Collecting Data Season After Season

Crested Butte Community School students. Credit K. Allen
Scientists often repeat experiments over many months or years. Each time, they keep careful notes about their observations. This allows them to collect and analyze a large amount of data. Why do you think this might be important?

When you participate in the Journey North tulip study for more than one season, you can learn more about your special climate and notice changes over time. It can also help you make more accurate predictions and better understand what influences tulip growth.

Try This!

  1. Find your past Journey North tulip garden records, AND/OR
  2. Collect data on your tulips each year and save it.
  3. Organize your data. What patterns do you notice? How would you explain them? (Your charts may help you with predictions and experiments for next year's tulip garden!)
Sample Records for a Journey North Garden
Emerge Date
Bloom Date
# Days Between
Average # Days for all years
  1. Study the table of tulip data above. If you have your own data, how do these dates compare with it?
  2. All the data was collected at one garden site. Where do you think the garden is located in relation to your garden? Why?
  3. Calculate the number of days between emerge and bloom dates for each year and then carefully answer the Journal Questions.
  4. When do you predict the 2005 garden bloomed?

Journaling Questions
Sharpen your pencil to answer the following questions in your science journal:
  • What is the shortest # of days from emergence to bloom?
  • What is the longest # of days?
  • What is the range of days?
  • What is the average # of days?
  • What is the median # of days?
  • How do you think the spring weather in 2003 compared to the spring weather in 2004? Explain your thinking. (What factors other than weather could have affected the tulips?)