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Stuffed-Animal Science

Revised June 2012

Background

By: Ashley C. Grill and Katherine Koplik | New York University, New York City | Grade Level: Elementary School | June 11 2012

Scientists make predictions based on data they collect during their experiments. The data can come in various forms. The data must be accurate, and measurements can be taken more than once to ensure their accuracy.

Objective

Students will make predictions about how the weight and size of stuffed animals correlate by taking measurements of the length, weight, and circumference. This experiment is designed to introduce students to measuring techniques and making predictions.

Hypothesis

Students create their own hypotheses. For example: Stuffed animals with longer lengths and greater circumferences will weigh more.  

Duration

Total actual in-class time: 30 minutes
Set-up time: 5 minutes
Experiment’s run time: 20 minutes
Take-down time: 5 minutes

Materials

  • Stuffed animals
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Kitchen scale

Procedure and Results

The following procedure should be carried out for each stuffed animal.

  1. Place the stuffed animal to be measured on a flat surface.
  2. Using a ruler or tape measure, measure the length of the stuffed animal (see Figure 1) and record the measurement on the data table (Table 1).
  3. Using a tape measure, measure the circumference of the stuffed animal (see Figure 2) and record on the data table.
  4. Using a kitchen scale, weigh the stuffed animal (see Figure 3) and record on the data table.
  5. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 for all stuffed animals.

Figure 1. Measuring the length.

image showing how to measure the length

Figure 2. Measuring the circumference.

image showing hoe to measre the circumference

Figure 3. Weighing using a kitchen scale.

Image showing how to weigh on a kitchen scale

Sample Table 1. Results from an actual stuffed-animal experiment.

Stuffed-animal name Length Circumference Weight
Ringo 21 inches 11 inches 11ounces
Daddy Cat 10 inches 5 inches 4 ounces
Ringey 18 inches long 12 inches 5 ounces

Data Analysis

After recording the data, students should revisit their hypothesis to see if their prediction was correct. In this example, students should look over the measurements and see whether there is any correlation between the length and circumference and the weight of the stuffed animals.

Conclusions

Students will make their own conclusions on the basis of the data they collected. In this example, they could conclude that based on the data taken from this experiment, the stuffed animals with greater lengths and circumferences weigh more than those stuffed animals with shorter lengths and circumferences.

Note: Not every experiment done with stuffed animals of varying sizes will have the same results.  

Relevant OSE Supplement

Open Wide and Trek Inside


Student Handout: Stuffed-Animal Science

Name: ________________________

Date:   ________________________

Table 1. Data from stuffed-animal measurements.

Stuffed-animal name Length Circumference Weight
       
       
       
       
       

 

Download this Experiment (PDF, 176KB)

This page was last updated June 2012