Designing an Experiment the Right Way

Middle School students are introduced to the concept of experimental design.
Using athletic equipment and toys, Middle School Science Teachers Jeremy Dunn and Keena Fitch are teaching their sixth grade students how to design a proper, scientifically valid experiment from the ground up.

Through forming hypotheses and measuring the distance of a dart’s flight or the speed of a ball moving down a ramp, the boys are using “experimental design” methods to discern which variables are most relevant and illustrative to their experiments. Students form into groups, plan their experiments, collect data and discuss what they’ve learned about the process together. The big question is: “Did we measure the right data?”

“We’re teaching the boys how to design an experiment the right way,” said Dunn. “The end result is making sure you target what you need to target.”