Create Your Own Experiment

In class we have been practicing using the scientific method. You will put this knowledge to the test. You need to come up with your own idea for a simple (and inexpensive) experiment. Make sure that this is something that you can do safely at home. Then you need to complete the lab and write up all the steps of a formal lab report. You may complete this with a partner. 

Before you begin the experiment...

Turn in a sheet of paper with your experiment idea and it must be signed by a parent or guardian.  This activity can be worth up to 7 Extra Credit test points!!!

Good Luck!

Lab Write Up Guidelines
click here for a printable, pdf version


The title can be as catchy or serious as you want, as long as it tells what the lab will be about.

Question or Problem Statement

- This is sometimes given to you.This question explains the purpose of the lab.
The first word is “To”
The second word is an action verb such as observe, test, record, measure, which is followed by “the affect of”


Independent Variable (IV) - Is what the experimenter is changing on purpose.
- Starts with “The independent variable, which will be changed and tested is…”
Dependent Variable (DV) - Is something that can be measured in numbers (unless teacher tells you otherwise).
Starts with “The dependent variable, which will be measured is…”

Control Group

- This is what everything else is being compared to.
- Starts with “The control is…”


- The hypothesis is a prediction of what you think will happen based on what you already know.
- Starts with “If the (DV) is related to the (IV), then (prediction) .”


- Make a bulleted list of all the materials. Include the quantities.


Make a numbered list of what is to be done in the experiment.
The steps should begin with action verbs (pour, measure, write, etc).
Make sure to include repeat trials.
Draw a diagram of the set up of the experiment.

Data Table/Observations

- Create a data table to display the results of the trials
- Include appropriate headings, units, and a title.
- The title should follow the format “The effect of (IV) on the (DV)”


- Choose an appropriate graph based on the type of data gathered- Include a title that matches the data table, labels for the x and y-axis, and all the units.

Results (paragraph form)

- Must have an introduction and a conclusion.
- Explain what happened.
- Summarize the data table (be specific).

Sources of Error

- Describe 3-5 human errors, environmental factors, or problems with materials that may have affected the results. Write as a sentence.

Conclusion (paragraph form)

1st sentence – state the purpose of the lab
2nd sentence – restate the hypothesis-
3rd sentence – state whether your hypothesis was correct or not
4th sentence – summarize the results of the data table -
5th sentence – explain how this lab helps you understand the world around you 


NASA Daily Image

NASA Image Of The Day
Hubble Sees a Galaxy With a Glowing Heart
This view, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a nearby spiral galaxy known as NGC 1433. At about 32 million light-years from Earth, it is a type of very active galaxy known as a Seyfert galaxy ? a classification that accounts for 10% of all galaxies. They have very bright, luminous centers that are comparable in brightness to that of our entire galaxy, the Milky Way. Galaxy cores are of great interest to astronomers. The centers of most, if not all, galaxies are thought to contain a supermassive black hole, surrounded by a disk of in-falling material. NGC 1433 is being studied as part of a survey of 50 nearby galaxies known as the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS). Ultraviolet radiation is observed from galaxies, mainly tracing the most recently formed stars. In Seyfert galaxies, ultraviolet light is also thought to emanate from the accretion discs around their central black holes. Studying these galaxies in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum is incredibly useful to study how the gas is behaving near the black hole. This image was obtained using a mix of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light. LEGUS will study a full range of properties from a sample of galaxies, including their internal structure. This Hubble survey will provide a unique foundation for future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). ALMA has already caught unexpected results relating to the center of NGC 1433, finding a surprising spiral structure in the molecular gas close to the center of NGC 1433. The astronomers also found a jet of material flowing away from the black hole, extending for only 150 light-years ? the smallest such molecular outflow ever observed in a galaxy beyond our own. European Space Agency Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: D. Calzetti (UMass) and the LEGUS Team...
11 Jul 2014