Monday, March 30, 2009

Science Investigatory Project-a lecture delivered

Mariano Marcos State University
COLLEGE OF TEACHER EDUCATION
Laoag City

Teacher Induction Seminar
October 22-26, 2007

MARICEL P. CARIDAOAN
Lecturer

Science Investigatory Project (SIP)

What is an investigatory project?

- an investigation about a scientific problem (question);
- a problem-solving process using the scientific method.

GETTING STARTED
Pick Your Topic: Get an idea of what you want to study.
Research Your Topic: Go to the library or internet and learn everything you can on your topic. Gather existing information on your topic.
Organize: Organize everything you have learned about your topic.
Make a Timetable: Choose a topic that not only interest you, but can be done in the amount of time you have. Use a calendar to identify important dates.
Plan Your Experiments: Once you have a feasible project idea, write the research plan. This plan should explain how you will do your experiments and exactly what it will involve.
Consult Your Adviser: You are required to discuss your research plan with your adviser and other adults to be involved in experimentation.
Conduct Your Experiments: Give careful thought to experimental design. During experimentation, keep detailed notes of every step of the experiment, measurements and observations.
Examine Your Results: Upon completion of the experiments, examine and organize your findings. Did your experiments give you the expected results? If possible, statistically analyze your data.
Draw Conclusions: Which variables are important? Did you collect enough data? Do you need to conduct more experimentation? If your results do not support your original hypothesis, you still have accomplished successful scientific research.
Phases Of Conducting An Investigatory Project

PHASE I : THE PROPOSAL
The proposal is a detailed written plan of how the project will be done. It is like designing an experiment. Since it is yet to be done, the future tense of the verbs is used.

It contains the following parts:
1 Problem - It is stated as a question/scientific inquiry.
2. Title - It is patterned from the question, however it must contain only the essential words.
3. Rationale- The background of the problem. It answers the following questions:
a. How did you arrive at that kind of problem?
b. Why do you like to investigate that kind of problem where in fact there are hundreds of problems out there?
4. Materials- What are the things you need in solving your problem? Are you going to buy them or just borrow?
5. Procedure
a. What are the orderly steps you are going to do to solve your problem?
b. How are you going to present the data that you will gather? Will it be through graphs or tables?
6. Implication
In case your problem will be solved, what will be its importance to the school or to the community? Will your findings benefit others?
7.Time Table- How are you going to schedule the making of your project against the deadline set by your teacher? Are your schedules attainable?
8.Budget
a. How much each material you need costs in the market?
b. How much are you going to spend for the project as a group? How much will be the contribution of each member?
c. Do your parents approve your budget? Did your leader inform them about the possible expenses through a letter?
9.PROPONENTS- Who proposes the project? The group names appear here.

PHASE II: THE INVESTIGATION
As soon as your proposal is approved you can now start investigating. Your procedure will be your guide. Keep track of all your observations and data by placing them on a table. Document also your works by photographs, videos, etc.

PHASE III. THE OUTPUT
After conducting the investigation you are now ready to organize your gathered data and present your findings. The output has three levels:


1. THE WRITTEN REPORT

II. THE EXHIBIT
It is a showcase of your IP mounted on a board (to be explained by your teacher). It must attract viewers so that they may get interested to your IP.

III. THE ORAL DEFENSE
You will present your work to a panel of judges and they will ask you questions about your project.


REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INVESTIGATORY PROJECTS
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I. Content
Apply/demonstrate scientific principles or attempt to provide new knowledge;
Be a result of continuing or parallel scientific research and investigation & not a copy of any previous research;
Have socio-economic significance and relevance to livelihood development; and
Contribute to the advancement of S&T and the development of the community.
II. Physical Set-up/Visual Display
The physical set-up must be attractive and informative. Interested spectators and judges should easily assess the study and the results obtained. Use clear and concise displays. Make headings standout, draw graphs and diagrams clearly and label them correctly. A one-page project abstract must be posted in one corner o the booth. Be sure to adhere to the IPSF size limitations and safety rules when preparing the display.
The maximum size of project display must be:
48 inches height25 inches width12 inches side
A Sample Diagram of a Science Fair Display
ITEMS NOT ALLOWED AT PROJECT OR IN BOOTH:
Living organisms, including plants
Human or animal food
Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)
Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals
Plant materials (living, dead or preserved) which are in their raw, unprocessed or non-manufactured state
Laboratory/household chemicals
Poisons, drugs, hazardous substances or devices
Dry ice or other sublimating solids
Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, knives)
Flames or highly flammable materials
Batteries with open-top cells
Photographs depicting vertebrate animals in surgical techniques, dissections, improper handling methods and improper housing conditions
Glasswares
Computer units & peripherals
Note: Prototype or model for technology projects maybe displayed but within allotted space for each project only.

