Students should recognize
that scientific experiments don't just "happen." A scientist first
has to learn about a subject and then find a problem that needs to be solved
from that subject. The scientific method requires a scientist to
think about the subject before they experiment.
The key point of this post lab
is for students to realize that designing an experiment is fun, but
it can also be frustrating. Sometimes experiments just don't work!
However, when an experiment doesn't work, you have also learned something.
Either something was wrong with the design of the experiment or the answer
was not an option for that experiment. This is information that a
scientist can build on. Science today is mainly accomplished by what
is termed "research and development" or R and D. This refers to laboratories,
either government or industry, that follow certain paths. With each
new piece of information, they might redirect their experiment. In
other words, the project develops and the end product may be usable or
not. Research and development is a way to get more creative ideas.
Science is part play, part serious,
but mainly taking results and continuing to seek an answer. This
process of reasoning and logic is important in other parts of a studentís
- This worksheet
can be a homework assignment. If students have been in a rigorous science
program this assignment will not be difficult, because they can refer to
many of the previous labs that they may have completed. However,
if their science background is poor, they may have difficulty. You
then may want to do the assignment as a class project.
- Make sure that students
know that they can consult a library, a scientist, or they can even write
a letter to a company that they may be interested in. Many students
may pick subjects that they cannot formulate an experiment from.
You may ask them to try again.
- This assignment should
be saved especially if your school requires a science fair project.