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THE INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS

INTRODUCTION
The Investigation has been added as a major component of the SBA process in the CSEC Syllabus for
examinations effective 2017. It consists of two parts – the Proposal and the Implementation. The
Proposal is assessed as a Planning and Design while the Implementation is assessed as an Analysis and
Interpretation. This investigation is to be done in Year 2. The format of this investigation is somewhat
different from the norm as it contains a research element which must be done for different components
of the investigation.

Note that both Mark Schemes for the Investigative Process is also the same for each Natural Science
subject.

FORMAT

THE PROPOSAL – P&D 10 marks


Mark Scheme p53 CSEC Syllabus 2015

Part A forms the Planning and Design component of the Investigation. It consists of a lab report with the
Headings below:

 Statement of the Problem / Observation


 Hypothesis
o Testable
o Clear statement
 Aim
 Apparatus / Materials
 Method
o Precautions / Assumptions
o Variables
 Expected Results / Data Capture
o Statement(s) of expected results to accept or reject the hypothesis

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THE IMPLEMENTATION – A&I 20 marks
Mark Scheme p54 CSEC Syllabus 2015

Part B forms the Analysis and Interpretation component of the Investigation. It consists of a lab report
with the Headings and major components of each below:

 Introduction
o Research into the problem / observation
 Method
o Past tense
 Results
o Correct formulae and equations
o Accuracy of Data
 Discussion
o Explanation
o Interpretation
o Trends
 Limitations
o Sources of Error
o Precautions
o Limitations
 Reflection
o Relevance
o Impact
o Justification for adjustments
o Communication of information (Expression)
 Conclusion
o Stated
o Related to the Aim

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EXEMPLAR

Part A THE PROPOSAL

Observation

My grandmother asked me to prepare a cup of tea. I poured the tea into a Ceramic cup and gave it to
her. She told me that she drinks tea in an Enamel cup because the tea stays hot longer than in a Ceramic
cup.

Hypothesis: Tea stays hot for a longer period in an Enamel cup than a Ceramic cup.

Aim: To determine if tea stays hot longer in an Enamel cup than a Ceramic cup.

Apparatus: Ceramic cup

Enamel cup

500mL beaker

Hot plate

Tea bags

100mL measuring cylinder

100mL beaker

2 thermometers

Water

2 Stop Clocks

Heat resistant gloves

Method:

1. Collect two cups, one Ceramic and the other Enamel, of similar dimensions.
2. Boil approximately 500mL of water.
3. Place one tea bag into each cup.
4. Measure and pour 100mL of boiling water into each cup.
5. Measure and record the initial temperature of tea in the Ceramic cup.

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6. Start the stop clock.
7. Measure and record the initial temperature of tea in the Enamel cup.
8. Start the second stop clock.
9. Measure the temperature of tea in each cup every 2 minutes for 20 minutes thereafter.
10. Repeat the experiment to verify your results.

Precaution

Exercise all precautionary procedures regarding heating and transferring liquids. Transfer boiling water
to a smaller container before pouring into the measuring cylinder. Ensure that each cup can comfortably
hold the volume specified in the Method before adding boiling water.

Variables

Controlled: Volume of water used, time allotted for tea to cool, teabag type, instruments used to
measure time and temperature.

Manipulated: Type of cup used: Ceramic and Enamel

Responding: Temperature difference

Expected Result

The cup that has the smaller temperature difference after 20 minutes keeps tea hot for a longer period.
If the Enamel cup has the smaller temperature difference, then the hypothesis will be accepted. If not,
the hypothesis will be rejected.

Part B THE IMPLEMENTATION

Introduction

Heat travels in three different ways: Conduction, Convection and Radiation. The type of material used
and the surface area exposed to the atmosphere for a tea cup is related to how quickly heat is lost.
Thus, tea will remain hot longer in the cup that minimizes heat loss, that is, the smaller temperature
difference in the period being evaluated.

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My grandmother asked me to prepare a cup of tea. I poured the tea into a Ceramic cup and gave it to
her. She told me that she drinks tea in an Enamel cup because the tea stays hot longer than in a Ceramic
cup.

In this experiment, the relationship between heat loss and type of insulated cup used is being explored
to determine if the statement made is in fact true.

Method:

1. Two cups of similar dimensions, one Ceramic and the other Enamel, were collected.
2. Approximately 500mL of water was boiled.
3. One tea bag was placed into each cup.
4. 100mL of boiling water was measured and poured into each cup.
5. The initial temperature of tea in the Ceramic cup was measured and recorded.
6. The stop clock was started.
7. The initial temperature of tea in the Enamel cup was measured and recorded.
8. The second stop clock was started.
9. The temperature of tea in each cup was measured and recorded every 2 minutes for 20 minutes
thereafter.
10. The experiment was repeated to verify the results.

Results:

Table 1 showing the Temperature Difference between a Ceramic cup and an Enamel cup (Trial 1)

TRIAL 1 Ceramic Cup Enamel Cup


Final Temperature (0C)
Initial Temperature (0C)
Temperature Difference (0C)

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Table 2 showing the Temperature Difference between a Ceramic cup and an Enamel cup (Trial 2)

TRIAL 2 Ceramic Cup Enamel Cup


Final Temperature (0C)
Initial Temperature (0C)
Temperature Difference (0C)

Table 3 showing the Average Temperature Difference for the Ceramic cup and the Enamel cup

Temperature Difference (0C) Ceramic Cup Enamel Cup


Trial 1
Trial 2
Sum = Trial 1 + Trial 2
Average = Sum / 2

Discussion

From this experiment, the type of material a cup is made of and its heat loss via conduction, convection,
thermal radiation and evaporation was determined. Heat transfer by conduction occurs where the hot
liquid (tea) transfers heat to the cooler part of the cup where it is lost as thermal radiation.

