# What is a "testable question"? stage 3 disasters topic

For each of the questions that have been generated by students, decide whether it is testable by answering Yes, No or Maybe (could be tested if it was re-worked).

## Question 1

What damage does a whirlpool create?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This question requires a descriptive answer rather than an investigation.
2. Correct. This question can not be investigated scientifically.
3. This question does not suggest any varibles for investigation so it would need a lot of re-working to turn it into a testable question.

## Question 2

How long does a whirlpool spin?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This question does not indicate any variables for investigation.
2. This question needs a lot of work before it can be investigated. It would require that a whirlpool be modelled and then some variable introduced and its impact on the time the whilpool operated measured. Even just deciding when the whirlpool had stopped could be problematic.
3. This question needs a lot of work before it can be investigated. It would require that a whirlpool be modelled and then some variable introduced and its impact on the time the whilpool operated measured. Even just deciding when the whirlpool had stopped could be problematic.

## Question 3

How could a twister be stopped?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. It requires a degree of ingenuity and effort to create the suction to make a model of a twister. This question needs clarification/ modification- maybe how can the shape of buildings been changed to make them safer in a strong wind?
2. It requires a degree of ingenuity and effort to create the suction to make a model of a twister. This question needs clarification/ modification- maybe how can the shape of buildings been changed to make them safer in a strong wind?
3. It requires a degree of ingenuity and effort to create the suction to make a model of a twister. This question needs clarification/ modification- maybe how can the shape of buildings been changed to make them safer in a strong wind?

## Question 4

How does a twister affect the earth?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This is a descriptive rather than an investigative question. If air speed could be altered in a model of a twister, students could investigate the relationship between wind speed and damage or the type or amount of material moved.
2. This is a descriptive question rather than an investigative question. If the wind speed could be altered by using a vacuum cleaner or fan, students could investigate the relationship between wind speed and damage or the type or amount of material moved.
3. This is a descriptive question rather than an investigative question so it needs a lot of modification. If the wind speed could be altered by using a vacuum cleaner or fan, students could investigate the relationship between wind speed and damage or the type or amount of material moved.

## Question 5

How much damage does a tsunami cause?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This is a descriptive question that does not identify sufficiently variables for investigation. Students could use a stream tray and vary the amount of water or slope to measure the impact of water movement on materials and objects.
2. This is a descriptive question in which the variables are not clear. After clarification and modification of the question, students could use a stream tray and vary the amount of water or slope to measure the impact on the movement of materials.
3. This is a descriptive question in which the variables are not clear. After clarification and modification of the question, students could use a stream tray and vary the amount of water or slope to measure the impact on the movement of materials.

## Question 6

What type of houses can stand up to a tsunami?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. This only needs a little clarification of the differences in houses (materials or design?) and the variables could be investigated.
2. This question needs some clarification about the actual differences between houses but the student probably has some variable that could be investigated in mind. A modelled activity could be carried out using running water and models of houses.
3. This question needs some clarification in terms of the types of differences between houses and then an investigation modelling the

## Question 7

Why donâ€™t asteroids hit earth very often?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. Students could answer this from information research rather than a first-hand investigation. An activity described in tryscience called comet crater could be developed to turn this into a testable question about the damage caused by falling objects.
2. Students could research this from secondary sources. An activity described in tryscience called comet crater could be developed to turn this into a testable question.
3. Students could research this from secondary sources. An activity described in tryscience called comet crater could be developed to turn this into a testable question.

## Question 8

What foundation would make a bigger crater?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. This is a good question in which the material that an object is dropped into is varied and the size of the crater measured.
2. Incorrect. This is a good question (if a little poorly worded!) in which the material that an object is dropped into is varied and the size of the crater measured.
3. This is a good question in which the material that an object is dropped into is varied and the size of the crater measured.

## Question 9

What sized asteroid would make a bigger crater?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. There are clearly defined variables that can be investigated in a modelled activity.
2. Incorrect. There are clearly defined variables that can be investigated in a modelled activity.
3. There are clearly defined variables that can be investigated in a modelled activity.

## Question 10

Are asteroids and meteors the same thing?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. This is a question for information research rather than a first-hand investigation.
2. This is a question for information research rather than a first-hand investigation.
3. This question is for information research rather than a first-hand investigation.

