Natural Science Lab Experiement and Report

Please read all of the instructions for this assignment. The Requirements section must be followed and labeled to show each portion being answered. Nothing can be skipped. Let me know if you have any questions. The experiment can be something very simple but all sections must be answered and completed as shown below. The sections must be labeled as well. The actual rubric that will be used by the grader is also attached to the bottom. Please use this as an example of what they will be explicitly looking for in each section. There is an attached document with information on what topic to choose. Please use this guide to help you get started.
Thank you.

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114.03.1 : Academic Research

The graduate evaluates academic sources for their credibility and relevance to a chosen research topic on a natural world phenomenon.

114.03.2 : Scientific Inquiry

The graduate accurately executes the process of scientific inquiry through experimentation in the natural world.

114.03.3 : Drawing Conclusions

The graduate draws conclusions based on academic research and scientific inquiry.

INTRODUCTION

For this task, you will design, conduct, and report on an experiment in the natural sciences. The natural sciences include biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and astronomy, but exclude computer science/simulations or the social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, economics). The purpose of this task is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the scientific method from research and design to reporting of results.

Your experiment must involve a testable hypothesis where a variable is manipulated. Although you are welcome to test multiple hypotheses, one is sufficient. If your experiment contains multiple hypotheses or variables, each one should address the criteria stated in the associated rubric aspect. Your experiment should demonstrate a basic scientific principle and does not need to lead to a new scientific discovery.

 

Be sure to incorporate appropriate safety precautions when designing and executing your experiment. Experiments conducted on vertebrate organisms (including humans) are strictly prohibited by WGU policy.

 

Before conducting your experiment, select a field of natural science of interest to you. Read from a variety of sources (e.g., WGU learning resource, internet articles, books) to narrow your interest to a specific experimental topic. For a list of possible science experiment topic ideas, refer to the “Topic List” attachment. Identify at least two reference materials that explain the scientific principles that motivate the experiment you will conduct; these will be included in your lab report’s literature review section.

 

Prepare a lab report with the following sections:

? Introduction and Literature Review

? Hypothesis

? Methods

? Results

? Conclusions

? Sources

REQUIREMENTS

Your submission must be your original work. No more than a combined total of 30% of the submission and no more than a 10% match to any one individual source can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from sources, even if cited correctly. An originality report is provided when you submit your task that can be used as a guide.

 

You must use the rubric to direct the creation of your submission because it provides detailed criteria that will be used to evaluate your work. Each requirement below may be evaluated by more than one rubric aspect. The rubric aspect titles may contain hyperlinks to relevant portions of the course.

The experiment must be in the natural sciences—not computer sciences or the social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, economics). No simulations and no experiments on vertebrate animals (including humans) are permitted.

Section I: Introduction and Literature Review

A. Summarize how at least two reference materials relate to the basic scientific principles of your experiment. Each reference material must come from a different source. Be sure to describe how the references provide a foundational background for the experiment you will conduct.

Section II: Hypothesis

B. Make a hypothesis(es) to predict the effect of a manipulation of an independent variable on a quantitative dependent variable.

C. Justify your hypothesis(es) based on prior research and known scientific principles.

Section III: Method

D. Describe the independent variable(s); include the following information:

• a description of how the variable(s) will be manipulated

• a description of experimental conditions, if applicable

E. Describe the dependent variable(s); include the following information:

• a description of how the variable(s)will be quantified, including units of measure

• a description of how the variable(s) will be recorded

F. Describe at least one external, confounding variable and how it will be controlled. Be sure to justify how your method of controlling that variable will mitigate any confounding effect on observed results.

G. Describe your materials and measurement tools in enough detail that a reader would be able to replicate the experiment.

H. Describe your experimental procedure in enough detail that a reader would be able to replicate the experiment.

Section IV: Result

I. Summarize the quantitative data gathered from each experimental manipulation. Be sure to highlight the key findings and trends.

J. Create a visual representation (i.e., data table, graph, chart) for the data you gathered from each experimental manipulation. Be sure that you choose a method of visual representation that effectively communicates the main findings of your experiment (e.g., exact measurements, trends over time, differences across categories, proportions). Make sure your visual representation clearly represents data for each quantified variable, and be sure to label and align your data accurately. Remember also to choose a scale that fits the range of the data and represent your data points precisely and accurately.

Section V: Conclusions

K. Discuss whether your hypothesis(es) was confirmed, refuted, or partially confirmed. Be sure to describe the observed results supporting your conclusion.