ITEMS ALLOWED AT PROJECT OR IN BOOTH:
Soil, sand, rock and or waste samples if permanently encase in a stub or acrylic.
Postal addresses, world wide web and e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and fax numbers of the contestants only.
Photographs and visual depictions of:
They are not deemed offensive or inappropriate.
Credit lines of their origins are attached.
They are from internet, magazines, newspapers and credit lines are attached.
They are photographs or visual depictions of the finalists.
They are photographs of human subjects for which signed consent form are at the project booth.
III. Abstract
Should consist of short, concise descriptions of the problem & its solution. It must be typewritten in the IPSF Official Abstract Form, one page only, single-spaced with a maximum of 250 words, in Times Roman style, font 11.
The abstract must state the following:
Purpose
Procedure Used
Results
Conclusion
IV. Research Paper
The research paper for an IPSF entry should contain the following:
Problem/s
Objectives
Methods & Procedures (described in detail)
Results
Conclusions and Recommendations
Bibliography (at least 3 major references)
Ethics Statement. Scientific fraud and misconduct are not condoned at any level of research or competition. Plagiarism, use or presentation of other researcher’s work as one’s own, forgery of approval signatures and fabrication or falsification of data or approval dates will not be tolerated. Fraudulent projects are disqualified for the competition.
III. Format of Research Paper
The project write-up must be typewritten double-spaced in short bond paper (8”x11”) and follows the following format:
Title Page – title of the project must be brief, simple and catchy.
Abstract - should consist of short, concise descriptions of the problem & its solution. It must be one page only, single-spaced with a maximum of 250 words, typewritten in Times Roman style; font 11. It must also state the following:

Purpose
Procedure used
Results
Conclusion
Acknowledgement – contains the names of people & agencies that helped in the conduct of the work described.
Table of Contents – lists the different parts of the whole report with the corresponding page number of each part. The wording & grammar of the chapter titles, heading & title of tables & figures should be consistent.
Introduction – informs the reader of the problem under study. It shows the nature of scope and the problem, its historical & theoretical background & a review of literature relevant to the problem.
Background of the Study- states the rationale of the study. It explains briefly why the investigator chose this study to work on.
Statement of Problem/Objectives – the nature & scope of the problem should be presented with clarity. Two types of objectives maybe stated:
General Objective – this is related to the problem as given in the early part of the section.
Specific Objective – this states the purpose of each experiment conducted.
Significance of the Study- the importance of the study is explained in this part.
Scope and Limitations – states the coverage & extent of the study.
Review of Literature – sufficient background information should be presented for readers to understand & evaluate the results of the present study. Only the most important studies and theories written on the topic should be included.
Methodology – provides enough details so that a competent worker can repeat the experiments.
Materials/Equipment – the exact technical specifications, quantities and source of method of preparation for all materials used should be given. Specifically built equipment used in the study must be described and the description accompanied by a picture.
Treatment/General Procedure – the manner & sequence by which each experiment or set of observations were done & how measurements were obtained should be described in detail. Avoid using the “recipe style” when stating the step-by-step procedure. Use the narrative form in the past tense.
Results and Discussion – this maybe divided into sub-sections describing each set of experiment or observations.
Findings – the data maybe presented in full & discussed descriptively in the text or these maybe summarized in tables, pictures & graphs. The statistical test used to determine the possible significance of the finding should be described. Tables, pictures & graphs should make the presentation of the data more meaningful.
Analysis of Data – the interpretation of the findings are discussed & the significant features shown in the table, figures or graphs are pointed out.
Conclusions – the general truth implied or illustrated by the results should be clearly stated. The evidence based on the results should be summarized for each statement.
Recommendations – consists of suggestions on future actions such as a new direction of research or further experiments to be performed, practices that might be adapted or discarded in order to attain certain goals or objectives.
Bibliography – a list of the references used in guiding the research work and writing the papers.

