You are on page 1of 2

Achievement Standard 90925: Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context, with direction

A practical investigation has six main parts, which you write up in a scientific report that has the following headings: 1. Purpose expressed as an aim (what you want to find out) and a hypothesis (what you expect to happen, based on scientific knowledge) 2. Method written as a step-by-step set of ordered instructions on how the investigation was carried out to obtain the raw data. It should be clear enough for another person to carry out the investigation using them. The methods must include all quantities used. The method must state how you measure the dependent variable and how you change the independent over a valid range (minimum of 3 values). 3. Results a. Recorded data: results obtained from accurate measurement of the dependent variable are recorded in an appropriate format (e.g. table) with correct units. b. Processed data: the raw data is processed appropriately (e.g. results from multiple trials are averaged to give the mean) and presented in a graph(s). Graphing: independent variable on Xaxis, dependent on Y-axis. Labelled with units. c. Interpret the processed data (what does it mean?) to establish a pattern or trend (or absence of a pattern or trend). Describe what happens to the dependent variable (DV) as the independent variable (IV) changes. If DV changes when the IV changes, suggests there is relationship (connection) between the two variables. Absence of a pattern suggests that there is no relationship between the DV and IV. 4. Conclusion Relates the trend (or lack of one) to the purpose of the investigation (aim and hypothesis). I.e. Does the trend (or lack of trend) support the hypothesis (or not). Provides figures from the graph or tabulated averages in support. 5. Discussion Explains the conclusion using relevant biological ideas. (Required for Merit/Excellence) 6. Evaluation justification of the method used by analysing: (Required for Excellence) a. The validity of the method (fair test without bias or errors) b. The reliability of the results (could be repeated to get same results or pattern of results) Planning an investigation You will be provided with a context of the investigation as well as the purpose of the investigation. You will need to plan a practical investigation. The plan needs to fulfil these requirements: State the purpose written as an aim (what you want to find out) AND hypothesis (what you expect to happen, based on scientific knowledge) Clearly identify the key variables relevant to the investigation: c. Independent variable: What do I change? d. Dependent variable: What do I measure? e. Controlled variables: What do I keep the same? All variables other than the dependent and independent variables need to be controlled (kept constant), e.g. temperature, time, surface area, intensity of light, volume, concentration, etc. State the range of independent variable values you will investigate (minimum of 3 values). State how much data needs collecting (i.e. the number of times the experiment is carried out) so the results are reliable. An experiment is usually repeated at least 3 times (i.e. three trials). Have a step-by-step method for carrying out the investigation Be valid this means the method is a fair test and has no error or bias.

Achievement Standard 90925: Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context, with direction

Aim: To investigate how concentration affects the rate of reaction between hydrochloric acid and marble chips. Hypothesis: Independent variable: Dependent variable: Controlled variables: Method:

Swap with another pair and carry out the investigation. Every time you need some more information go back to the other pair and get them to write down the missing instructions or details. Results: