Lesson 3 Activity 2- Run an experiment

Activity #2: Running an Experiment
  • Design your experiment.
  • Run your experiments.
  • Collect and analyze data.

Designing your experiment
  • Experimental Design: Use the “Experimental Design” form as a guide as you develop a scientific question. Consider why you need to run multiple trials at each setting. Clearly identify the variables, as well as the difference between a question and a testable question. (Practice 1: Asking questions and defining problems) (Practice 3: Planning and carrying out investigations) (Practice 5: Using Mathematical and computational thinking)
  • Run your experiment so the question can be answered. Which variable will you be changing? What range? How many trials will be conducted at each setting? This information should be written into your template documents before beginning.
  • Collecting and analyzing data.: Using the instrumentation in the model (the graph and the data boxes) to monitor the cumulative number of water molecules pumped over time under the different conditions you are testing. Record the data. Look for patterns in your data [draw a graph and/or make a table, record observations].

Running your experiment
  • Example simple experiment: Run the experiment for 2400 ticks with a second pump located with x = 25. Hit forever to pause it every 100 ticks. Write down the count of water molecules pumped from each of the data boxes. Repeat the process until you reach approximately 2400 ticks. Then, clear everything and repeat the whole experiment as many times as you think you should. Compare the amounts pumped to the results from the same experiment, when run with just one pump.

Collecting and analyzing data.
  • Graph your data points. Do you notice any trend? Did the amount of water pumped increase, decrease or stay the same over time with the modification added? What can you say now about your testable idea?
  • Share out your experiment and results with the class.
  • Discuss the difference between correlation and causation.

  • What does the computer model enable us to do that would be difficult in the real world?
  • How could a computer model like the Water Pumping model be used to manage water resources?


Upload your experimental design form and a link to your model in your portfolio in the section "SL Nova Projects- Earth" under the heading "Water as a shared resource - multiple pumps"