Applied Science - Science and Math (6B)
Post Lab

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Designing an experiment.
  • Comparing research and development with the scientific method.
VOCABULARY:
  • hypothesis
  • procedure
  • research and development
  • scientific method
MATERIALS:
  •  worksheet

Students design a science project.

BACKGROUND:

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 life. 

PROCEDURE:

  1. 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.
      
  2. 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. 
      
  3. This assignment should be saved especially if your school requires a science fair project.

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