The Scientific Method/Controlled Experiment Paper:
CHM 1025C Bishop Chapter 1: section 1.3 Page 7
Scientific Observations Assignment: During a CHM 1025C
Lab Period, the students will watch the following Hollywood movie and write a
minimum two page double spaced word processed paper due after Thanksgiving holiday
during a Fall Term or after Spring Break during a Spring Term. Students may
check this movie out from the
Library, Public Library or even purchase the video. You may take your notes on
this handout and not use your lab
notebook to take notes for this work.
Movie Film: Andromeda Strain – 1971
The best-selling novel by Michael Crichton was faithfully adapted for this taut 1971 thriller, about a team of scientists racing against time to destroy a deadly alien virus that threatens to wipe out life on Earth. As usual with any Crichton-based movie, the emphasis is on an exciting clash between nature and science, beginning when virologists discover the outer-space virus in a tiny town full of corpses. Projecting total contamination, the scientists isolate the deadly strain in a massive, high-tech underground lab facility, which is rigged for nuclear destruction if the virus is not successfully controlled. The movie spends a great deal of time covering the scientific procedures of the high-pressure investigation, and the rising tensions between scientists who have been forced to work in claustrophobic conditions.
It's all very fascinating if you're interested in scientific method and technological advances, although the film is obviously dated in many of its details. It's more effective as a thriller in which tension is derived not only from the deadly threat of the virus, but from the escalating fear and anxiety among the small group of people who've been assigned to save the human race. The basic premise is still captivating; it's easy to see how this became the foundation of Crichton's science-thriller empire. --Jeff Shannon
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A Scientific Method Flow Chart
Chemistry is the branch of science that studies matter and the changes matter undergoes. Science can be defined simply as organized knowledge. Scientific knowledge is gathered systematically by performing thoughtful experiments, carefully recording observations, and ultimately drawing some conclusions. This procedure is known as the Scientific Method and it involves three possibly new vocabulary words:
A hypothesis is frequently proven invalid although not always
immediately. Historically, chemists and physicists have been slow to abandon an
acceptable theory in order to adopt
a new one. Scientists exercise caution in drawing conclusions, knowing that
nature reveals itself in glimpses and at times appears contradictory. Hypotheses
may be discarded, modified, or on a rare occasion, after rigorous testing, be
elevated to the status of a scientific
law or theory.
Chapter 1(Bishop, Corwin&
1. CHM 1025C: On pages 1-3 of the Corwin textbook there are listed three steps in the scientific method. On Pages 5 & 6 of the Hein textbook there are four steps listed. On pages 7-9 of the Bishop text, the author demonstrates in interest cycle
The former CHM 1025C book, Corwin, has three steps, similar to above:
Step 1: Performed a planned experiment, make observations, and record data.
Step 2: Analyze the data and propose a tentative hypothesis to explain the experimental observations.
Step 3: Conduct additional experiments to test the hypothesis. If the evidence supports the initial proposal, the hypothesis may become a theory.
Maybe a little better graphic of the scientific flow chart shown in Figure 1.3 page 2 would be the following from a science web site for kids:
2. Section 1.3 covers the scientific method in the Hill text for CHM 1020.
The Hill text has five characteristic of science, which are that it is:
c. explanatory, and
d. predictive, but always
They have the following graphic:
Hill: Chemistry for a Changing Time: The new version of The andromeda Strain
On Page 4 is the following flow chart
A&E’s Remake 3 hours and 20 minutes):
The Project: The
Your assignment is to watch the original 1971 film partially during class time, then at home, or at an additional on campus time. Note the problem which threatened life on earth, and setoff a "wildfire" protocol. Note how did the scientists approach the "Wildfire" problem and note all the steps and procedures used in the experimental controls that help eliminate the various variables from their investigation, then explain how they went about trying to solve the problem to come up with a solution. Finally you need to explain the solution, and the chemistry behind it, which is discussed in Chapter 15 of the Hein text, Chapter 7 of the Hill text and Chapter 16 in the Corwin text.
However, if you have already watched this movie and written a similar paper, a more involved and interesting project would be to write a better pager using one of the following two options:
Optional/Alternate Paper: The Andromeda Strain Book
The Andromeda Strain (Paperback)
by Michael Crichton (Author)
An option for those who have watched this movie is to read the book and write a paper comparing the original book with the original movie. Some folks are always talking how the book and the movie do not compare, so here’s you chance to compare and editorialize.
Optional/Alternate Paper: The New Andromeda Strain Movie
The student will watch this new version and include a page to compare the old to the new, and how the science of the solution is different. The student will conclude with her/his editorial comparing the movies.
The Andromeda Strain Miniseries (2008)
The scientific method consists of:
are seldom finished and are generally refined to a higher level of confidence
as new data and better observation tools are developed. As an example the
Greeks developed the first atomic theory and John Dalton refined the theory as
a hypothesis which has continued to be refined into the current state of modern
atomic theory. The scientific method is never a finished process but one that
is continuously improving the explanation of nature’s behavior as methods and
Movie Film - Andromeda Strain Film Notes:
Step 1: The Question must be defined:
don't understand a phenomenon which has occurred"
In your two page paper to be handed in during the week at the end of Module 11, you should define the question in your first or second paragraph. What happened in the film to setup a major problem?
Step 2: How did the government/scientists respond to the question
code word “fire” and "Wildfire" in your third paragraph.
Step 3: After the team was assembled, they entered a facility to investigate the problem. Describe as many controls the facility had to eliminate the variables which would contaminate the problem solving process. This could be a couple of paragraphs.
What was the odd-man hypothesis?
Step 4: Once in the facility, the team met and
decided an approach to solve the problem. They decided on three paths that had to be taken to
define the problem before they could come up with a solution and split the team
in three parts. In your next paragraph(s) describe the three approaches to
defining the problem.
Step 5: Describe in your next paragraphs what testing the various teams did to isolate the problem to find the solution.
Of course this is
Also, the unit was out of communication with the world outside, because of another problem. What was that problem?
Early Film Note:
President of the
The President delayed that order for 24-48 hours after the initial event at the protests of the scientists. What comment could you make about this dilemma and his delay tactics.
Also there were two survivors of this Wildfire, a crying baby and the town drunk, while everyone else dies. Were all the others killed instantly and did this give the scientists another clue to their mystery?
Early Film Note:
Step 6: What hypothesis did they finally conclude?
are a chemistry student, please explain the solution which deals with pH and
explains the why two survivors lived. Read sections 15.7 and 15.8 about pH.
Then research body acidosis and alkalosis in the relation to the blood pH. What
is normal for the humans? Where the survivors normal?
Please include a couple of paragraphs explaining these principles of pH as applied to the body.
Step 7: Your summary, conclusions or comment should be your final paragraph including the value or no value learned from this exercise.
could include in your comments suggestions for better controls or things that
just didn't make sense in their scientific process in the film. I can think of
two or three.
I hope all of you who chose to watch the film enjoy this exercise.