Design Plan: –
You are to write a mini report that explains basically your intentions for your research project. In this you should:
– State the Problem/idea that you wish to investigate
– Design a logical procedure to investigate this problem/ideas
– Create an appropriate timeline
– Identify and briefly describe the format you will use to communicate and present your findings
– Complete a draft payout of the investigation (diagram(s),table(s),sequencing etc.)
– Outline the skills/techniques you will develop/enhance during the investigation
– identify the resources/materials/contacts needed to set up the investigation
– List/Reference some secondary sources that you have found/will find or use during your investigation
– Write a brief paragraph to explain how you have maintained, and intend to maintain your “log book/work dairy”.
Criteria for marking
Marks __/18 – your design plan will be marked in this way using the marking guides:
1. Clearly stated then problem/idea
2. Described a logical procedure for undertaking the investigation
3. Identified and appropriate timeline
4. Identified and described the presentation format
5. Set down a draft layout
6. Outlined the skills/techniques that will be developed/enhanced
7. Identified all appropriate resources/materials/contacts that will be used
8. Listed/Referenced secondary sources.
9. Evidences the appropriate use of a “log book/work diary”.
Part of the final mark for your project is given for the final report and part of the mark is for your planning and the work you complete along the way. To help assess your planning and work throughout the project you will need to keep a project Logbook or diary. This is a dairy in which you record a brief summary of what you do each time you do some work on your project. You may want to keep a physical Logbook or keep an electronic Logbook on your computer.
NOTE: your Logbook is a diary of your project – not everything that happens in your life! Include ideas, research, plans, difficulties and changes but make sure you stick your topic – your research project.
* Begin your Logbook with an outline of what your project is about – what you want to investigate, what activities you think you will carry out and why you are going this topic. Discuss this outline with your teacher and make any changes suggested.
* Set out a week-by-week of what you think you will do. You will need to change the plan as you go along, but it will help to set the work out at the beginning – it will surprise you how much there is to do.
* Treat your Logbook as a diary – record every piece of work you do (e.g. library visits, interviews, telephone calls.) It is your way of showing your teacher that you have taken the project seriously and worked consistently.
* Record your failures as well as your successes – note phone call details even if the person you called was no help, record details of library visits even if you couldn”t find the information you needed, record all letters sent even if you don”t receive replies and so on.
* Record all experiments carried out and results obtained.
* Keep rough drafts of surveys and letters as well as a copy of the final product.
* Record the details of all books, magazines etc while using them so that is easy to complete a bibliography for your final report – include author, title, publisher, date of publication and the pages that you referred to. This will save time later.
* Record details of all letters sent and phone calls made as well as surveys handed out and interviews you conducted.
This type of research project provides you with the opportunity to explore a scientific concept in detail. In consists of two main parts:
* Gathering relevant information: This could involve collecting your own data, through conducting surveys for example. Alternatively, you may want to gather information from books, journals and the internet, as well as talking to experts in the field you are studying.
* Most importantly, understanding the information you have gathered: A research study is NOT just a summary of what you can find on the internet. You need to take the information you have gathered and use it as the basis for your own thinking and processing. Ask yourself questions such as “How are these two facts related?”, “What is causing this trend in the data?”, “How does this relate to other aspects of Science and life?” These questions may lead you on to further research. If you have collected numerical data you will need to use statistics to analyse its meaning and relevance.
These are the main steps you will need to follow to complete a successful study:
1. Initial research: Spend some time thinking about and researching an aspect of science which interests you. Your aim at this point is to focus in on one particular question. For example, you may be interested in the current debate over global warming. So you could have a look in the library and on the internet. You may find that you are particularly interested in the evidence used to support the theory of global warming.
2. Formulate a question: Your research should lead you to a particular question which you want to base your research on. The more specific the question, the easier your research will be. For example, you could ask: “Does Sydney”s temperature over the past 50 years reflect the theory of global warming?”
3. Write a hypothesis: Before you go any further, write a statement which summarises what you are expecting to find.
4. Conduct your research: This could take one of two forms:
(a) Collect your own data by designing and conducting a survey. For example, looking at the eating habits of teenagers, or observing the behaviour of bees and how they
are influenced by flower colour. You will need to collect a lot of data for its to be meaningful. You will also need to conduct other research to help you interpret your data.
(b) Consult a wide variety of information sources: Scientific journals, experts in the field, books, carefully selected internet sites. Make sure you keep a good records of where you have collected your information from. Make sure you understand and explain the underlying scientific principles of the subject/problem you are studying. Explore the key points, problems and issues related to your subject matter. Ensure that your information is accurate and complete.
. Draw your conclusion: This is where you draw together all your thoughts and ideas. Has your question been answered? Was your hypothesis supported?
The Study Report
The study Report must show evidence if analysis of data and evidence of any ideas or applications that you have developed. The report will be marked on how well you can explain how you looked at the existing data, and why you interpreted in a particular way. Since you will be using a lot of information from scientific journals or previous research, it is essential to properly source everything.
There are three main parts of a Study Report, as outlined below:
1. Introduction – This includes the following:
– An objective or problem statement
– A review of the relevant background research
– Your hypothesis statement
2. Methods – This is where you explain any procedures that you undertook to gather your own data, or outline the sources that you used (including why you used them).
3. Analysis – This is the main section of your Study Report. It is where you discuss the links that you have drawn between the background research and your own findings. It includes:
– A critical analysis of the data
– A discussion of your conclusions, including how your conclusions are supported by the literature
– A discussion of any potential issues that have arisen as a result of your conclusions, or how your conclusions might be used.
4. References/Bibliography – This must be complete and correctly formatted.
Some examples of study project ideas are:
* Smell and emotions: Do smells or odors have an effect of people”s mood? If they do, how do they affect moods and emotions?
* Stimuli response and age: Explore the relationship between response time and age in humans. Does it deteriorate with age? If so, by so much?
* Explore and compare animal DNA and plant DNA. What different exists between them and is this a large difference?
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