Tuva’s Insert Data Instance feature enables partners to incorporate data collection experiences seamlessly into their programs. Hands-on experimentation is essential in the science classroom. Multiple research studies indicate that “doing science” improves overall student performance and mitigates achievement gaps for groups that are historically underrepresented in STEM. Furthermore, some studies suggest students who collect original data show greater gains in scientific identity development, a factor known to influence which individuals ultimately pursue a career in the sciences. Once students have filled in a data table, they can use Tuva’s powerful graphing tools to explore and analyze their data.
Tuva can be used to enhance any data collection process. The example below demonstrates what that might look like.
The following example uses a popular lab experiment for high school students studying biochemistry - food calorimetry. In this experiment, students determine the amount of kilocalories stored in the chemical bonds of different types of biomolecules. They light the food on fire and use the heat generated to warm a quantity of water. They record the initial and final temperature and mass of the water and the initial and final mass of the food. They use these figures to calculate kilocalories.
If you were including this lab in your program, you could set up a blank data table for students with the following attributes:
As the students gathered data, they could enter the data into the table on Tuva.
Once the data table is filled in, students will be able to interact with the data to draw simple conclusions from the initial graph- Did a peanut or an almond raise the temperature of the water more? Students can use the data entered so far to generate graphs that will help them explore the question.
For upper-level labs that require formulas, you have options that enable you to control the difficulty level. In this lab, for example, you could choose how to have students complete the total kcal or kcal/g calculations.
- Choice 1 (easiest): Include the Attributes Total kcal Burned and kcal/g from the start. In advance, set up these attributes using formulas so they'll automatically plug collected data into the formula and complete the calculations.
- Choice 2 (moderate): Walk students through creating new Attributes and setting up the formulas for Total kcal Burned and kcal/g.
- Choice 3 (most challenging): Add Total kcal Burned and kcal/g as Attributes in advance, but do not plug in any formulas. Give students the formula Q= mcΔT and water's specific heat. Then, have them complete the calculations independently and fill in the table.
After completing additional calculations, you can pose further questions to help students discover that the questions you ask of data and the way you choose to display it affect how it is perceived. For example, even though almonds changed the water temperature more than peanuts on average per nut, almonds have fewer kcal per gram than peanuts.