Unit 3 booklet (resistance)

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BTEC scientific investigation into resistance of a wire

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Unit 3 booklet (resistance)

  1. 1. BTEC National Certificate in Applied Science (Forensic Science) UNIT 3 SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION
  2. 2. BTEC National Certificate in Applied science (Forensic Science) Unit 3 Scientific investigation Introduction All scientists need to have good investigative skills and this unit develops these essential skills. Working in science often means teamwork but there are many instances of independent work. In this unit, learners will have to make the best use of the laboratory time allocated by the tutor. Learners may be asked to carry out a practical investigation designed by somebody else or to suggest ways of doing an investigation themselves. The practical investigation is designed to allow learners to show their science knowledge and practical skills. After discussion with the tutor learners will be asked to plan, carry out and analyse the results of their investigation and present it as a scientific report. The topic learners choose for investigation will depend on the endorsed title they are following. The emphasis in this unit is on the learners’ ability to formulate a relevant hypothesis that they would be able to test experimentally, to plan and execute their ideas and to deal with the results. Learners may need to use questionnaires but these will only be part of their research. This is a practical unit and one project will be used to cover all the learning outcomes, although learners may repeat their experiment several times in order to collect accurate data. As in an industrial laboratory, learners will be monitored by the tutor right from the start of the procedure. Assessment will be on the final report and will take into account how learners carry out their practical work, their awareness of health and safety issues and how accurately and honestly they record their results. Learning outcomes On completion of this unit a learner should: 1 Be able to formulate a relevant hypothesis and plan an investigation relevant to the area of study 2 Understand the scientific principles involved in the investigation and be able to undertake the planned investigation 3 Be able to collect, collate and analyse the results from the investigation using appropriate techniques and present them in an accepted format 4 Understand and interpret results from the investigation and present them in a report in an accepted scientific format including any applications and implications of science.
  3. 3. BTEC National Certificate in Applied Science – Forensic Science (Level 3)
  4. 4. Assessment criteria & description Evidence needs Assignment P1 M1 State the objectives and hypothesis of the investigation and present a working plan for the experiment including health and safety assessments Analyse the research information obtained and discuss how it is relevant to the planned experiment Produce a plan in the form of a report Present your research findings to the class, demonstrating the experimental procedure. List references. (1) Task 1 Write a plan for your investigation. Include what aspect affecting the resistance of the wire you want to work on. State objectives and hypothesis and describe the experimental procedure/technique Task 2 Discuss the research material found. Is it enough to solve your research targets. How reliable is it. D1 Appraise the different approaches considered for the investigation and justify the hypothesis, experimental procedures and recording methods chosen As part of plan include theory/background info. Also risk assessment in report Task 3 Justify elements of the plan eg hypothesis, chosen method and why other methods were rejected. P2 Demonstrate the required manipulative skills to assemble relevant equipment and materials and safely carry out the planned investigation Perform a demo within your group to the class (2) Show that you are able to carry out practical accurately and reliably. Demonstrate sound practical skills. Also show how you will record results. M2 M3 Explain how accuracy and precision are ensured in the investigation Review experimental progress, modify practical procedures if necessary, and justify the use of experimental techniques to increase the accuracy, reliability and validity of results obtained Prepare a poster and/or presentation about your work so far and present to class Write a summary about what you’ve learnt from the conference (3) Task 1 Describe how you ensure accuracy and precision in your work. Task 2 Think about what you’ve learnt from the conference in task 1. will you stick to your method or make changes D2 Evaluate the effectiveness of the investigative procedures in terms of accuracy and precision and suggest how these could be improved Make a report to Justify whether you adopt or reject each improvement. Task 3 Discuss possible ways to improve the accuracy and precision of your methods. Assessment criteria & description Evidence needs Assignment P3 D3 Assemble equipment, carry out the planned investigation, record the results and analyse the data collected Analyse the data, justifying the statistical methods chosen and relating the findings to scientific principles and applications Collect data in tables & graphs. Ensure units are included in table. (4) Task 1 Data Analysis (for P3 & D3) P4 State and explain the conclusions in a report using accepted scientific protocol and language, including presentation of relevant research resources. Produce a scientific report, following scientific format, including references & bibliography (5) Task 1 Writing the final report M4 Justify the conclusions made, drawing on primary and secondary research data. Write a conclusion. Say how it is justified and does data support it. Relate back to assignment 1. Task 2 Conclusions D4 Evaluate the outcomes of the investigation using scientific protocols An evaluation of the results. Mention sources of error and how they were kept to a minimum. Evaluate the conclusion – how certain are they. Was your hypothesis correct? Task 3 Final Evaluation
