Friday, February 5, 2010

Mission Folder Tip: Conducting Data Analysis and Drawing Conclusions

As your teams begin to analyze the data they have collected from their experiments or surveys, review with your teams how best to showcase their results and conclusions. Conducting data analysis and drawing conclusions are the final steps of the scientific method.

Within their Mission Folder, teams should state whether their hypothesis was true or false, what they learned from the experiments, their observations and how their project could be improved.

Analyzing Data

1. Data Analysis: Review data and results critically
a. Is it complete, or did I forget something?
b. Do I need to collect more data?
c. Did I make any mistakes?

2. Summarize Data:
What is the best way to summarize the data?
a. Calculate an average
b. Summarize the results as a ratio or percentage
c. Display data as individual data points

3. Display Data as a Graph or Table
a. Place independent variable on the x-axis of a graph
b. Place dependent variable on the y-axis of a graph
c. Label axes
d. Include units of measurement
e. Show each set of data in a different color or symbol
f. Include a legend
g. Convert data to show all units of measurement on the same scale

Drawing Conclusions

Conclusions summarize whether the experiment or survey results support or contradict the original hypothesis. Teams should include key facts from their background research to help explain their results.

If the results of the experiments or surveys support the hypothesis and prove the hypothesis as TRUE, summarize the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.

If the results of the experiments or surveys do NOT support the hypothesis and prove the hypothesis as FALSE, teams should not change or manipulate the results to fit the original hypothesis; simply explain why things did not go as expected. Scientists often find that results do not support their hypothesis. They use those unexpected results as the first step in constructing a new hypothesis. If teams think they need additional experimentation, they should describe what they think should happen next.

For more information, contact Mission Control at or post a question to a CyberGuide in the Discussion Forums on our web site.

Upcoming Webinars!

Register for an upcoming webinar by clicking a link below or visit The registration links are available on the Welcome page for Team Advisors and students.

Conducting Data Analysis and Drawing Conclusions
Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. ET
Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. ET

Mission Folder Tips/General Question & Answer with a CyberGuide
Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m. ET
Thursday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. ET
Monday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET
Monday, Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. ET
Monday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. ET
Monday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. ET

To view a playback of previous eCYBERMISSION webinars, click here or visit the eCYBERMISSION web site at The webinars are available in the News and Media section under Videos.

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