The temperature difference of the __________ cup was smaller. This suggests that the __________ cup
retains heat better than the other, that is, it is the better insulator of heat.

Therefore, the __________ cup keeps tea hot for a longer period than the __________ cup since it had
the smaller average temperature difference.

Limitations

The following situations may have contributed to experimental error:

1. Loss of heat when pouring the tea into other containers. If the initial temperature of one cup
was lower than the other, the rate of evaporation would be less and therefore it would lose heat
at a slower rate.

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2. Unable to obtain two different cups with the exact dimensions. If one cup has a larger surface
area exposed, heat loss by evaporation and convection would be greater than the other.
3. Volume of hot water would differ slightly in both cups. Evaporation of the hot water would
occur when measuring and pouring into the cups leading to imprecise volumes.

Reflection

Based on the results, I can now advise my grandmother on which cup she should use to keep her tea hot
for a longer period. This would be the cup that had the smaller temperature difference after the 20
minute period.

The material of the cup that keeps tea hot longer would have applications for kitchen utensils, heaters
and other appliances where heat retention is necessary.

Other insulated cups could also be compared through experimentation to determine which keeps hot
drinks hot for longer. Also, dimensions of the cup and its rate of evaporation should also be taken into
consideration.

The information from this experiment can be used in two ways. Firstly, insulated cups could also be
tested to determine which keeps cold drinks cold for longer. Secondly, the best insulated cups could be
compared to the vacuum flask to determine how effective they are in retaining heat.

Conclusion

The cup that keeps the tea hot for the longer period is the one with the smaller temperature difference.

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MARK SCHEME FOR ASSESSING INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS
(As stated in CSEC Integrated Science Syllabus)

A. PLANNING AND DESIGN


MARKS
HYPOTHESIS 2
Clearly stated 1
Testable 1

AIM Related to hypothesis 1

MATERIALS AND APPARATUS Appropriate materials and 1


apparatus

METHOD 2
Suitable 1
At least one manipulated or 1
responding variable

CONTROLLED VARIABLE Controlled variable stated 1

EXPECTED RESULTS 2
Reasonable 1
Linked to Method 1

ASSUMPTIONS / PRECAUTIONS/ POSSIBLE Any one stated 1


SOURCES OF ERRORS
TOTAL 10

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B. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
MARKS
METHOD Linked to Proposal, Change of tense 1

RESULTS 4
Correct formulae and equations: 2
Accurate (2)
Acceptable (1)
Accuracy of data: 2
Accurate (2)
Acceptable (1)
DISCUSSION 5
Explanation - Development of points: 2
Thorough (2)
Partial (2)
Interpretation 2
Fully supported by data (2)
Partially supported by data (1)
Trends - Stated 1
LIMITATIONS 3
Sources of error identified 1
Precaution stated 1
Limitation stated 1
REFLECTIONS 5
Relevance between the experiment and real life (self, society or 1
environment)
Impact of knowledge gain from experiment on self 1
Justification for any adjustment made during experiment 1
Communication of information: (use of appropriate scientific 2
language, grammar and clarity of expression)
All of the time (2)
Some of the time (1)

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CONCLUSION 2
Stated 1
Related to the aim 1
TOTAL 20

PROJECT SPECIFIC MARK SCHEME


ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

MARKS
METHOD Linked to Proposal, Change of tense 1
RESULTS 4
Calculation of Average Temperature Difference: 2
Both cups (2)
One cup (1)
Accuracy of data: 2
Accurate (2)
Acceptable (1)
DISCUSSION 5
Explanation - Development of points: 2
Discusses temperature drop by heat transfer (1)
States which cup had the smaller temperature difference (1)
Interpretation 2
States which cup is the better insulator (1)
States that this cup minimizes heat loss (1)
Trends – stated (cup with smaller temperature difference) 1
LIMITATIONS 3
Sources of error identified 1
Precaution stated 1
Limitation stated 1
REFLECTIONS 5
Relevance between the experiment and real life (self, society or 1
environment)

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Impact of knowledge gain from experiment on self 1
Justification for any adjustment made during experiment 1
Communication of information: (use of appropriate scientific 2
language, grammar and clarity of expression)
All of the time (2)
Some of the time (1)
CONCLUSION 2
Stated 1
Related to the aim 1
TOTAL 20

POSSIBLE IDEAS FOR THE INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT


Scenarios based on various observations can be created from statements found in The Science
Experiment – Planning and Design Labs on page 22. Labs chosen from this list should take into account
the practicality and the suitability of the Analysis and Interpretation component beforehand.

The Exemplar chosen from this list, “Ceramic cups are better for keeping tea hot…” was modified to suit
the needs of the teacher and the project.

Other Possible Scenarios

 Ribena contains more Vitamin C than Orange Juice


 Is there really Iron in breakfast cereal? (pulverize, add water, use a strong magnet)
 Does sugary snacks really make kids hyper? (test resting pulse; pulse after snack)
 Does soda really rot your teeth? (tarnished pennies, drinks: soda, diet soda, juice, energy drink,
water)
 Noticed a farmer watering plants with soap water. Why? Does it affect plant growth?

New ideas could come from observations based on the Environment, Health (with emphasis on Diet,
Lifestyle diseases), Science myths or everyday observations.

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