Crest Awards Creativity. Perseverance. Solving a problem which concerns individuals, our community or the environment
Choose a Topic! • Select a topic that interests you. • Something you are prepared to WORK on for a few weeks. • Be creative and original. • Some ideas: are use by dates accurate? UV tolerance of microorganisms. Stain removal from clothing. Prolonging the life of cut flowers. What material makes the best lab coat?
More ideas • How can you grow a bigger pumpkin? • How can you prevent bread from going mouldy? • How can I stop snails from eating lettuce seedlings • How polluted is Stoney Creek? • Brainstorm ideas with friends and family. Don’t criticise, just come up with ideas.
Possible topics to research • Write down a few things that interest you. • Make a list of ideas you have for your research topic. You can use ideas from previous slides, from brainstorming or try going to http://www.csiro.au/resources/ps1z1.html For a video clip and more ideas to get you started.
Decide on your problem to solve! • What are you actually going to do? • What are you going to find out? • What measurements and observations will you need to take? • What results do you expect to obtain? • Which factors will affect the results?
Your Experiment • The hypothesis is an educated guess about what you think will happen in a certain set of circumstances or conditions. • You will need to decide on what the conditions are. • Keep as many factors the same as possible, so that the results can be clearly interpreted.
Equipment • Decide on the equipment that you are going to use and the method you that you will use. • You may need to borrow or build equipment ( or use equipment in another facility).
The Variables- factors that could change during the experiment. • For your experiment to be a fair test, as many variables as possible are kept the same, while you change only one particular variable. • In this way you can sort out which change lead to the results that you obtained.
The independent variable is what you deliberately change. It is what you are testing. • The dependent variable is what changes as a result. This must be measurable.
Accuracy • When making measurements, you need to be careful to ensure that they are as accurate as possible. • Measuring carefully, reduces errors.
Repeating an experiment more than once, will give you confidence in your results. • You need to repeat the experiment until you get consistent results. • Scientists then average these to get an answer to their question.
All measuring instruments have their limits. A wooden ruler has an accuracy of 1mm, so the most accurate a reading could be, would be to the nearest 0.5mm. You cannot use 3.42685cm !
Keeping a log. • Record your hypothesis, aim, equipment list, method, diagrams of equipment, results, research and all other work and problems in a book, NOT on scraps of paper. Photographs are easy.
We have emailed a sample book to you at your DET address. • Print it out and put it into a folder. • This needs to be handed in to your teacher for checking. • Also include the date and time spent on each activity. Depending on your project, you might also include weather conditions, time etc.
Remember • Experiments usually don’t work the first time. • Modify. • Alter equipment, solutions etc. • Record alterations, problems, how they were overcome. • Repeat your experiment. • Do the work yourself. Please discuss your research freely, ask advice, find answers BUT do the work yourself.
Recording Results. • Photographs? • Can you tabulate, graph, diagram, spreadsheet? • Get creative! • Look at the results: what do they mean? Do you need to modify? Are the results unexpected? Have you repeated your experiment enough times?
Reflection • Work through your results to see if they support your hypothesis or not. Do you need to do more experimenting? • The final part of the project involves a discussion of results. Describe difficulties you encountered and how they were overcome. Include suggestions for further improvement. • Write a conclusion, based on the results you got and your hypothesis.
Acknowledgments • It is important to acknowledge any help you had from friends, teachers, parents, mentors etc. • Include a bibliography, include websites, books, experts in the field, anything or one that gave you ideas or help.