  5. 5. Scenario You are investigating ways to reduce the power consumption of overhead power lines transferring electrical energy from power stations to the home. To do this you need to reduce energy lost as heat by reducing the resistance of the wire used. You need to investigate how resistance is affected by various factors. Task 1 Choosing a topic and researching it P1 State the objectives and hypothesis of the investigation and present a working plan for the experiment including health and safety assessments. You need to complete the following task • Decide what aspect affecting resistance you want to work on. Share this information with the others in the class. • What is the nature of the investigation? • State your objectives and hypothesis • Describe what type of experimental research you need to do (e.g. laboratory) Deadline:________________ Assignment 1 - Planning
  6. 6. Task 2- Evaluating the research M1 Analyse the research information obtained and discuss how it is relevant to the planned experiment You need to complete the following task • Collect all the relevant research material – yours and other students’. • List the problems you need to solve to answer your research targets. • Do you now have all the information you need? How valuable is the research done so far? (Assess each piece of information) • Do you need more information? If so, how and when are you going to get it? Deadline _________________ Task 3- Planning the investigation. (P1 and part D1) P1 State the objectives and hypothesis of the investigation and present a working plan for the experiment including health and safety assessments. And part of D1Appraise the different approaches considered for the investigation and justify the hypothesis, experimental procedures and recording methods chosen You need to complete the following task • List the aims of your investigation – how you will know how the investigation has succeeded? What is your hypothesis? • Consider options for tackling the research. Give advantages and disadvantages. Consider what resources will be required and any costs. • Describe the details of experimental design and controls, the proposed analytical techniques to be used, your assessment of possible errors in practical work.
  7. 7. • Justify the hypothesis, experimental procedures and recording methods chosen. Confirm your decision with the lecturer. • Produce a detailed plan for your investigation, including health and safety assessments. • Health and safety risk assessments should include descriptions of how you will eliminate/minimise any identified risks; Deadline _________________ Scenario Having researched and planned an investigation into one aspect affecting resistance of a wire, you now have the chance to carry out the practical work. Your initial findings will be reported to the rest of the class. Task 1 The practical investigation. P2 and P3 (practical part) P2 Demonstrate the required manipulative skills to assemble relevant equipment and materials and safely carry out the planned investigation And P3 Assemble equipment, carry out the planned investigation, record the results and analyse the data collected Having scientifically planned your investigation, it is time to apply those principles by doing the experimental work. You need to complete the following task • Assemble the relevant equipment and materials; • Adhere to health and safety requirements; • Manipulate and observe experiments skillfully • Use appropriately the instruments and techniques for taking measurements; • Record results with accuracy, integrity, precision; • Maintain a working laboratory book Assignment 2 - The Practical investigation
  8. 8. Your records should include: • health and safety issues • what support you rely on • how you cooperate with others • how you revise your plan as you go along Deadline__________________ Scenario During your work on assignment 2, you will be attending a science conference to review your progress. Scientists regularly meet to discuss their latest progress. Conferences are less formal than publishing a research paper. Papers need to be peer-reviewed before publication. Presentations at a conference are not reviewed beforehand and the audience is expected to provide constructive criticism and suggestions. You will present your findings so far to the rest of the class. They will help you review your progress and may use some of your ideas in their own research. Posters Information about the research is assembled to make a display. Other researchers can read the work at their leisure and question the researchers about their work. This assignment is based largely on the information exchanged at the conference. Task 1 The conference (M2 and D2, evaluation part) M2 Explain how accuracy and precision are ensured in the investigation And D2 Evaluate the effectiveness of the investigative procedures in terms of accuracy and precision and suggest how these could be improved You need to complete the following task Prepare a poster and/or presentation about your work so far. Assignment 3 - Reviewing Progress
