Chasing El Nino Assignment

Author Subject: Chasing El Nino Assignment
Michelle Kelley Posted At 18:44:28 10/29/2000
Michelle Kelley
Folklore: When doors and windows stick it will probably rain.


1. When doors and windows stick it will probably rain.
a. This folklore could be scientifically tested if the right controls were in place. The setting would have to control for the constant weather in the immediate atmosphere and it would be preferable to have a selection of woods to use as one variable. It would also behoove the scientist to use a control group to verify the differences that may be exemplified in the experimental process.
b. The proper set up would be quite costly and the time restraint would be great. Therefore the design of this experiment will reflect an inference, or an answer to the hypothesis. It will not be accurate, but will be able to determine if further testing could be warranted to prove the hypothesis as it is stated.

2. Do doors tend to stick when the chance of rain is likely?
a. Based on prior experience and my limited knowledge of the affect moisture has on wood, I predict that the answer will be yes, when doors and windows stick there is a stronger chance that it may rain.
3.
a. The variables in the experiment will consist of a solid core Pine wood door, and an Oak French door. The second variable, upon which I cannot control in this setting, will be that of the weather. The third variable, which is equally difficult to judge and control, will be the strength I must use to open and close the door. The strength and weather variables have a huge tendency to vary without my ability to measure and reproduce their actions identically time after time.
b. The data I will collect will be the humidity, temperature, and approximate force needed to operate opening and closure of each door in this experiment.
c. The comparison of force to humidity will determine the net results of this experiment.
d. In an effort to have identical measurements of humidity and temperature, I will use the same barometer and thermometer for measurement each day. The time each reading will be taken shall be consistent each day as well as my personal habits, which may affect my perception of the force I will be using. To do this I propose the same regiment of sleep, work, and diet for the next four days. I will also maintain the same interior temperature of my house at all times during the experimental process time. I have determined a rubric for my use of force that is represented by a numbering system. The system begins with 1 and ends with 10. 1 being ease of use with little or no physical force needed, 10 being a large amount of physical force needed.
e. The materials needed for this experiment will be the two doors, myself, the weather, and a chart for recording my observations and data, a barometer, a thermostat, and a daily local newspaper to confirm my readings were accurate in comparison.
f. Each day I will measure the ease / difficulty of opening each door. I will begin by taking a temperature and barometer reading from the outside environment of the door because I am maintaining the temperature from the inside at all times. I then open the door paying great attention to the amount of force I am exerting. I record this information for each door, and compare my data to that of the newspaper to ensure accuracy

5. a. Each morning at 6:30 AM, measured the ease / difficulty of opening each door. I
began by taking a temperature and barometer reading from the outside environment
of the door because, the house has maintained a 78' temperature from the inside at
all times. I then opened the doors paying great attention to the amount of force I
was exerting. I recorded this information for each door, and compared my data to
that of the daily issue of the newspaper to ensure the accuracy of the temperature
measurements.
b. The following table represents the data I collected over a 4-day period:
Door 1 - Pine
Day 1 - Temperature = 63', humidity = 55', force = 3
Day 2 - Temperature = 61', humidity = 50', force = 5
Day 3 - Temperature = 58', humidity = 50', force = 6
Day 4 - Temperature = 60', humidity = 40', force = 7

Door 2 - Oak
Day 1 - Temperature = 63', humidity = 55', force = 2
Day 2 - Temperature = 61', humidity = 50', force = 4
Day 3 - Temperature = 58', humidity = 50', force = 5
Day 4 - Temperature = 60', humidity = 40', force = 6

6.
a. The rise in humidity did not completely coincide with the rise in the force needed evenly in both doors.
b. This data suggest that the two different woods expand and contract at different rates. The softwood, or pine, door appeared to maintain more moisture, which resulted in, continued expansion compared to the hard wood, Oak, which seemed to dissipate a little faster. Both doors did show an increase in size due to their air pockets filling with moisture, and both doors showed that they maintained the moisture even after the humidity had lowered.
c. The measurements of force are likely to be inaccurate in my experiment. Without controlling the constant atmosphere of the door and frame and without controlling the force measurement via a mechanical measuring device, it is impossible to state accuracy of measurement.
d. It is possible to blame the weather for the decrease in my strength, which led me to believe that it was more difficult to open the doors, leading me to misinterpret the strength factor, needed in my data. It would also be possible to state that the overall framework of my house was altered due to the weather, which caused a stress to bare down upon my doorframe causing the appearance of a swollen door.
e. The data clearly states that the force needed did increase as the humidity increased. The amount and duration may be questionable, but the fact that the force needed level coincided with the humidity level in the beginning cannot. I would also base the idea that cut lumber that is taken from one area of world to another tends to become mis-shaped or bowed if not treated properly. This is seen in softer woods more so than harder woods, which confers with the data of the Pine door vs. the Oak door because of the molecular structure of the wood where the softwood is more porous.
7.
a. Based on the experimental data and my own inferences. I believe that doors due in fact stick when rain is more likely. I cannot state exactly how much humidity corresponds to the wood expansion.
b. If I were to repeat this experiment, I would include dimension measurements at several sites on the door to help increase the accuracy of my data.
Lisanne Harrington Re: Chasing El Nino Assignment (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 23:13:33 10/29/2000

Michelle -

Looks good to me!

Lisanne

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