Lesson 1

Biological question: Why color blind can't see color?

Pretend that you are a scientist and you have made some sort of observation. Using the scientific method.

Make sure to number your answers.

1) State what your observation is and give some background describing it. 

2) Devise a concise hypothesis extending from that observation which is both testable and falsifiable. 

3) State a prediction that will be used to test the hypothesis.

4) State how you would test the prediction. 

5) State the result you would need in order to not reject the hypothesis. 

6) Lastly, have you proven that your hypothesis is true? 

Lesson 2

Evaluating Science in the News

Topic: Why color blind can't see color?

Use the Internet to search for a news report on your topic (also known as “secondary source”, “media”, or “popular press”). The news report that you use for this assignment should be reporting on an actual experimental scientific study. This is different from a review article or a meta-analysis. The news report that you select should be more than just a few sentences long, i.e. with extensive enough coverage for you to be able to evaluate it carefully. A report on a single case study is not an experimental study.

Secondary sources:



1. What is the difference between “popular press” (also known as “secondary source”) and a primary peer-reviewed journal article? (Short Answer)


2. In a peer-reviewed scientific journal, you can sometimes find an experimental study, a review article, and a meta-analysis all published in the same issue.  How do review articles and meta-analyses differ from experiments?  How do review articles and meta-analyses differ from each other? (Short Answer)


3. List your chosen article using the appropriate referencing format (see the document in the “Course Resources” folder on this). (Short Answer)

4. The Big Question table (see attached file) to help you evaluate the news report that you have chosen. Instead of simply checking the boxes indicated, you will write a short essay format assignment for each question. You will go through each numbered question from 1-11 and indicate which answer applies to your news report (preferred or raises a red flag), and elaborate some more to answer “Why?” for each. Your answers should be numbered the same as the table, start with “Preferred” or “Raises a Red Flag” for each number, followed by explanation with data or information from the study to support your answer. Answers should show that you have critically evaluated the news report, and that you understand what makes a scientifically-sound, reliable news report (or not).

5. Finally, now that you have used the table to evaluate each detail, write a closing paragraph that outlines your overall conclusions about your news article and any other comments or points that you would like to make. Did the reporter do a good job of conveying the information from the study to his or her readers?