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Protocol for measuring ground level ozone - Guided Research Protocol

After you have gather background information and made preliminary observations it is time to formulate a hypothesis. A hypothesis is merely a tentative explanation proposed to account for the observed phenomena. You are speculating on how natural events will turn out, based on what you know. "Science is systematic in method because it seeks a system of prediction." That prediction is the hypothesis. Any hypothesis selected or formulated must be testable. Experiments generally test hypotheses by testing the validity of the predictions or conclusions derived from them. The primary purpose of designing scientific experiments is to test the proposed hypotheses.

It is important to know that hypotheses are never proven - they are either supported or not supported by the data from the experimental results. Borrowing from statistics, two types of hypotheses are used simultaneously: null (H0) and alternative (H1) . H0 states that events will not change, not differ and H1 states that events will change, differ, from some baseline standard or control conditions. This change (dependent variable) predicted by H1 will be due to the occurrence of an experimentally controlled variable (independent variable).

Hypothesis for this Guided Research

H0: There is no measurable relationship between the high temperature of the day and the level of ground-level ozone.
H1: There is a measurable relationship between the high temperature of the day and the level of ground-level ozone.

The experiment to test these hypothesis uses the Vistanomics, Ecobadge Ozone Monitoring Kits, distributed by Wards Natural Science (1-800-962-2660).

The test cards contained in this package react when exposed to air. Using specially treated papers that react at different rates, the Eco Badge provides readings for peak short term (one hour) and average long term (eight hour) periods. After eight hours, the long term reading gives the average level of exposure for that period. It does not provide minute-by minute readings of increase or decreases in ozone levels.

To use the Eco Badge for KanCRN data collection:

  1. Remove two plastic Eco Badges from the pouch. Using the plastic Eco Badges is not necessary if you do not have them. Hanging the filter paper Test Cards is sufficient.
  2. Remove the filter paper Test Card sheet from their protective pouch. Separate two test cards from the sheet. They are perforated and tear easily.
  3. Place the test Card sheet back in its pouch. Seal the pouch by closing the zipper. With the pouch on a flat surface, leave a small opening and smooth the pouch with your hands to remove the air inside in order to keep the filter paper strips away from water and moisture. Seal the zipper completely.
  4. Insert the individual filter paper Test Cards into the slots at the top of two of the Eco Badges.
  5. Insert the One hour test blocker in the front of both of the Test Cards covering the one hour test of the Card.
  6. Insert the plastic strap of the clip through the hole at the top of the badge and attach using the snap.
  7. Although exposure to sunlight is not a problem for the test strips, excessive exposure can cause the colors to fade. The two badges should be hung outside, away from any absorptive surfaces that might react with atmospheric ozone. They should hang at about 1.5 meters off the ground.
  8. Temperature data for the day should be recorded after the high for the day has been reached. If you do not have a weather station at school, try a local weather network. In Kansas City, Channel 5 offers a neighborhood weather network that may have a site near you. In addition to the high temperature for the day the following readings need to be taken and keep at your site;

    Date:__________________________

    Air Temperature (celcius)   
    Relative Humidity (%)   
    Windspeed (mph)   
    Wind Direction (N,NE,E,SE,S,SW,W,NW):   
    Air Pressure (inches of hg)   

  9. After eight hours total exposure, two eight hour readings should be taken. Ozone level is read from the color scales on the 8x10 chart that comes with the ozone kit. To prevent further exposure, after the eight-hour test is completed, put a strip of clear scotch tape over both sides of the one hour test strip.
  10. Data from the tests should be submitted to the guided research area Data Submission area. The two eight hour tests should be averaged and submitted as one reading for the eight hour period. The two one-hour tests should be averaged and submitted as one reading as well. Submit the High Temperature of the day in the Data Submission area and keep all of the weather data for each sampling day, at your site.

Research Method Discussions

This Research Method forum is for discussion of the research methods used in the ozone project. You may post questions, comments, concerns, and/or suggested improvements to any aspect of the research method(s) above.

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