Correcting a Project? Confused

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Correcting a Project? Confused

Postby PBeck » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:51 am

Good afternoon!

My daughter did this years science fair experiment on how temprature effects borax crystal growth. Her hypothesis was that colder conditions would grow crystals faster than warmer condidtions. By the time she got to recroding her findings she seemed to have shifted and was recording the size of the crystals (which one was larger) rather than which one formed first (which she does have that information, just not in great detail).

I say all this to give just a little background.

So, she was chosen to move on to the regional science fair (got 3rd place at her school) and she was told that she can use the judges/teacher comments to make changes to her board (changes due by 2-14-13) She was somewhat confused at what to change. The judges commented that she focused her conclusion on the size/weight of crystals, not which grew first. Along with a few other comments on her conclusion not including "data".

I guess overall our question is how do you "correct" her project. Do you change the hypothesis to correspond with the results she recorded? And also, they have requested that she create an "Abstract" to be included at the regional fair. We know this is a sort of "summary" of the project, but are unsure what information should be included. Since it can only be 250 words, she is worried about not being able to provide enough detail to "catch" the judges attention, which is what her teacher said the purpose of the abstract is.

Can you please offer any suggestions on changes that can be made, or assistance in what to include in the abstract?

Thank you ffor your assistance.
PBeck
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:33 am
Occupation: Project Assistant
Project Question: This years project is about acid rain and its effects on plants. We have had a lot of issues this year; every time we figure out what we are doing something happens and we have to change.
Funds to buy special materials chemicals or fertilizers are just not available and the deeper she digs into this the more she sees that to do it correctly she needs things I cant get her.
I have posted a couple of questions on her behalf. If you can offer any help/ideas/suggestions we would appreciate it.
Project Due Date: 12-15-14
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Correcting a Project? Confused

Postby rmarz » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:54 pm

PBeck - I'm not a crystal expert, so I can't speak to the hypothesis and outcome you achieved. There seems to be some semantic confusion as noted by a judge or teacher between the 'fastest' meaning the rate of growth of the crystals at various temperatures, and 'fastest' as it applies to the time for the initial crystal to grow. So you have two variables to sort out. You said you have the data to support when 'crystal formation' first was noted, you also have information on how large the crystal eventually grew. The experiment as described in the Science Buddies guide had the abstract as being 'the purest and cleanest crystals are usually also the ones that grow to be the largest in size'. It suggested that you form your hypothesis based on background reading, then use your experiment to support or refute your hypothesis. It had you produce crystals in each of three temperature environments and note the time when crystal growth began, and how large the crystals got to be over a 5 hour period. You have the data to apply to the hypothesis. Even though your eventual experiment results seemed to be opposite of your hypothesis does not mean you had a failed experiment. In fact, your inverse result accomplished exactly what the scientific method is supposed to do. Use the data to support the result you got. Hope this helps.

Rick Marz
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Re: Correcting a Project? Confused

Postby PBeck » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:21 am

Thank you for your help.
PBeck
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:33 am
Occupation: Project Assistant
Project Question: This years project is about acid rain and its effects on plants. We have had a lot of issues this year; every time we figure out what we are doing something happens and we have to change.
Funds to buy special materials chemicals or fertilizers are just not available and the deeper she digs into this the more she sees that to do it correctly she needs things I cant get her.
I have posted a couple of questions on her behalf. If you can offer any help/ideas/suggestions we would appreciate it.
Project Due Date: 12-15-14
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment


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