  9. 9. Describe how you ensure accuracy and precision in your work. Evaluate how effective these measures have been in making your work accurate and precise. Deadline__________________ Task 2 – Review M3 Review experimental progress, modify practical procedures if necessary, and justify the use of experimental techniques to increase the accuracy, reliability and validity of results obtained You need to complete the following task Write a summary of what you have learned from the conference: 1. What have you learned about your own work? Could you improve the techniques or are you justified in repeating the same methods? 2. How is the rest of the class progressing? If anyone is doing better than you in any respect – how can you learn from their methods? If anyone is failing to meet their targets is there any way you can help them (without jeopardising your own work)? 3. Discuss how the collaboration is working and what problems have occurred. Describe how the work has met or will meet its targets. Include your contributions. Suggest and agree ways to improve. Deadline__________________ Task 3 – The practical investigation (D2 ‘improvements’ part) D2 Evaluate the effectiveness of the investigative procedures in terms of accuracy and precision and suggest how these could be improved
  10. 10. Assignment 4 – Data analysis You need to complete the following task Discuss possible ways to improve the accuracy and precision of your methods. Analyse how effective each improvement would be. Justify whether you adopt or reject each improvement. Deadline__________________ Scenario As you collect more and more raw data, it becomes important to analyse the results. You might find that one measurement is obviously wrong, and needs to be repeated. You can check your results with those of the rest of the class, and with the studies you researched in Assignment 1, but you will need to convert your results into the same format as the other values. Task 1 – Data analysis. (P3 ‘analysis’ part and D3) P3 Assemble equipment, carry out the planned investigation, record the results and analyse the data collected And D3 Analyse the data, justifying the statistical methods chosen and relating the findings to scientific principles and applications This work is best done as we go along, but towards the end of the investigation you need to make sure that you can make sense of all the data collected. You need to complete the following task Collect your data into tables and graphs. Take care to show: • organisation of data eg class intervals, tallying; • correct units of experimental quantities used; • fitness for purpose of methods used; • repeatability; • sources and magnitudes of errors in reading taken • assessment of experimental accuracy and precision;
  11. 11. What do your data show you? You need to process and analyse the raw data e.g. mean, standard deviation, student’s t-test. Particularly useful is establishing that two results are significantly different. Make sure your calculations are accurate. It will be useful to compare your results with any values you can find in published studies. Assess the information sources you use: • is the source relevant? • if so, does it support or contradict your results? DEADLINE______________________ Assignment 5 – Writing the report Scenario It is time to start writing your chapter of the class’s book on resistance of a wire. There is a lot you can write already – based on your initial literature research. As you collect and analyse more data, your conclusions and contribution will become more and more substantial. Having done all the hard work, give your efforts the report they deserve! Task 1 Writing your final report. P4 State and explain the conclusions in a report using accepted scientific protocol and language, including presentation of relevant research resources. You need to complete the following task Write your scientific report of the investigation: • Use correct scientific protocol i.e. structure, format; • Use correct scientific language and terminology i.e. past passive tense; • Include a section for relevant references and bibliography;
  12. 12. • Present your data in an appropriate format, to an appropriate degree of precision, and using correct units. Deadline__________________ Task 2 – Conclusions M4 Justify the conclusions made, drawing on primary and secondary research data. You need to complete the following task Read over your conclusions again. • How are they justified? • What experimental data supports your conclusions? Do any of your experiments contradict your conclusions; and if so, why have you ignored these results? • How do your conclusions relate to the reports you researched in Assignment 1? Deadline__________________ Task 3 – Final evaluation D4 Evaluate the outcomes of the investigation using scientific protocols You need to complete the following task In conclusion, your report should include:
  13. 13. • An evaluation of the results. • A discussion of sources of error and how to minimize them. • Evaluation of your conclusions – how certain are they? • Comparison of your experimental methods and literature investigations. • Consideration of your hypothesis – did it hold up? Deadline______________

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