L. Describe at least one uncontrolled, confounding variable that could have influenced your observed results and any ways the experiment could be improved.

M. Discuss how your experimental results relate to the references presented in the literature review.

Section VI: Sources

N. Acknowledge sources, using in-text citations and references, for content that is quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.

 

File Restrictions
File name may contain only letters, numbers, spaces, and these symbols: ! – _ . * ‘ ( )
File size limit: 200 MB
File types allowed: doc, docx, rtf, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, odt, pdf, txt, qt, mov, mpg, avi, mp3, wav, mp4, wma, flv, asf, mpeg, wmv, m4v, svg, tif, tiff, jpeg, jpg, gif, png, zip, rar, tar, 7z

RUBRIC
CRITERIA FOR SUBMISSION:

NOT EVIDENT

The experiment is not in the natural sciences, or is a computer simulation, or the experiment involves a vertebrate animal.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

N/A

 

COMPETENT

The experiment is in the natural sciences—not computer sciences or the social sciences, and does not involve computer simulations or experiments on vertebrate animals.

A:REFERENCES

NOT EVIDENT

A summary of 2 reference materials is not included in the Introduction and Literature Review section.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The summary includes 1 reference material and logically addresses how it relates to basic scientific principles and lays the groundwork for the experiment, or it includes 1 or more reference material but does not logically address how the materials relate to basic scientific principles and provides a foundational background for the experiment, or the summarized materials come from the same source.

 

COMPETENT

The summary includes at least 2 reference materials from different sources and logically addresses how the reference materials relate to basic scientific principles and provide a foundational background for the experiment.

B:HYPOTHESIS

NOT EVIDENT

A hypothesis is not provided.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

A hypothesis(es) is provided, but the prediction described is not quantifiable, it does not involve the manipulation of an independent variable on a quantitative dependent variable, or the hypothesis(es) does not give a clear confirmation or refutation.

 

COMPETENT

The hypothesis(es) clearly describes a quantifiable prediction. The hypothesis(es) involves the manipulation of an independent variable on a quantitative dependent variable. The hypothesis(es) is worded such that the results give a clear confirmation or refutation.

C:JUSTIFICATION OF HYPOTHESIS

NOT EVIDENT

A justification of the hypothesis is not provided, or the justification is not based on prior research and known scientific principles.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The justification does not logically connect the hypothesis to prior research and scientific principles, or reference to prior research and scientific principles is directly quoted with no further explanation from the candidate.

 

COMPETENT

The justification logically connects the hypothesis to prior research and scientific principles. Reference to prior research and scientific principles is summarized in the candidate’s own words.

D:INDEPENDENT VARIABLE

NOT EVIDENT

No independent variable is described, or there is no description of the manipulation of the independent variable.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The description incorrectly identifies the independent variable(s). The description of independent variable(s) manipulation lacks the clarity needed by a reader to replicate the experiment, or the manipulation is unsuitable for the variable. If applicable, the description incorrectly includes how experimental conditions differ.

 

COMPETENT

The description correctly identifies the independent variable(s). The description of independent variable(s) manipulation is clear enough to be replicated by a reader, and the manipulation is suitable for the variable. If applicable, the description includes how experimental conditions differ.

E:DEPENDENT VARIABLE

NOT EVIDENT

No dependent variable is described, or there is no description of how the dependent variable will be quantified and recorded.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The description incorrectly identifies the dependent variable(s). The description of how the dependent variable(s) will be quantified and recorded does not include units of measure or lacks the clarity needed by a reader to replicate the experiment. The quantification of the variable, the units of measure, or how the variable will be recorded is unsuitable for the variable.

 

COMPETENT

The description correctly identifies the dependent variable(s). The description of how the dependent variable(s) will be quantified and recorded includes units of measure and is clear enough to be replicated by a reader. The quantification of the variable, the units of measure, and how the variable will be recorded are suitable for the variable.

F:CONFOUNDING VARIABLES

NOT EVIDENT

No confounding variables are described.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The description incorrectly identifies any number of external, confounding variables. Or, the description does not describe how the confounding variables could impact the experimental manipulation. Or, the description does not correctly justify how the suggested method of controlling the confounding variable would effectively mitigate any confounding effect on observed results.

 

COMPETENT

The description correctly identifies 1 or more external, confounding variable and describes how it could impact the experimental manipulation. The description justifies how the suggested method of controlling that variable would effectively mitigate any confounding effect on observed results.