Categories for the Science Investigatory Project
Projects will be classified also according to specific fields of study.
Fair 1: LIFE SCIENCES
Botany - Study of plant life - agriculture, forestry, plant taxonomy, plant pathology, plant genetics, algae, etc.
Zoology - Study of animals - animal genetics, animal ecology, animal husbandry, cellular physiology, histology, animal physiology, etc.
Microbiology - Biology of microorganisms-bacteriology, virology, protozoology, fungi, bacterial genetics, yeast, etc.
Biochemistry - Chemistry of life processes - molecular biology, molecular genetics, enzymes, photosynthesis, blood chemistry, protein & food chemistry, hormones, etc.
Medicine and Health - Study of diseases and health of humans and animals -dentistry, pharmacology, pathology, ophthalmology, nutrition, sanitation, pediatrics, dermatology, allergies, speech and hearing, etc.
Ecology - branch of biology that studies the relationships between organisms and their total environment.
Fair 2: PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Chemistry - Study of nature & composition of matter and laws governing it - physical & organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials, plastics, fuels, pesticides, metallurgy, soil chemistry, environmental and materials chemistry, plastics, etc.
Physics - Theories, principles, and laws governing energy & the effect of energy on matter -solid state, optics, acoustics, particles, nuclear, atomic plasma, superconductivity, fluid and gas dynamics, thermodynamics, semiconductors, magnetism, quantum mechanics, biophysics, etc.
Mathematics - Development of formal logical systems or various numerical algebraic computations and the application of these principles-calculus, geometry, abstract algebra, number theory, statistics, complex analysis, probability.
Computer Science - Study & development of computer hardware, software engineering, internet networking and communications, graphics (including human interface), simulations/virtual reality or computational science (including data structures, encryption, coding & information theory).
Engineering - Technology; projects that directly apply scientific principles to manufacturing and practical uses -civil, mechanical, aeronautical, chemical, electrical, photographic, sound, automotive , marine, heating and refrigerating, transportation environmental engineering, etc.
Earth & Space Sciences - Geology, mineralogy, physiography, oceanography, meteorology, climatology, astronomy, speleology, seismology, geography, etc.
Environmental Science - Study of pollution (air, water and land) sources and their control.
Helpful Hints for Display
A Good Title: Your title is an extremely important attention-grabber. A good title should simply and accurately present your research. (See sample titles on pp. 27-29)
Take Photographs: Many projects involve elements that may not be safely exhibited at the fair but are an important part of the project. Take photos of the important parts/phases of your experiment to be used in your display. Visual presentations should depict proper handling methods and proper housing conditions.
Be Organized: Make sure your display is logically presented, scientific and easy to read. A glance should permit anyone (particularly the judges) to locate quickly the title, experiments, results and conclusions. Text should be simple and concise.
Eye-Catching: Make your display stand-out but not decorative. Use neat, colorful headings, charts and graphs to present your project. It is not even necessary to use a computer-based presentation except when it is an integral part of the project.
Display Board: Use light materials, collapsible, yet sturdy.
GUIDE FOR PROJECT ADVISER
The items below can be used as guide for the adviser in monitoring the project of his/her students, to make sure that the IPSF rules are followed.
Evidence of use of reference materials
Evidence of proper laboratory supervision
Use of accepted research techniques
Completed forms, signature and dates
Status of investigatory projects: original concept of study (does not violate intellectual property rights) or with innovation
Proper Use of pathogenic organisms, hazardous substances and devices/disposal of wastes
No. of students : individual or team
IRB/SRC approval of project before experimentation begins
JUDGING TIPS
Judges evaluate and focus on the following measures when they see your write-up and exhibit:
How well and confident you can talk about your work. Reading the project write-up or memorizing the text during the interview and science congress are both a disadvantage.
What you did in the current year.
How well did you follow the scientific methodologies and how much innovation was contributed
How detailed and accurate was your research.
What is the impact of your project.
Criteria for Judging
1. Creativity, Resourcefulness and Investigativeness
2. Scientific thought and engineering goal
3. Thoroughness
4. Research skills
5. Documentation, presentation and writing skills


References:
Intel Science Fair
Guidelines for Science Fair
http://www.sei.dost.gov.ph/intel-philsciencefair/tips.html

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