Lesson 5 – Inferring Properties and Calibration

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Course:  Integrated Science, Physics, Biotechnology and/or STEM courses

Unit:  Measurement, Scientific Process, and Instrumentation Design


Objectives

See Standards Addressed for all NGSS, WA State (Science, Math and Literacy), and NOAA Ocean Literacy Education Standards Connections.  In addition to the aligned objectives linked above, for this lesson, here is a breakdown of:


What Students Learn:

  • Light can be reflected, absorbed, transmitted, & scattered during interaction with materials.
  • The type of material impacts the nature of the interaction.
  • The color of light (wavelength) impacts the nature of the interaction.
  • Accuracy is the degree of closeness of a measured or calculated quantity to its actual value.
  • Proxy variables can be quantitatively related to inferred properties through calibration.
  • Measuring devices reference known standards.
  • Measuring devices with a predictable pattern can be calibrated.
  • Calibration curves can be used to determine unknown quantities.
  • An offset or a blank is commonly needed to interpret calibration data.


What Students Do:

  • Students explore properties of light by observing a light source shining through a milk solution.
  • Students build a simple 'photometer'.
  • Generate standard (calibration) curves using their photoresistors to infer milk fat concentration.
  • Determine an unknown concentration from their calibration curves.
  • Describe their methodology to determine the unknown concentration.

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