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Student Worksheet: Cell Discoveries

Your project involves conducting research on various cell parts, entering data and editing the information on a database. You will later design some questions that other people could answer by browsing, searching, and sorting your database in a variety of ways.

A database is a software tool that help you work with information. In the database environment, you design and create numbered records, and then you arrange them, sort them, and retrieve information and print reports. Within each record, there are fields or categories of information. The information in a field can be one of six types: text,number, time, date, calculation, or summary.

As your records grow in number, information is easily retrieved by using the find command. You can also sort your information by selected fields. A database provides you with a tool to manage information in your own way.

1. Examine the class database to determine exactly what kind of information you need to gather for each field or category. Use the form provided to gather the appropriate information for cell organelles, making sure you have data each field or category.

2. You can use any or all of the field names in the database, change the field names, or delete any you do not want.

FIELD HEADINGS

You will want to recall facts from the database. Make a list of all the field headings you think will be required. Think of the kinds of questions you will want to ask about the data. What will you want to compare? What related information would be useful? You can always add more field headings to the database, if you find you need them later.

INFORMATION TYPES
List the types of information to be contained in each field. It may be text, number, date, time, calculation, or summary.

Number fields contain data which may require some arithmetic treatment, such as averaging. Fields such as phone numbers should be created as text. For measurement data, it is helpful to include the precision of the information in the field heading, such as Height in cm or Mass in g.

3. Enter your research data into your database.

4. Design some questions that other people could answer by browsing, searching, and sorting your database in a variety of ways. By looking closely at the data contained in the database, you can answer many questions. Trends can be seen by repetition of data in one field. Rules or hypotheses will be revealed through the patterns in the data. These should be verified through the examination of a larger data set.

5. Complete the evaluation sheet regarding this project.

TO SET UP OR CHANGE THE FIELDS IN THE DATABASE:

1. Examine the suggested fields in the database.

2. To change a field heading or type, add a new field, or delete a field entirely, choose Define Fields from the Layout menu. The Define Fields dialog box appears.

TO ENTER INFORMATION IN THE DATABASE:

1. Choose Browse from the Layout menu.

2. Click in the space to the right of the first field, labeled discovery. Text entry boxes appear, with the cursor in the topmost box.

3. Type the data in the text entry box. Press the Tab key to move to the next box.

4. When your first record is complete, choose Save from the File menu. To start a new, blank entry record, choose New Record form the Edit menu.

TO FIND A RECORD IN THE DATABASE:

1. Choose Find from the Layout menu to search the database for records you request.

2. A blank record appears. In any of the fields, type the information you want to find.

3. Click Visible to search visible records or All to search both visible and hidden records. Records with that information are grouped together. The status panel tell you how many records contain that information.

Organizing the Information:

Once you find the subset of the database that you want to work with, you can sort it either alphabetically, numerically, or chronologically; in either ascending or descending order. You may choose to use more than one sort criteria. These should be identified in order of priority. Arrange the fields in a layout that will permit easy comparison of data while answering questions.

TO SORT RECORDS IN THE DATABASE:

1. Choose Sort Records from the Organize menu. The Sort Records dialog box appears.

2. Select the first field by which you want to sort and click a sort order (ascending or descending).

3. Click the Move button. The field name moves to the Sort Order list.

4. Click OK. Your database is sorted and the recordsappear on your screen in that order.

Database Structure:
  • Discovery

  • Year Discovered

  • Country of Scientist

  • Found in Cells

  • Relative Size

  • Description

  • Role

  • Number Present in Cells

  • Function

  • Information Source

  • Researched by

 


Cell Discoveries Database Activity

Cell Discoveries Database Directions

Cell Discoveries is a stationery database file. Choose Save As from the File menu to name your database document. The field names match the categories and types on the sample data collection sheet. You can use any or all of the fields names in the database, change the field names, or delete any you do not want. Here are some considerations for building a database.

Field Headings

You will want to recall facts from the database. Make a list of all the field headings you think will be required. Think of the kinds of questions you will want to ask about the data. What will you want to compare? What related information would be useful? You can always add more field headings to the database, if you find you need them later.

Information Types

List the types of information to be contained in each field. It may be text, number, date, time, calculation, or summary.

Number fields contain data which may require some arithmetic treatment, such as averaging. Fields such as phone numbers should be created as text. For measurement data, it is helpful to include the precision of the information in the field heading, such as Height in cm or Mass in g.

 

Use the class database on inventions to record your research data.
Here are some hints:

  • STEP 1
    • Examine the class database to determine exactly what kind of information you need to gather for each field or category.
    • Print out several blank records from the Discoveries template to use as data collection sheets.
  • STEP 2
    • Gather the appropriate information for at least 10 cell parts, making sure you have data for each of the fields.
  • STEP 3
    • Design some questions that other people could answer by browsing, searching, and sorting your database in a variety of ways.
    • Your database needs to include the appropriate information for at least 10 cell parts.

     

     



    MGD/CGD CAST 96

 

 

These pages authored and maintained by Marcella Dawson. Revised 3/2002 . Copyright 1995 CRPC GirlTECH. All rights reserved. . Email your comments. These pages were developed through GirlTECH '96, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.