We build databases to explore questions. In this activity you will be looking at someone else's database to see if you can figure out which questions they hoped to examine.
1) Open a full sized database and look it over carefully.
Step One -
Download one of the following data files and open it with your DB program.
Step Two -
Start up your database program:
2) Leaving the database file open, now open a word processing program. (Note: If you are using Microsoft Access you must open a new word processing program such as Word but both Microsoft Works and ClarisWorks allow you to use both database files and word processing files within the same program at the same time. You can then switch back and forth between the files using the WINDOW menu.)
3) Work with your partner to identify and then write (in your word processor) at least five provocative and interesting questions which might be explored using this collection of data.
4) When you have your first five questions, make a list of five more related questions which cannot be answered by these data but could be answered if additional fields were added. After each question, name the missing fields which must be added.
5) If time permits before the group discussion of this activity, make a list of 3-4 new understandings you or your partner have gained about databases by doing this activity.
When you are done, please call your workshop leader over to see your ideas.
Please do not move ahead to the next activity until asked to do so by your workshop leader.
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© 2000, Jamie McKenzie. All rights reserved.