretching 5 mins 1 3 +2
JL stretching 5 mins 1 0 -1
JM stretching 5 mins 4 5 +1
JC stretching 5 mins 5 10 +5
DG stretching 5 mins 0 0 0
AVG: +1.4

 

Subjects Independent variable Push-ups last week Push-ups this week Results
IQ warm-up run 5 14 +9
JT warm-up run 5 6 +1
RP warm-up run 15 9 -6
AVG: +1.3

 

 

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