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Testing a New Drug 1
Examples of Student Work
Contributed by: New York State Alternative Assessment in Science Project (NYSED)

Student Work #1

Task: At this station, you will be establishing the conditions under which a new experimental drug will be tested.


The drug ALAMAIN has been developed by the Gentronic Drug Company to lower blood pressure in people whose blood pressure is too high. The drug has been thoroughly tested on animals with positive results. The Gentronic Drug Company feels it is now time for the drug to be tested on humans, and have contacted the Human Improvement Laboratory to do the testing.


As chief research scientist at the Human Improvement Laboratory (HIL) you have been assigned the task of developing the human testing program for the new high blood pressure drug Alamain. You and your assistants are to confer on the experimental design of this testing program, and to write a report outlining the program. The report is to be submitted to the chairperson of the HIL Drug-Testing Committee for approval. Complete the following sections as you would include them on your report.

  1. Using complete sentences state the hypothesis to be tested.
  2. A. How many people will be included in the experimental and the control groups.
  3. B. Using complete sentences explain your answer.

  1. Since there are several contributing factors that can affect high blood pressure, list five factors that will be constant between the experimental and the control groups.

  2. Based on the factors list in Question 3, using complete sentences explain why certain criteria need to be used in choosing the participants in this study.
  3. Once the list of participants has been created, using complete sentences explain how they will be selected to be a member of either the experimental or the control group.

  5. Using complete sentences, explain the characteristics of what must be given to the control group in place of the experimental drug to act as a placebo , and why the participants should be given this substance. Note: The drug Alamain is to be developed as a pill to be taken orally with water.
  6. Using complete sentences, suggest how often the drug is to be administered to the experimental group, and the placebo control group.
  7. Using complete sentences, explain what measurements and/or tests will be made on the experimental and control groups to judge the efficiency of Alamain, and how often measurements and/or tests will be taken.
  8. Using complete sentences, explain what criteria will be used to indicate the success or failure of the drug Alamain to reduce high blood pressure in humans.


Circle the student's score for each question. Add points for each question and write the total score at the bottom of the scoring form.

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