Interpretation of Data

Interpretation of Data

Group NameChemistry 211 Fall 2013Group MembersInterpretation of DataIntroduction:The Theoretical Basis of ScienceThe primary processes used in science are collection and interpretation of data to expand existing theories or to develop new ones. The existing network oftheories forms the basis of our current understanding of the world, but the theoretical network is continually expanding, as is our resulting understanding ofthe world. The patterns in existing data have led us to apply fundamental concepts to organize our understanding (develop theories). We are now in aposition where new experimental observations can either be fit into the existing theoretical framework or can be systematically studied to expand it.Understanding of the theory allows chemists to predict likely outcomes of unfamiliar reactions, design ways to determine structures of new compounds anddevelop new protocols for synthesizing complex molecules. Since much of research is dealing with new situations, knowledge of facts alone is of verylimited value in the practice of science. It is the ability to apply fundamental concepts to new situations that forms the basis of the vast majority ofscientific discoveries.Effective Interpretation of DataAs suggested above, interpretation of data requires several analytical and communication skills. The best way to acquire skills is to practice them. ThePOGIL approach provides students with specifically designed class and laboratory activities that guide groups of students to improve their process skills byworking through the analysis and interpretations of carefully selected data sets. To be successful in this process, students must have an appropriatetheoretical model for quality data interpretations. This activity explores the structure of data interpretations to help you develop this effectivetheoretical model.Learning Goals:1. To develop an approach for identifying variables present in a data set and identify at least one pattern in the data.2. To identify and label the important elements of a theoretical model for data interpretations and explain how each contributes to the strength of theoverall interpretation.3. To use the theoretical model to develop and modify an analytical explanation to create a persuasive interpretation of a data set.Exploration:1. Working as a group, make a list of the structural characteristics that are similar in all molecules in Table 1 of Model 1.2. Working as a group, make a list of the structural characteristics that differ among the molecules in Table 1 of Model 1.

Interpretation of Data 2MODEL 1Compound1-penteneC 5 H 101-hexeneC 6 H 121-hepteneC 7 H 141-octeneC 8 H 161-noneneC 9 H 181-deceneC 10 H 20HHHHHHCHCHCHCHCHCHHCHCHCHCHCHCHHHHHHMolecular StructureCCCCCCHHBp(˚C)CH30CH H HHHHHHHHHHHCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHCCCCCHHHCH HHHHHHHCCCHHHHHHHCCCHHHCH HHHCHHHCHH6394121147171Table 1: Boiling Points (Bps) of Some Organic CompoundsPotential Interpretations of the Data in Table 1:1. The data in Table 1 indicate that larger molecules have strongerintermolecular forces.2. The data in Table 1 indicate that for organic molecules with similarstructures that differ only in the number carbon and hydrogen atoms,intermolecular forces increase as the number of carbon atoms increases.3. Since we know that boiling points of molecules increase asintermolecular forces increase, we can interpret the data in Table 1 asshowing that for organic molecules with similar structures differing onlyin the number carbon and hydrogen atoms, intermolecular forces increaseas the number of carbon atoms increases.4. Since we know that boiling points of molecules increase asintermolecular forces increase, we can interpret the data in Table 1 asshowing that for organic molecules with similar structures that differ onlyin the number carbon and hydrogen atoms, intermolecular forces increaseas the number of carbon atoms increases. We know that the primaryintermolecular forces involved with the non-polar molecules in Table 1are London Forces, which increase with increased surface area ofmolecules. As the number of carbon and hydrogen atoms increases, thesurface area of the molecule increases thus increasing the intensities ofLondon Forces and causing the observed boiling point increase.3. Read the 4 potential interpretations of the data presented in Model 1 and, working as a group, list them in order from strongest to weakest.4. Working as a group, examine the elements of each interpretation and indicate how differences in these elements led your group to reach yourevaluation of the relative strengths of the interpretations.

8. As a group, examine Model 3.Interpretation of Data 49. Circle or highlight and label all Backing and Qualifiers that you can identify in each of the four potential interpretations (1 -> 4) in Model 1.10. Finally, in Models 3, supply one example of each term from your group’s analysis in # 9 and place a check in the boxes in Table 3 below to indicateToulmin these elements present in each interpretation (1 -> 4).QualifierModel 3: More Complex Toulmin ModelClaim(Conclusion)Warrant(Logic or explanation)Data(Evidence)Backing(Theory)Term Definition ExamplesQualifierBackingLimitations on the ClaimTheoretical support for the WarrantTable 3Interpretation # Qualifier Backing1234

Interpretation of Data 511. Reconsider the order of strengths of the interpretations you proposed in 3 and present your final order. Provide your warrant for the final order usingyour Toulmin Analysis from 5-10.Reflector’s Report Discussion:Identify the most important concepts you learned from this activity:What questions remain?Strategy Analyst’s Report DiscussionAs a group, analyze the sequence of the models and questions in this activity. Note how the sequence of questions in the activity led your groupreach the conclusions summarized in the Reflector’s Report Discussion. Summarize your Group’s analysis below.Application:1. As a group, consider each of the following “arguments” using the Toulmin Argumentation Model devised in this activity. Circle and label theClaims, Data, Warrants, Backing and Qualifiers that may be present in each “argument” and provide the data and your warrant for identifyingeach element.a. Sarah addressing her parents: “Nearly all of my classmates’ parents are allowing them to go to John’s party on Saturday night. So you shouldallow me to go. You know most of the parents, so you should accept their judgments. Besides, John has had three parties in the last year andthere were no problems at any of them.” (Adapted from

Interpretation of Data 6b. A fourth-grade class has been asked to find the area of a 4 ft X 7 ft. rectangle.During the discussion, Jane states: “The answer is 28 square ft. I got it by multiplying the length times the width; that is how you get the area ofa rectangle.” John replies: “I see where you get 28 now, but why do you multiply 4 by 7 to get 28?” Jane replies by drawing a series of1 ft X 1 ft squares to fill the rectangle and saying, “You see, you have 4 rows of 7 squares each with an area of 1. That’s why you can multiply 4by 7 to get the area.” (Adapted from “A methodology for documenting collective activity”, Chris Rasmussen and Michelle Stephan)c. A prosecutor’s closing argument in a court case: “Wilkenson has committed an offense against the Road Traffic Acts. Two policemen havetestified that that they clocked him at 45 mph in a residential area. Since the Road Traffic Acts set the maximum speed in that area as 30mph, he is guilty of an offense against the those acts. (Adapted from The Uses of Argument, by Stephen Toulmin)2. Using the data in Table 3, respond to the following:C 6 H 12 OTable 3C 5 H 12 OA BWhat do formulas A & B have in common? Could they represent the same molecule? Identify the elements of the Toulmin Argumentation Model inyour response. Could your answer be improved by adding additional Toulmin elements? Illustrate.

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