Lab investigation status

Lab Criteria and investigations

Lab investigations have 3 written parts :

  1. design;
  2. data collection and processing;
  3. conclusion and evaluation.
Each part has 3 aspects to fulfill, with stated levels of accomplishment, as seen on your mark sheet.
Grade: points for each of the aspects; complete (c +2), partial (p +1) , not done (n =0) Thus, each
part = 6 points and the total lab = 18 points. In addition there are points for Manipulative skills and Personal skills


  • Explaining your investigation

(i) The aim defines the problem you wish to investigate in general terms. It should show the relevance/significance of your investigation.
(ii) Your research question focuses your aim. It names the precise condiitons that you are investigating, that is, your independent variables and the affects you will be looking for and measuring, that is, the dependent variable.
(iii) State the variables
(iii) Theory: Write a paragraph or two that introduces your investigation. This refers to your independent and dependent variables and gives some background. It should include a research source/citation.
State the reason you are doing your investigation in the particular way that you are doing it; for example, why these temperatures?

  • Explaining the method you will use

List the materials (name and sizes) you will use
Method :
(I) Describe your procedure using numerical ordering. Make sure you give the name and exact measurements for both the materials and the apparatus used.
(ii) Draw a labelled diagram to show how the dependent variable (your data) will be measured. Write a title sentence(s) that explains your diagram..
(iii) Control of variables. Outline how you will keep the variables constant. You can do this in table format, with variables in the vertical column and how you will keep them constant in the horizontal row.

Data collection and processing:

  • Record your data in a table that has a title, a heading that includes uncertainties and columns for each trial, mean and error

  • Graphline graph for continuous data and bar graph for discontinuous data; include error bars and use a key to show whether the bar represents uncertainty, standard error or standard deviation

  • Discuss - the trend,
- how you determined your uncertainties and whether they are large (so data is unreliable) or small (so data is relatively reliable).
- discuss error and how it was determined. If small the trend seen in the data is relatively significant or if large the trend shown cannot be said to be significant


  • Discuss with support whether your trend is relatively significant or not significant
  • Describe a strength in your method
  • Describe two weaknesses in your method
  • Explain a limit to your method (what the method does not investigat,e or a question it does not answer)
  • Solutions - a realistic solution should be describe for each of the weaknesses and for the limitation


  • Answers research question
  • Support the conclusion and discuss the implications of your conclusion - some repeat of the theory may occur here, as well as at least one article you have read.