ACT Science 3.3 Research Summary Passage
ACT Science: Research Summary Passage Drill 3, Problem. What is the key feature that defines this experimental apparatus?
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So... what is this question asking?
What in the world is an "experimental apparatus?"
The first sentence of the experiment states that the scientists developed the experimental
apparatus depicted in Figure 1.
So, using our fabulous deducing skills...
the apparatus is probably the set-up for the experiment.
Here's an even more precise definition: the apparatus is the way the experiment is set
up so that it can serve a particular purpose.
So...for example, this apparatus does not include a ball of cotton candy stuck to the
end of the tube because it wouldn't serve a purpose in the experiment.
The ants would no doubt enjoy the addition.
Anyway, the question is asking us to identify the key feature...the most important part
of the set-up that helps the scientists find what they're looking for.
According to the passage, the scientists wanted to see whether or not the ants could return
to their nest on a different path.
What part of the apparatus makes sure that the ants are using a different
path on the journey home?
Well, options A and B are indicating the actual tubes that the ants are crawling on.
But...the feature that's stopping the ants from using the SAME tube is the fact that
the ingoing bridge is elevated 4.5 cm off the ground.
The poor ants can't reach the tube that they came from,
so they're forced to go home via a different route.
The scientists have successfully designed the apparatus to satisfy their purpose.
And we've figured out our answer to the problem... it has to be option C.