annette_appiah
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:47 pm
Occupation: Student: 10th grade

Aquaponics vs Soil

Postby annette_appiah » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:11 am

Hi, I started growing my plants in soil at the end of November for my science fair project. My plan was to transfer some of the seedlings to the aquaponics system and then compare the growth in the soil system and the aquaponics system but that did not work out very well. My plants are dead which goes against my hypothesis and I'm so confused now. There's also not enough time to start from scratch. Do you think I can still present a failed project at the science fair? We also have to include graphs and I don't know what data to put in there since there's nothing to document.
Last edited by annette_appiah on Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

tdaly
Former Expert
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 11:27 pm
Occupation: Planetary Scientist

Re: Aquaponics vs Soil

Postby tdaly » Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:48 am

Hi annette_appiah,

I'm sorry to hear that all of your plants died! It can be very frustrating when we feel like our project has "failed". But, rest assured that your project is still perfectly valid, even if all of your plants died. Why? Because you followed the scientific method: you asked a question, developed a hypothesis, designed an experiment to test your hypothesis, carried out the experiment, and documented the results. Yes, your results are that your plants died. But, it is still a valid result--it's what your data show.

When projects don't turn out as expected--like this one--it's helpful to have a fairly hefty conclusions section in your display board or report. Start by stating your conclusion: that your hypothesis was incorrect because all of your plants died. Then, spend some time discussing in detail why you think your project turned out the way it did (i.e., maybe the plants needed more water than you gave them, maybe the soil didn't have the right nutrients, etc.). Next, talk about what you could change if you did this project again so that the plants wouldn't die. In other words, discuss how the lessons you learned from this experiment would change how you would do the experiment if you repeated it. When projects go awry, a detailed discussion of "why" often takes the place of the usual conclusions section of a project.
All the best,
Terik

annette_appiah
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:47 pm
Occupation: Student: 10th grade

Re: Aquaponics vs Soil

Postby annette_appiah » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:35 pm

Terik Daly wrote:Hi annette_appiah,

I'm sorry to hear that all of your plants died! It can be very frustrating when we feel like our project has "failed". But, rest assured that your project is still perfectly valid, even if all of your plants died. Why? Because you followed the scientific method: you asked a question, developed a hypothesis, designed an experiment to test your hypothesis, carried out the experiment, and documented the results. Yes, your results are that your plants died. But, it is still a valid result--it's what your data show.

When projects don't turn out as expected--like this one--it's helpful to have a fairly hefty conclusions section in your display board or report. Start by stating your conclusion: that your hypothesis was incorrect because all of your plants died. Then, spend some time discussing in detail why you think your project turned out the way it did (i.e., maybe the plants needed more water than you gave them, maybe the soil didn't have the right nutrients, etc.). Next, talk about what you could change if you did this project again so that the plants wouldn't die. In other words, discuss how the lessons you learned from this experiment would change how you would do the experiment if you repeated it. When projects go awry, a detailed discussion of "why" often takes the place of the usual conclusions section of a project.


Thank you so much Terik Daly. That really helped.


Return to “Grades 9-12: Getting Ready for the Science Fair”