STEM 10 point assignments

1.Quantitative vs. Qualitative data in research. Numbers vs. insight. (1-2 paragraphs)
These two vocab terms (qualitative data and quantitative data) represent the two primary ways you might gather data. Research the definitions of these terms online and present the definitions of each term as well as some advantages and disadvantages for each kind of data collection. Find at least one example of each and talk me through the research. (Could be the same topic or two different topics.) Think about your own research. If you had to conduct a survey (quantitative) or an interview (qualitative) which might you prefer? What might get you useful/ insightful information? (This is obviously a set up for option 10.)

2.Surveys, polls and questionnaires: What’s good and what’s problematic? (2-3 paragraphs)
Think of an interesting research question (could be in your STEM field or not) and do some real-world research on the topic in the form of a survey. This could be a question you post on social media to your friends like “how many of you have been cheated on?” or “would you feel more or less safe in a self-driving as compared to a friend driving you?” Or (I’m not recommending this during the pandemic) you could go out with a clip board and literally survey people in person.) This does NOT have to be a well-designed study. The challenge will partly be finding the creativity needed in coming up with an interesting question(s). The rest is your honest analysis. (Feel free to snoop around online for interesting survey questions.) You can talk through the design of the survey (how many people responded, how random was the sampling, etc.) Again, I’m not grading you on a well-designed survey is, just on how honest and thoughtful you can be in your qualitative response (opinion) Finally, talk me through whatever conclusions you have or lessons learned through the process.

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3.Imagine you’re doing research on whether or not aliens exist. You’re attempting to find some quantitative research and information (numbers, stats, charts, etc.) because it looks authoritative. You find a study that looks legit about a Dr. who was looking at Tin Foil hats and whether or not they protect you from the alien’s telepathic powers. The study concluded there was no correlation, however, an interesting bit of quantitative data was discovered. While the number of hours per week you wear a tinfoil hat does NOT effect your vulnerability to telepathy, a correlation (pattern among variables), was identified. The scatter plot indicated a connection between two other variables: Number of hours per week and likelihood of contracting STIs and STDs like Harpies and Syphilis. More specifically, the correlation indicated that the more hours per week you wear a tinfoil hat the less likely you are to contracts a sexually transmitted disease. Take one paragraph to explain this quantitative data. The data is accurate, but the interpretation is up to you. How do you explain this data? Take at least one more paragraph and try to explain how this kind of correlation could be used to sell a product or technology.

4.Do some basic google research on the Fibonacci Sequence (also known as the golden mean and the golden ratio). The ratio itself is purely quantitative in nature. However, there’s no end to the interpretations of the meaning and significance of the numbers involved. Anything that involves examining the meaning of the formula is qualitative in nature. Once you’ve formulated an opinion as to why the Fibonacci Sequence exists or what it suggests, write 2-3 speculative paragraphs exploring your qualitative conclusions based on some very quantitative number crunching.

5.The Jonas Salk Story (2-3 paragraphs)
Imagine this scenario: A mysterious new virus has evolved over seas and is now gripping America’s attention. The virus is sweeping through the nation and is particularly hard on the nation’s vulnerable populations. The disease is not well understood, and this plus it’s unusually contagious and virulent nature create an unprecedented amount of fear and uncertainty in all developed countries. The terrifying disease I’m talking about is, of course, Polio.

Now imagine someone developing a vaccine for this terrifying disease. Next, picture this person (incredibly) testing the vaccine on himself to avoid tedious federal regulations knowing that people are dying every hour that the vaccine remains in development. Finally, and this will seem ABSURD to some of you, once perfected, this vacceene is released to the public WITHOUT A PATENT, meaning he missed out on one of the most profitable inventions of the 20th century, up there with plastic and “the personal computer.”

Do some lightweight, qualitative research on this actual person, Jonas Salk. Do some obvious compare and contrast analysis looking at similarities and differences between the COVID-19 outbreak and the Polio Pandemic. Finally, weigh in on Jonas’ decision to forego millions (possibly billions) of dollars in profit for the public good. Herein lies a classic American paradox: Capitalism (Got to compete, work hard and hustle to get ahead) vs. what’s written on our money “E Pluribus Unum” (we’re all in this together. Out of many, we are one.) Thoughts?

6.These two vocab terms (qualitative data and quantitative data) represent the two primary ways you might gather data. Research the definitions of these terms online and present the definitions of each term as well as some advantages and disadvantages for each kind of data collection. Find at least one example of each and talk me through the research. (Could be the same topic or two different topics.) Think about your own research. If you had to conduct a survey (quantitative) or an interview (qualitative) which might you prefer? What might get you useful/ insightful information?

7.Qualitative VS. Quantitative Research-The Fibonacci Sequence (2-3 paragraphs)
Do some basic google research on the Fibonacci Sequence (also known as the golden mean and the golden ratio). The ratio itself is purely quantitative in nature. However, there’s no end to the interpretations of the meaning and significance of the numbers involved. Anything that involves examining the meaning of the formula is qualitative in nature. Once you’ve formulated an opinion as to why the Fibonacci Sequence exists or what it suggests, write 2-3 speculative paragraphs exploring your qualitative conclusions based on some very quantitative number crunching.

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