Data analysis: chemistry

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Lesson overview

One of the most used data sets to show the trend in ocean acidification over the past 20 years is from the Hawaii Ocean Time-series. Students will use real data from a series of research ‘cruises’ to analyse the information and identify trends. There are options to use ICT to examine the data set, as well as using print outs of graphs and data tables.

Learning outcomes

  • Present data using appropriate methods and carry out and represent mathematical analysis
  • Interpret data, including identifying patterns and trends and use data to make inferences and draw conclusions
  • Evaluate data critically, showing awareness of potential sources of random variations and systematic errors

Lesson steps

  1. Why use this data set? (10 mins)
    It has only been in the past few years that ocean acidification has been researched more. There are few data sets that show how carbon dioxide has affected the pH of the oceans over a period of time. Use the Hawaii Ocean Time-series factsheet to discuss long-term data on ocean acidification. Show the location of the cruises using Google Maps by searching for: 22 45N, 158W.
  2. Data exercise (40 mins)
    Use the annual mean data from the Hawaii Ocean Time-series.
    Option 1 (with access to computers): ask students to answer basic questions, draw and interpret graphs based on the data.
    Option 2 (no access to computers, print out activity sheets): ask students to answer basic questions about data sets and interpret the graphs.
  3. Reflection (10 mins)
    Ask students to discuss future scenarios if the trend continues and do independent research to prepare for the last lesson (conference in the classroom).
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