Beginning Statistical Inquiries into the Scientific Method: Jelly-Side-Down

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This activity allows learners to explore the scientific method in an open-ended fashion, using the 4-P Approach to Science Inquiry developed by the University of Wisconsin, Beloit. Learners observe and describe what happens when a piece of jellied toast is dropped off a table. From these observations, learners pose a question concerning which side of the jellied toast will land on the floor. A prediction is formulated that might answer the question. Learners then design experiments to probe the prediction. The experiments are completed, data collected and conclusions drawn. Finally, learners write a report to persuade others of the validity of their experimental conclusions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Several slices of plain white bread
  • Jelly
  • Knife
  • Tape measure
  • Cleaning materials


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • The Scientific Worldview
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Brekke, Gary