Writing Up a Scientific Investigation: Best Bouncer Lab

Writing Up a Scientific Investigation Physical Science Lab Activity

Free Physical Science Activities

Best Bouncer Lab Introduction

This lab involves planning, conducting, and writing up a scientific investigation and will examine the skills covered in lessons 1-7 Planning an Investigation and 1-8 Writing Up an Investigation. You will need to give your students time to carry out all 3 parts of this lab activity.

The activity can be executed in a variety of ways depending on the class and whether this is to be a formative or summative assessment. For example:

  • The planning and writing up can be done as individual tasks under test conditions with the experiment itself completed in small groups. It is recommended that students ensure that they have a copy of the data before beginning the write up.
  • The planning and experiment can be done in small groups and the write up completed as an individual task.
  • All three parts can be carried out as a formal assessment under test conditions.

Materials you will need for the Best Bouncer Lab:

  • These Worksheets (Click the links to download them):
  • Meter Ruler
  • Ring Stand and Clamp
  • Golf Ball
  • Ping-Pong Ball
  • Rubber Ball

Writing up a Scientific Investigation Lab Procedure:

Task 1: Planning your Investigation

Write a scientific plan which shows how you will carry out your experiment.

  1. Write a hypothesis for your investigation.
    Ex. The rubber ball will be the bounciest followed by the ping-pong ball then the golf ball.
    The rubber ball will be the bounciest followed by the ping-pong ball then the golf ball.
  2. Which variable will you change in this investigation?
    Ex. The type of ball used.
    Best Bouncer Lab
  3. Give a range for the variable described above.
    Ex. Rubber Ball, Golf Ball, Ping Pong Ball
  4. Identify the dependent variable for this investigation. Briefly describe how you will measure it to obtain some data.
    Ex. The height of the bounce. Use a meter ruler to measure the height of the bounce from a flat surface.
    Ball bouncing height lab activity
  5. List any other variables which you will need to control to make it a fair test. Briefly state how you will control them.
    Ex. Use the same surface each time.
    Writing up an investigation - best stain remover lab
    Same drop height – the ball will be dropped from the 1 meter mark each time. Secure the ruler in a vertical position so that it doesn’t move, check that it is level. Have the same person drop the ball and another 'spotting’ the height each time. Drop the ball with the same force each time.
  6. Write a detailed method which describes how you will collect your data.
    a.) Use a ring stand to secure a meter ruler vertically on a flat smooth surface.
    Ring Stand for science class
    b.) Place the first ball at the 1-meter mark on the ruler and release it.
    Finding the ball that bounces the highest science lab
    c.) Measure the height it reaches after its first bounce.
    measure the height that the ball bounced
    d.) Repeat twice more with the same ball.
    e.) Change the type of ball and repeat steps 1-4.
    Planning an investigation lab
    f.) Change to the third type of ball and repeat steps 1-4 for a final time.
    change the ball
  7. Draw a labelled diagram of your experimental set-up.
    Ex. Students may draw a labelled diagram (or series of diagrams) of a ruler with a ball at the drop point and then at the bounce height. Diagrams do not have to be correct scientific drawings.
    How to write up a scientific investigation
  8. Conduct limited trials to check your method is workable. Place any notes from your trials.
    Answers will vary.
  9. List any changes that you need to make to your method. If no changes are required leave this section blank.
    set up for best bouncer lab

Task 2: Conducting your Investigation 

Carry out your experiment and collect data which allows a trend to be observed. Draw a results table to record any measurements you obtain. You also may leave space in your table for any processing you will do in task 3.

Task 3: Writing Up your Scientific Investigation 

Process and interpret your data to allow any trends to be identified and described. Calculate averages and present your data as a graph. Remember to use an appropriate scale and labels.

Write an interpretation of your data.

Summarize your findings as a conclusion which answers the hypothesis of the investigation.

Evaluate your investigation using the following criteria:

  1. Identification of any outliers in your data and how they affected the trend.
  2. Limitations to the investigation/ difficulties you faced in collecting your data.
  3. Improvements you would make if you could repeat the investigation again.

The Writing Up a Scientific Investigation Activity:

Students record their predictions and results of the lab activity. Once the activity is finished, discuss the lab activity and answer post-lab questions.

We also provided some of the Resources below for you to use in class. iTeachly Members can access all the content for the activity and the following lesson.

Students must come up with a unanimous answer for each question. Discussing the answers usually, results in some excellent dialogue on this topic.

Here is your Free Content for the Writing Up a Scientific Investigation Part of the Lesson!

Writing Up a Scientific Investigation - PDFs

Writing Up a Scientific Investigation Worksheets - Word Docs & PowerPoints

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