## Question 11

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This is a descriptive question.
2. Correct. This question requires research of case studies.
3. This question needs research and does not really present an opportunity to develop a testable question.

## Question 12

What can we do to prevent hurricanes?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This question needs a lot of modification. Students could investigate ways or reducing hurricane damage by building design or ways of predicting hurricanes through information research.
2. This question needs a lot of modification. Students could investigate ways or reducing hurricane damage by building design or ways of predicting hurricanes through information research.
3. This question needs a lot of modification. Students could investigate ways or reducing hurricane damage by building design or ways of predicting hurricanes through information research.

## Question 13

How can you build earthquake resistant buildings?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This leads to a design-and-make activity. It could be turned into an investigation by constructing models of walls made using different types or arrangments of reinforcement and testing the impact of vibrations.
2. Correct. This leads to a design-and-make activity. It could be turned into an investigation by constructing models of walls made using different types or arrangments of reinforcement and testing the impact of vibrations.
3. This leads to a design-and-make activity. It could be turned into an investigation by constructing models of walls made using different types or arrangments of reinforcement and testing the impact of vibrations.

## Question 14

How do earthquakes occur?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This question can be addressed by inforamtion research rather than a first-hand investigation.
2. Correct. This question can be addressed by information research rather than a first-hand investigation.
3. Incorrect. This question can be addressed by information research rather than a first-hand investigation.

## Question 15

How much ice does it need to break a house?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This question needs a lot of modification to turn it into a testable question. Maybe the different shapes of rooves could be modelled to explore which shape best resists collapsing after ice has fallen on it.
2. This question needs a lot of modification to turn it into a testable question. Maybe the different shapes of rooves could be modelled to explore which shape best resists collapsing after ice has fallen on it.
3. This question could be changed to how does the slope of the roof change the amount of snow that the roof traps?

## Question 16

How can you measure the effect of a cyclone on a particular environment?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. As it stands this is a design-and-make activity. This investigation requires clarification. A fan could be used to create winds of different speeds and the impact on dust, sand and pebbles could be measured.
2. Correct. This is a design-and-make question. This investigation requires clarification. A fan could be used to create winds of different speeds and the impact on dust, sand and pebbles could be measured.
3. This investigation requires clarification. A fan could be used to create winds of different speeds and the impact on dust, sand and pebbles could be measured.

## Question 17

Why does a cyclone mainly consist of wind?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This question provides few clues for a possible scientific investigation.
2. Correct. This question provides few clues for a possible scientific investigation.
3. This question provides few clues for a possible scientific investigation.

## Question 18

How many seconds does it take for a cyclone to destroy a house?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Incorrect. This could possibly be turned into an investigation of the relationship between fan speed and the ability of various modelled structures to withstand the force.
2. Correct. This could possibly be turned into an investigation of the relationship between fan speed and the ability of various modelled structures to withstand the force.
3. This could possibly be turned into an investigation of the relationship between fan speed and the ability of various modelled structures to withstand the force.

## Question 19

Does a tornado become more violent when it carries debris?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. This question could be clarified and turned into a testable question. It could be modified to "does wind carrying particles cause more damage than wind without particles?"
2. This question could be clarified and turned into a testable question. It could be modified to "does wind carrying particles cause more damage than wind without particles?"
3. This question could be clarified and turned into a testable question. It could be modified to "does wind carrying particles cause more damage than wind without particles?"

## Question 20

What starts an avalanche?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. This question needs to be modified before it can be investigated. Does particle size (sand, salt, flour) influence the gradient at which the material will start to fall? Does the loudness or pitch of a sound have any impact on whether a model avalanche is triggered?
2. Correct. This question needs to be modified before it can be investigated. Does particle size (sand, salt, flour) influence the gradient at which the material will start to fall? Does the loudness or pitch of a sound have any impact on whether a model avalanche is triggered?
3. This question needs to be modified before it can be investigated. Does particle size (sand, salt, flour) influence the gradient at which the material will start to fall? Does the loudness or pitch of a sound have any impact on whether a model avalanche is triggered?

## Question 21

How does the slope make avalanches different?

1. YES
2. NO
3. MAYBE
Feedback:
1. Correct, but this question should be tightened up- such as relating slope to damage or weight of material that moves.
2. Incorrect. This question could be tightened up- such as relating slope to damage or weight of material that moves.
3. This question should be tightened up- such as relating slope to damage or weight of material that moves.

Solution