G:MATERIALS

NOT EVIDENT

A description of materials and measurement tools is not provided, or the materials described are not relevant to the experiment.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The description of materials and measurement tools is incomplete or is not detailed enough for a reader to replicate the experiment.

 

COMPETENT

The description of materials and measurement tools used to complete the experiment is complete and detailed enough for a reader to replicate the experiment.

H:EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

NOT EVIDENT

A description of the experimental procedure is not provided.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The description of the experimental procedure is incomplete or is not detailed enough for a reader to replicate the experiment. The description does not clearly indicate the frequency of measurement or does not indicate the tools used at each step.

 

COMPETENT

The description of the experimental procedure is complete and detailed enough for a reader to replicate the experiment. The description of the procedure includes details of the frequency of measurement and the tools used at each step.

I:DESCRIPTION OF RESULTS

NOT EVIDENT

A written description of results is not provided.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The written summary of the results does not focus on observed quantitative measurements, or is illogical, or fails to highlight key findings and trends.

 

COMPETENT

The written summary of the results focuses on observed quantitative measurements, is logical, and highlights the key findings and trends from each experimental manipulation.

J:VISUAL REPRESENTATION

NOT EVIDENT

A visual representation of an experimental manipulation is not provided.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

A data table, graph, or chart is provided for at least 1, but not each experimental manipulation. The method of data visualization does not effectively communicate the main findings of the experiment, it does not clearly represent the data, or it does not include each quantified variable. If the chosen data visualization is a table, either the values within the tables are not clearly labeled, or the data are misaligned or illegible. If the chosen visualization is a graph or chart, the axes or categories are not clearly labeled, or the data points are not precisely placed or are inaccurate, or the scale does not fit the range of the data.

 

COMPETENT

A data table, graph, or chart is provided for each experimental manipulation. The method of data visualization effectively communicates the main findings of the experiment, clearly represents the data, and includes each quantified variable. If the chosen visualization is a table, values within tables are clearly labeled and data are aligned and legible. If the chosen visualization is a graph or a chart, the axes or categories within graphs/charts are clearly labeled, the data points are precise and accurate, and the scale fits the range of the data.

K:HYPOTHESIS DISCUSSION

NOT EVIDENT

A discussion is not provided.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The discussion does not definitively state whether the hypothesis(es) was confirmed, refuted, or partially confirmed. The discussion does not describe observed results to support the conclusion.

 

COMPETENT

The discussion definitively states whether the hypothesis(es) was confirmed, refuted, or partially confirmed. The discussion logically describes appropriate observed results as rationale for the conclusion.

L:UNCONTROLLED CONFOUNDING VARIABLES

NOT EVIDENT

A description of uncontrolled confounding variables is not provided.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The description of an uncontrolled confounding variable is incorrect, or the rationale for how this uncontrolled variable might have influenced the results is illogical or inapplicable to the current experiment.

 

COMPETENT

At least 1 uncontrolled confounding variable is correctly described. A rationale is provided for how the uncontrolled variable might have influenced the observed results.

M:RELATION OF RESULTS TO LITERATURE

NOT EVIDENT

A discussion of the relation of experimental results to the references in the literature review is not provided.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The discussion mentions the literature but does not draw logical connections between observed results and basic scientific principles and past research.

 

COMPETENT

The discussion draws logical connections between the observed results and basic scientific principles and past research.

N:SOURCES

NOT EVIDENT

The submission does not include both in-text citations and a reference list for sources that are quoted, paraphrased, or summarized.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

The submission includes in-text citations for sources that are quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, and a reference list; however, the citations or reference list is incomplete or inaccurate.

 

COMPETENT

The submission includes in-text citations for sources that are properly quoted, paraphrased, or summarized and a reference list that accurately identifies the author, date, title, and source location as available.

PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION:

NOT EVIDENT

Content is unstructured, is disjointed, or contains pervasive errors in mechanics, usage, or grammar. Vocabulary or tone is unprofessional or distracts from the topic.

 

APPROACHING COMPETENCE

Content is poorly organized, is difficult to follow, or contains errors in mechanics, usage, or grammar that cause confusion. Terminology is misused or ineffective.

 

COMPETENT

Content reflects attention to detail, is organized, and focuses on the main ideas as prescribed in the task or chosen by the candidate. Terminology is pertinent, is used correctly, and effectively conveys the intended meaning. Mechanics, usage, and grammar promote accurate interpretation and understanding.

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