Archive for April, 2010

Comparing Planets

This assignment is to compare information about the planets in our solar system.  First you will want to open this spreadsheet, and take a look at the information that needs to be found on each planet.  You will then need to go to File>Download as>Excel.  Once you have opened the spreadsheet in Excel, Save File As and rename, and then use the internet to find the answers to fill in the blanks.  After the entire spreadsheet has been filled out, you will then choose to compare different categories (categories are the columns, or the words along the top) or planets (the 9 planets along the left side).

For example, if I wanted to find out the average distance from the sun between all the planets, I would be comparing every planet for my first task.  I would:

  • First select the B12 box.
  • Then I would go to the Formulas tab and find the word that says Auto Sum.
  • Next to Auto Sum, I would click the arrow and go down until I find Average, and then click it.
  • Once I have clicked average, I will see dotted lines form around column 2.  I will want to click and drag from boxes B1 to B10 to find out the average of those numbers, and then hit Enter.
  • A number should appear in box B12, telling you the average.

Now that you know how to find the average, use this to compare other categories.  Before you do these steps again, make a prediction about what you think the average will be for the categories you choose to compare.  Which average do you think will be larger?  Why? Follow the steps above to find out averages that interest you.  Once you have followed this step,  you are going to make a graph to illustrate the information you have found.

For example, I may make a graph showing the differences between the distance from the sun, and the difference between the diameter.  Making a graph could be done one of two ways. I could first make a graph illustrating the differences between the average.   To do this:

  • Select both of my averages in boxes B12 and C12.
  • Then go up to the Insert tab, and click on Bar Graph, selecting the type of bar graph I would want to use.
  • The bar graph that appears is showing the difference between the average.

Another way to make a graph of my information:

  • Select every box from B1 to C10.
  • Then go to the same Insert tab, find Bar Graph, and select which type of graph I would like to use.
  • By doing this, I can see the comparison between not only the distance from the sun and the diameter, but I can see the comparison for each planet.
  • Make sure that for either graph you choose to use, you label the graph to make sure we understand what information is where.

After you have finished comparing averages and making a graph, you will want to save this file again, and then print it out and turn it in.