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HOW TO DESIGN AN EXPERIMENT

1. ASPECT 1

There are 2 items under aspect 1

a. Formulating or asking the Question (research question) b. Identifying and Selecting the relevant variable (factors) suitable for the experiment you want to design

a. Formulating or asking the research Question (Focused Problem)

i. Ask a specific question;
ii. The question must be a problem you want to solve (and can be solved) which is based on the general topic/question given by the teacher; iii. There may be a lot of issues to a particular problem that can be investigated BUT just ask only one of those questions/ just deal with one of them; iv. The question must carry a question mark (?)

b. Identifying the variables (factors)

i. Most of the time, you may want to find out how the change [or alteration or varying] any factor (variable) may affect another; ii. The variables may be: time, temperature, concentration, pH, space, wind, humidity, pressure; and iii. There are four (3) types of the variables

1. Independent– the one you want to change, vary or manipulate; 2. Dependent– the result (s) you get (or you want to get) from changing the first and here again you must decide on only one even though there may be many; and 3. Controlled– the variable you not touch or those you keep constant or keep the same. 2. ASPECT 2

How to effective control the variables
i. List all the controlled variables as far that particular experiment is concerned and indicate how you will make sure that they do not interfere with the experiment (independent and dependent variables). ii. Also indicate how you intend to manipulate the independent variables so that equal weighting is given to all other measures in that same category iii. It is important to indicate as precisely and concisely as possible the specific measures you will use to maintain fairness throughout the experiment iv. Indicate precisely the apparatus, and if possible all the appropriate unit that go with it 3. ASPECT 3

The planned investigation should anticipate the collection of sufficient data so that the aim or research question can be suitably addressed and an evaluation of the reliability of the data can be made.

A TEMPLATE FOR DESIGNING AN EXPERIMENT

TOPIC (GIVEN BY TEACHER): INVESTIGATING NEUTRALIZATION REACTIONS.

VARIABLES (FACTORS) AFFECT THE EXPERIMENT
Type of acid used;
Temperature change of resulting solution
Type of base used;
Volume of acid used;
Volume of base used;
Concentration of acid used;
Concentration of base used;
Type of calorimeter.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS (RQ’s)
1. How does changing the acid used affect the heat produced when an acid reacts with NaOH in a neutralization reaction? 2. How does changing the concentration of HCl affect the heat produced when HCl reacts with NaOH? 3. How does changing the type of base used affect the heat produced when the base reacts with HCl?

NOTE:
1. There are a lot of research questions that can be formulated based on the variables listed above. But the variables selected must be measurable. 2. Note also that the research questions were in question form and so had the question tag.

VARIABLES FOR THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS
RQ1.
Independent variable: type of acid
Dependent variable: temperature of resulting solution
Controlled variables:
Type of base used;
Volume of acid used;
Volume of base used;
Concentration of acid used;
Concentration of base used;
Type of calorimeter.

RQ2.
Independent variable: Concentration of acid used;
Dependent variable: temperature of resulting solution
Controlled variables:
Type of acid;
Type of base used;
Volume of acid used;
Volume of base used;
Concentration of base used;
Type of calorimeter.

RQ3
Independent variable: type of base
Dependent...
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