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3. Practical

Science Process - Technology Process

The Science Process

A Science Project will include the following steps

  • AIM - This is the goal of the experiment, eg. "To find out if A is affected by B"
  • HYPOTHESIS - Your prediction of what will happen, eg. "I think A will increase as B increases."
  • METHOD -This includes identifying all the variables, the steps you took and procedure, and things you did to get accurate and reliable results. Try and mention everything but as simply and concise as possible. The idea is to create a set of instructions that an 8 year old could follow to reproduce your experiment. 
  • RESULTS - Table of data including repeated trials at each value, Your results need to be recorded as, or converted into, numbers. Average your results from the repeated trails and use them to create a graph. 
  • CONCLUSION - Answers the aim. Usually fairly brief. Needs to include an actual number from your result, eg. gradient from graph, description of graph shape, or statement of the relationship between the two variables being tested, eg. as B increased, A increased. 
  • DISCUSSION - The long wordy part. Try to be positive about how you made the experiment accurate, reliable and useful. What did you learn from doing the experiment? 


METHOD RELIABILITY AND ACCURACY - Understand this part and the judges will be happy.

We increase reliability by repeating trials and averaging results which reduces errors from random variation. Examples:
►For each value being measured, repeat experiment 5 times and then take the average
►Take time for 10 swings of a pendulum and divide by 10 to get the average time for one swing (this also decreases the effect of timing errors).

We increase accuracy by using good measurement tools and techniques. Examples:
►Reducing parallax error by reading the scale straight on
►Using the smallest (and most accurate) scale possible on measuring devices
►Using equipment that removes human error and variability like optoelectric sensors, or an automatic ball launcher.

Mobirise

Science Cycle

►Make an observation about the world
►Find a question about that observation
►Guess what you think is happening
►Test your hypothesis in an experiment
►Look at the results
►Consider a conclusion 
►The conclusion leads to a better understanding of the world, but also more questions

Technology

If you are doing a Technology project you will be designing a solution to an identified problem or need that  serves a real purpose. You do this by functional modelling, prototyping, or using materials to build a solution. One should also examine the fitness for purpose of earlier technological outcomes and make informed predictions about where things can go in the future.

Examples:

►"The problem is my schoolbag straps keep breaking. I have designed and made a super strong  strap to help with this."

►"The problem is Auckland traffic congestion. I have designed a process to help with the traffic at  peak hours by reducing two lanes to one."

►"The problem is teacher safety at work. I have designed an app that alerts management to the type of situation and shows the teacher's location on a map at the push of a button."

Technology Process

Once you go through this process you go back to the start again - it doesn't stop

Observe

Identify a felt need. Is this felt need the same as the observed real need? Ask, listen, research, look beneath the surface.

Understand

Focus on what matters. Solving even a small part of a big problem can be really helpful. Don't set your goals too big. Be optimistic.

Create

Brainstorm ideas. Think of as many different possible solutions as you can. 

Choose

Make lists of pros and cons. Analyse your options and select the best.

Prototyping Cycle

Create a tangible object or system that can be tested
Seek feedback
Incorporate feedback and consider options:
►Changing prototype
►Improving prototype
►Have you answered the key questions?
►Do we need more information?
►Do we need more ideas?
►Should we start over?

Collaborate

Project management - planning and time management
Motivate and inspire others as you pull a variety of resources together to tackle the issue. 
Monitor progress with a mentor - it helps to have a person or team to bounce ideas off.

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