In this lesson, you will carry out your own schoolyard field investigation to learn more about how scientists perform their work. Before you do your field investigation, you should review what you learned about scientific inquiry in the first lesson and how you can perform a field investigation.
To learn about scientific debates, alternative hypotheses, and how there can be more than one explanation for the same set of scientific evidence, read the National Geographic News online article Hermaphrodite Frogs Caused by Popular Weed Killer? and answer these questions on the National Geographic News student sheet.
- Using your own words, state Tyrone Hayes’ explanation, in the form of a scientific hypothesis, for the cause of abnormal sexual development in male frogs.
- Provide an example of evidence cited by Tyrone Hayes to explain his theory for abnormal sexual development observed in male frogs.
- Provide an example of scientific evidence cited by Ernest Smith and John Giesy explaining why they disagree with Tyrone Hayes’ theory.
- Do you think that Dr. Hayes’ suspicion that increasing levels of the enzyme aromatase (which converts testosterone to estrogen) in male frogs is explanation or evidence for their feminization?
- What are some possible explanations for the difference in opinion between Hayes and Smith and Giesy?
- Based upon what you read, use your own words to define peer review.
- Why is peer review important in science?
A very important part of scientific fieldwork is keeping a detailed record of observations and thoughts. To learn more about keeping a field journal, read How to Keep a Field Journal. Check out these interesting resources to learn more about keeping field journals from real scientists:
- Helpful Hints for Field Sketching, which has information on keeping field journals
- Keeping a Field Journal 1 provides field journal tips from American Museum of Natural History Anthropologist, Eleanor Sterling, who has been on many expeditions to Africa
- Keeping a Field Journal 2 offers field journal tips from Brian Boom, who is a botanist at the New York Botanical Gardens
After learning about how to keep a field journal, answer the questions on the How to Keep a Field Journal student sheet.
Before you work on your scientific poster, you can review these resources for instructions and tips for presenting a scientific poster display:
- Science Fair Project Display Boards
- Everything You Need to Know About Fonts for Display Boards
- Alternative Display Board Types
Remember to use your Scientific Poster Checklist student sheet when creating your poster.
This esheet is a part of the The Frog Scientist 2: Schoolyard Field Investigation lesson.