Environmental Systems and Society Internal Assessment
Planning Create a question and plan an experiment that controls the variables and measures sufficient relevant data.
Aspect 1: Defining the problem and selecting variables The problem or research question must be clearly stated, possibly in the form of a hypothesis. Clearly state the relevant variables in the investigation, including those to be measured and those to be controlled. Include relevant background material. Cite the resource used.
Aspect one: The hypothesis or question must be specific to your investigation. Which type of beans will you use? Which acid will be used? How long will the experiment run? What will you measure? You must be very clear!
Variables Independent variable: This variable is the one that you change. Change it five different times. Dependent variable: This is the variable that is measured. State how it will be measured. Controlled variables: State how these will be kept the same.
Aspect 2: Controlling variables Design a method that will control the variables. The materials should be listed. A diagram is helpful. The steps should be listed step by step.
Aspect 3: Developing a method for collection of data Design a method so that sufficient relevant data can be collected to answer the research question. “Sufficient” will depend upon the nature of the investigation and the time available to the student. (Vary the independent variable 5 times) Measurements should be taken three times so they can be averaged. Each trial should be repeated three times.
Data collection, processing and presentation Investigations based on either primary or secondary data can be assessed here. Data may be quantitative or qualitative and may consist of numerical measurements, observations, drawings, maps, photographs, results of questionnaires or interviews.
Aspect 1: Recording data Data must be organized and correctly labeled. Data should be in tables. The tables need a descriptive title. The units and range of uncertainties should be on the top. Qualitative observations should be included. (Observations)
Aspect 2: Processing data • Manipulate the raw data before it is finally presented. • Manipulation of data includes: Grouping elements from raw data, Calculation of mean values Calculations of percentages Calculations of indices Statistical tests. • Show ONE sample calculation. • State if the calculation is done with excel. • Round to the correct number of significant figures.
Aspect 3: Presenting processed data • Display the processed data to best effect and aids interpretation. • Presentation of data may take many forms, including graphical models such as kite diagrams, maps, charts, flow diagrams or annotated drawings. • Graphs must be very neat and precise. • Use scientific conventions. • Include headings, titles and labels
Discussion, evaluation and conclusion The results are discussed and reviewed, procedures are evaluated and conclusions are drawn. In the process of reviewing, evaluating and concluding, demonstrate an ability to coherently discuss the broader significance of their findings.
Aspect 1: Discussing and reviewing In the discussion, review and analyze the results. Consider the results in the context of relevant literature, accepted scientific understanding/models and class discussions as appropriate. Identify trends, patterns and/or anomalies that may or may not agree with established theory. Include a reference to a reading in a text or other resource.
Aspect 2: Evaluate the procedure and suggest improvements Evaluate the investigation in a constructive and reflective way. Recognize strengths but also use weaknesses and limitations to suggest realistic improvements. Consider procedures, limitations of equipment, use of equipment, management of time, investigation timing, data quality (accuracy and precision) and relevance of data. Every weakness must have an improvement
Evaluate an experiment conducted in an Ecotron Suggest weaknesses Suggest limitations Suggest a realistic improvement for each weakness or limitation
Aspect 3: Concluding Provide a concise and clear conclusion that is supported by the evidence from the data and their discussion. In other words… State the conclusion. State the evidence from the data that supports this. Get to the point.
Personal skills • This criterion is assessed summatively once only at the end of the course.
Aspect 1: carrying out techniques Be able to carry out a range of techniques competently, follow instructions, and assemble and use equipment with precision and accuracy. • Show that you know how to follow instructions and use lab equipment.
Aspect 2: Working in a team Recognize the contribution of others. Contribute to the team Encourage others to contribute. Demonstrate that you can exchange ideas, and integrate your ideas with the ideas of other people into decision‑making.
Aspect 3: Working safely and ethically Adhere to safe and ethical working practices. Demonstrating academic integrity. Properly cite secondary sources Do not falsify data and avoid plagiarism. Due attention to environmental impact may be demonstrated in various ways, including avoidance of wastage, using safe waste disposal, and minimizing damage to local environments while undertaking an investigation.