How to translate text using browser tools
5 May 2021 Making Decisions with Data: Comparing Sun Leaves to Shade Leaves with a t-Test
Robert A. Cooper
Author Affiliations +

Reliable scientific conclusions are based on verifiable empirical evidence. But data must be transformed and interpreted before they become evidence, and statistical inference plays an important role in the process of interpretation. Biologists use statistics to organize and analyze data so that they can make inferences and use the data as evidence. Students should have opportunities to collect and analyze data in their biology classes as well. In this activity, students collect data on the surface areas of sun leaves and shade leaves, then analyze the data using the independent-samples t-test. The t-test procedure can be used in investigations where two groups are compared on one dependent variable.

© 2021 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page,
Robert A. Cooper "Making Decisions with Data: Comparing Sun Leaves to Shade Leaves with a t-Test," The American Biology Teacher 83(4), 229-234, (5 May 2021).
Published: 5 May 2021

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

AP Biology
college science
data analysis
data interpretation
IB Biology
Inquiry instruction
secondary school science
Get copyright permission
Back to Top