Lab project 1

You are to do an actual research project (NOT just a “paper”) where you try to answer a question by conducting a substantive controlled, well-thought-out experiment.  Post your ideas and issues in the Discussions for us all to comment on.  Be sure to also post your summary by the deadline.  See examples below and be sure to review the attached grading rubric carefully to see what the standards for the assignment will be!

Start by watching this video:

Your first project assignment is to use the steps in the scientific method to form a hypothesis concerning a testable observation, then plan and conduct an experiment or data collection to test your hypothesis and draw conclusions.

Make an observation about something that you are not sure what the “answer” Is:
Here are some examples from previous student groups:

            -Tall people seem to wear larger shoes than short ones.

People with light-colored eyes are said to have weaker vision.
            -Everyone knows that people driving red sports cars are stopped more often by the police for speeding.

You get the picture, right? These are things you can actually go out and collect data on, by examining records, taking surveys or even better, by your own direct observation!

Propose a TESTABLE (Links to an external site.), FALSIFIABLE (Links to an external site.) HYPOTHESIS  (Links to an external site.)which may explain your observation, using your best critical thinking skills.
FOR EXAMPLE:  “People’s height correlates well with shoe size” is a testable (Links to an external site.) and falsifiable (Links to an external site.) hypothesis.

Plan an experiment (Links to an external site.)/data collection procedure that allows you to test your hypothesis:
Consider things like bias (Links to an external site.), the need for blinding (Links to an external site.), random sampling (Links to an external site.), and or a control group (Links to an external site.). For example, you have to compare the blue-eyed people to those with other colors! The more thought you put into controlling the variables (Links to an external site.) the better and more meaningful (and believable) your data will be to others.

Execute the experiment or data collection as planned and report your data. Statistical analysis is not required but remember its importance in the “real world”! Charts and graphs are highly desirable ..they make your results much more visually appealing and easier to interpret.
  5.  Examine your data critically, draw conclusions (Links to an external site.), state whether your initial hypothesis was supported, and then critically assess where you could improve your design and/or modify your hypothesis.

Once you have done all this, write up your project in the format provided above including a 250 word maximum summary (in science we call this an Abstract) of your ENTIRE project from start to finish including conclusions and future directions.
Submit your project report either as a .doc, ,docx, or .rtf file attachment OR copy-paste your report to the submission box if you have any problem attaching files (it happens!) in Assignments.

Your complete 250 word or less summary MUST also be posted on the Discussion Board in the appropriate thread by the project deadline.

Here are some great links to help you along the way!

Topic Selection Wizard (Links to an external site.)

Project Guide (Links to an external site.)

You should follow the following format EXACTLY (including using the section headings) in your report.  There are also sample projects attached, be sure to look at those!  Here is the ONLY approved format for this research report:


Name                                                                                                                                                    Date

Title of Project

Abstract (Your 250-word maximum one-paragraph summary of everything you did, your results and conclusions)

Statement of problem: Describe your observation or problem that raises a question you want to answer with experimentation.
For Example I can never get rid of a funky smell in my dark T shirts…

Statement of working hypothesis:
This is a more formal statement of what you think is going on and plan to test in scientific terms.

For Example My hypothesis is that some product or combination of products X, Y, or Z will remove the smell without the use of bleach and hot water.

Experimental design and methods:
This is where you describe in as exact terms as possible what you used and what you did to address your  hypothesis and (try to) answer tour question.

For exampleHow many shirts, what colors, control shirts used (untreated dark and maybe bleached white as comparisons), how many times repeated, type of washing machine used, water temp, wash cycle, a scale to rate the smell, how many smell tester’s opinions did you get?  Male, female, age? ALL DETAILS REQUIRED.

This section should be detailed enough for anyone to understand and be able to duplicate EXACTLY what you did!

Results: What worked, or what didn’t. Details of your results/data are required.  Charts, graphs, etc. go here and are highly encouraged.  Pictures may be included too (before and after, for example).  Be sure to title all graphs, charts, and pictures appropriately and include a descriptive caption!
Conclusions/future directions:
What can you say from your results? But be careful not to over-interpret (a common non-scientist mistake).  Explain anything that didn’t work as you expected and discuss what you would logically want to do next if you continued this line of investigation.

For Example What is true for black shirts may not be true for gray or green…you can hypothesize about them here but NOT claim anything if all you did was black ones. Also, if this leads you to want to test other cleaning products or other shirt colors, or you think more needs to be done in cleaning product development by companies …This is where you can speculate!

References are highly desirable (include ALL outside resources you used such as product labels or inserts).

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