Archive for May, 2012

Conducting a Scientific Investigation (continued)

In the last post we decided to conduct an investigation using a specific objective. Then we gathered all the equipment and material that we would need to conduct this scientific investigation and now we do the actual recording of relevant data. This will help us measure the different variables that make up a part of our objective under study.

Remember it is this raw data that will give you a possible way to negate or prove that objective under consideration. So take all possible care to record this data as accurately as possible. Once the data has been collected you will need to write a report expounding just what you did and what you were able to prove.

The report must be as close to the process that you actually followed. Do not think of fabricating any part of the report as an experienced teacher will be able to catch you out instantly. Try be as honest to the actual experiment that you conducted in the report.

The Science Fair project is now ready for display. Take the highlights of your study and make a nice three fold display out of it. Make sure that you cover all stages of the scientific investigation in detail on the display board as not everyone is going to have the time to read your report on the project.

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Conducting a Scientific Investigation

With physics based science fair projects a working model is the most popular way to win over a jury, however it is not your only option for a science fair entry. You can also organize a scientific investigation in such a manner that the study becomes your science fair project.Here’s what you will need to do.

Start with a valid objective. Define just what you intend to study in as many details and variables as you can possibly find. The more measurable details that you have in your objective the easier it will be to conduct your study with accuracy. So define the objective well.

After that is done make a list of all the things that you will need for your study. Special equipment aside make lists of basic supplies such as pencils, scales and erasers as well. It is quite frustrating to want to record some details to study later only to realize that your notebook is all used up!

Now you are all set to begin your study. Designate the time that you will be conducting the study. Some projects like the study of the moon phase, for instance, will require you to record your observations only at night. This could be a problem if your parents are not too keen on your staying up at odd hours like an owl. So pick your subject of scientific investigation carefully.

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The Fireproof Balloon

A balloon is always viewed as a fragile thing with a relatively short life. The mere thought that one could be fireproof seems ludicrous. However as you must know, with science the impossible is just a misguided experiment away. So here we have a tryst with a fireproof balloon.

For this science experiment you are going to need two balloons of the same size, a box of matches, a couple of  candles and a glass of water. Blow up the first balloon with air and keep it aside. The second balloon will be filled with the water from the glass and blown to the same proportion as the first balloon.

Now use the box of matches to light the two candles.  Fix them firmly on the ground and bring one balloon each above them. As the first balloon filled with only air comes in contact with the steady heat emitted by the candle it will burst. However the second balloon will not.

The balloon with the water in it seems to be fireproof. Why does this happen? Its simple if you apply the principles of science. The water in the second balloon absorbs the heat from the candle and does not allow the rubber to get overheated making the air inside the balloon expand continuously and burst. A simple and effective science experiment.

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Flower Power

What started as a status symbol in the 1960s has become a 30 billion dollar market in this century. Developing new breeds of resilient flowers through genetic modification and science experiments is indeed a global business today. Successful breeding of a species of flowers can involve the elimination of many thousands of varieties.

The seasonal blooms that graced the garden have now been replaced by cut flowers from hot houses. You no longer have to wait for a specific season to buy a specific flower for you vase at home. The global flower markets have ensured that you can get just about any bloom that your heart desires in any month you want it, as long as you can pay the right price for it.

More than half of the world’s cultivated hot house roses come from northern Germany near Hamburg. Flowers grown in the hot houses of Kenya will survive 2 weeks as they are transported and sold in the wholesale markets of Europe. And now China has decided to enter the flower market with the aim of taking over the sales in the Asian segment of the flower market.

In monetary figures the global flower market is larger than the global music industry. The constant research to improve quality offers plenty of opportunity in the field. So you may just want to try your hand at a science project based on glowing flowers.

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Survival Games

Each species on our planet has its own unique survival techniques. A number of science research projects have proved that these techniques are often inborn. Some of them are learned behavior that the growing organism picks up but more often than not, survival is embedded in its genes.

Take for instance the cooperation of the of the Meerkats of Africa. These distant cousins of the raccoon are no more than 30 cm tall. They live in groups in underground tunnels. However they show major traits of cooperation. When the group comes out of the tunnels to forage for food one member stands on sentry duty. While the others eat this sentry keeps an eye out for danger in the area.

The sentry is usually on higher ground such as a rock or a tree top. It may seem that the Meerkat on sentry duty is more vulnerable than the rest of its group close to the ground, but his warning cry help save more members of the group. At the same time the sentry is amongst the first to jump to safety after giving the warning cry. So its behavior of cooperation is not always totally altruistic.

In a similar manner human groups also enlist cooperation for survival. It may not be as clearly evident in our lives today as it was in the lives of the cave men ages ago, but the trait has ensured our survival. Maybe an interesting science project would be to list the ways human society still cooperates, but uses money to make it more of a transaction rather than a helpful action.

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