By: Ranpreet Singh and Lok Kan Lee
Formulating this experiment taught us many things. In the past, we were asked to conduct previously planned labs, with a purpose assigned from the teacher. We did not know how much thought was put into these labs until we were asked to create one for ourselves. An experimental process requires preparation, flexibility, and organization. This project provided insight on developing a unique process to answer a specific question.
The experimental process requires extensive preparation. With our pre-lab, everything included had to be well thought-out. Research was done beforehand. We read articles on how borax would behave and became familiar with its chemical properties. We also read about others in the past who have done a similar experiment to us. Most importantly, we had to prepare ourselves for what results we should expect. If we did not get similar results, we would know that our experiment has a problem. With this knowledge, we had to determine the optimal method to answer our question. Our procedure had to be efficient and be as problem-free as possible for the day we carried out our experiment. Materials listed had to be obtainable at the school. We learned preparation was instrumental to performing a successful lab.
While preparation to the lab was extremely important, it is always difficult to foresee any potential problems until the lab is carried out. Being flexible was another important trait we learned in this project. Materials had to be realistically available, so we had to compromise practicality for availability. For example, beakers were constantly unavailable, so we had to use a larger sized beaker than we needed. We also had problems with the experiment itself. The dissolving of Borax took an enormous amount of time. Given the time available, it was not practical to continue the method we were using, so we modified our procedure to fit with the time constraints. We did not...