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Hypothetical biology scientific study

I know this is long, but I think all the questions are what's confusing me. I am on a total brain freeze when going over this. Please help.

Assignment details:

In this assignment, we will take a look at science and the scientific method. Then, you will design a (pretend) scientific study to answer a specific question based upon an observation.

Observation: During the winter, you spread salt daily on your driveway to melt the snow. In the springtime, when the lawn begins to grow, you notice that there is no grass growing for about 3 inches from the driveway. Furthermore, the grass seems to be growing more slowly up to about 1 foot from the driveway.

Question: Might grass growth be inhibited by salt?

Complete the steps of the scientific method for your choice of observation and question using the directions below. Use these headings, please.


The Introduction is an investigation of what is currently known about the question being asked. Before one proposes a hypothesis or dashes off to the lab to do an experiment, a thorough search is made in the existing literature about the specific question and about topics related to the question. Once one is familiar with what is known about the question under consideration, one is in a position to propose a reasonable hypothesis to test the question.


This is an educated guess, or "best" guess, about what might be the explanation for the question asked. A hypothesis should be a one sentence statement (not a question) that can be tested in an experiment. The ability to test a hypothesis implies that it has a natural, repeatable cause.


What do you predict as an outcome for the controlled experiment (i.e. results) if the hypothesis is true? This should be in the form of an "If........, then.........." statement.

Controlled Experimental Method:

The hypothesis is tested in a controlled experiment. A controlled experiment compares a "Control" (i.e. the normal, unmodified, or unrestricted, or uninhibited set-up, based on the observation) to one or several "Experimental" set-ups. The conditions in the experimental set-ups are identical to the Control in every way, e.g. temperature, composition, shape, kind, etc., except for the one Experimental variable that is being tested. The results obtained from the Experimental set-ups will be compared to each other and to those obtained from the Control. If done correctly, any differences in the results may be attributed to the Experimental variable under consideration.

Be sure to provide sufficient details in your method section so that someone could reproduce your experiment.

The experimental method section should also state clearly how data (numbers) will be collected during the experiment which will be used to compare results in each test set up.


Since this is a "thought experiment," you will make up results according to what you think might happen if you actually did the experiment.

Results should include detailed raw data (numbers) rather than just a summary of the results. For example, if data are collected daily for five weeks, results should include the actual data from each day, and not just a summary of what happened at the end of the five weeks. Recorded results should match the experimental method.


In this section, state clearly whether you reject or accept the hypothesis based on the (pretend) results. Discuss what this means in terms of the hypothesis, such as the need for additional experiments, or the practical uses or implications of the results.

Although the hypothesis and prediction will be one sentence answers, the other sections will need to be paragraphs to adequately explain your experiment.

Solution Preview

So this question asks you to run through a hypothetical experiment. Through each of the sections, you are asked to use your imagination to come up with what each section would be like, as if this were a real experiment.

So let's start at the very beginning. You're asked to design an experiment to see if any of the observations in the question are valid observations, caused by potentially the salt, and not just a coincidence. You're given two choices of observations to test:

1) The grass doesn't seem to grow 3" from the driveway after winter
2) The grass grows slower up to 1' away from the driveway after winter

From here on, I'll try to very briefly outline what you can do for each of the sections for either one of those observations, in order to test out whether these observations are caused by the salt.


What do we know about the effects of salt on grass growth? This is where you would have to look online briefly to find any relevant information you can find. Has anyone ever described whether salt has an effect on plant growth in general? On grass specifically? Particular to your observations, depending on which you choose to work on, has anyone described how salt might affect grass survival? How about growth rate? Lastly, look up anything that may affect grass growth, and use relevant information in this information to put in your introduction. For example, we know that grass won't grow without sunlight, but that's not fairly relevant. If however, you find ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines hypothetical biology scientific studies.