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 20 Extra Credit test points!!!
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…”
- 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.
- 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