SCIENCE PROJECT - MRS. SHEFFIELD 1998-1999
In addition to the explorations you carry out in class, you
are also expected to conduct your own major project in science. This project
may arise out of something covered in class, or you may choose to investigate
a topic that is of special interest to you. You are expected to carry out
your own designed experiment or design and produce an innovation.
Planning a Science Project
If you are not sure what topic to choose, make a list of your
interests. Then, list as many observations as you can about each one. Use
your list as a jumping-off place for planning your project. Your project
should be a controlled experiment , correlational
study or an invention . An example of each is
provided for you on the overhead.
Choosing A Project
After you have explored some project ideas, answering the
following questions may help you decide on the project best for you.
What do I know about the topic already?
Do I have time to do the project?
If I want to work with a partner, do we work well together?
How difficult will it be to find the materials?
Do I have access to the appropriate measuring instruments?
Do I have the space to set up equipment and tests?
Would my project be ethical? (You cannot experiment with live vertebrate
Designing and Conducting an Experiment
Source: Science- 9 ©Nelson Canada, 1995.
A correlational study is an alternative to a controlled experiment.
In a correlational study, a scientist examines whether a variable is affecting
another variable without purposely changing any of the variables. Instead,
variables are allowed to change naturally.
Example : Looking at the relationship between students'
hearing ability and the volume of the music they listen to. In gathering
data, it would be unethical to make students listen to loud music and then
measure hearing damage. However, you could ask many students what the volume
settings are on their radios, determine how loud these sounds are with a
sound meter, and then test the students' hearing. Correlate the radio volume
with each students' hearing ability.
Data would be gathered in a table and then made into a graph. From the graph
a conclusion can be gathered in reference to the question being investigated.
Inventions can be thought of as solutions to complaints, irritations
or problems that we observe in our lives. One of the easiest ways to invent
is to choose one variable in an existing product and change it a little
at a time. The result of each change should be recorded, so the best changes
can be determined.
The designing and testing of an invention are very similar to the procedures
used in experimentation. If you wish an example I can photocopy one for
you. Just ask!!!
SCIENCE PROJECT TIMELINE
The following is what needs to be passed in to me
over the next few months. This allows you time to get organized and allows
me to see how you are doing. All project ideas must be approved by me!!!
The proposal is a write up which explains to me what you are
going to do. Your proposal should include the question you are trying to
answer or investigate, a hypothesis (which is your best educated guess as
to what the answer will be), a list of materials needed to perform the experiment,
and the steps of the procedure.
The proposal can be written on both sides of the paper. Skip a line between
sections in the proposal. Please use blue or black pen. If partners, one
proposal with both names. Note: The teacher can and will
veto any inappropriate project ideas.
Due Date: Monday, October 26th Value: 5%
This is an update on your experimenting. By now your experiment
or invention should be well under way and you are busy collecting data.
In this proposal update, you are to include: progress of your experiment,
difficulties encountered and any data collected to date. Your data can be
in the form of raw data.
Date Due: Tuesday, January 12th Value: 3 %
Presenting Your Project
You will present your project findings to the class. Bring in your
backboard , written report and any other
pertinent information vital to your project. Your presentation should be
about five to seven minutes in length. You will be marked
on both your oral and written presentation. You will need to leave your
project at school and be prepared to take it home in a few days. There will
be a sign up sheet for you to sign up for a time to present. You must be
in school on the day you are scheduled to present!!!!
Dates: February 16th, 17th, 19th Value: 20%
Every project must be accompanied with a written report. Your report
must contain the following:
Title Page: Title of project should be centered. Your name,
section and date should be centered about three-quarters down the page.
Table of The sections of your report should be listed in
Contents: along with the corresponding pages.
Reporting Follow the outine given to you on formal lab
Your Work: Make sure your procedure is well outlined so another
could clearly follow the steps to carry out your experiment or invention.
Further Your written report tells what is important to know
Explanation about your experiment, but this section provides you
of the with an opportunity to elaborate. Highlight any
Experiment/ difficulties and how you overcame them. You should
Invention: also include a discussion of further research
that the results of your experiment/invention might suggest to you. Any
other pertinent and interesting information concerning your experiment/inventionshould
be included in this section.
Background This section represents general information of the topic
Information: but no specific information on the experiment/invention.
Bibliography: Bibliography goes at the very end of the report.
It is a list of all encyclopedia articles, books, magazines, journal articles,
pamphlets, internet and other sources you used to do your project. Put in
alphabetical order according to last name of author. You can also list names
of people here if that was a resource.
When constructing a backboard here are some things to keep
*Make sure it is sturdy and can stand on its own.
*Collect a variety of display items - pictures, photos, charts, graphs.
*Use different size letters for the text. Most important should have the
*Place title in central location.
*Make all lettering neat and easy to read.
*Correct spelling and grammar is essential.
*Simple is best: Use the same kind of lettering throughout.
*Place results in a prominent position.
*Don't cram things together - place only the most important things on the
*Develop a catchy title realted to the problem you investigated.
Practise giving your presentation to friends or family members.
If you have a partner divide the presentation equally.
Prepare for questions by doing some reading.
Your presentation could include the following:
- goal of your project
- why was the topic interesting
- what methods did you use to gather data
- what are the major results of your project
- what conclusions did you make
- how might the findings of your project help others