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The Road to a Good Science Project

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Scientific investigation - The Hong Kong Student Science ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Road to a Good Science Project


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Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition 2006
The Road to a Good Science Project
Dr. Michael H. W. Lam Department of Biology
Chemistry City University of Hong Kong
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What is Science?
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What is Science ?
  • Science refers to a system of acquiring
    knowledge based on empiricism, experimentation,
    and methodological naturalism aimed at finding
    out the truth. The basic unit of knowledge is the
    theory, which is a hypothesis that is predictive.
  • The scientific method is a process for
    evaluating empirical knowledge under the working
    assumption of methodological materialism, which
    explains observable events in nature as a result
    of natural causes, rejecting supernatural
    notions. Science refers to any systematic field
    of study or the knowledge gained from it.

Wikipedia
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...So, what a science research project is about?
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...So, what a science research project is about?
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The nature of my project
Scientific investigation
Applied science research
The study of a phenomenon by scientific methods
and to draw scientific insights from it. e.g.
studying factors that affect a process or a
system understanding the reasons behind an
observation scientific experiments to find out
What happens if I do this?
The application of principles of science and
technology to solve a particular problem or to
carry out a task. e.g. fabrication of innovative
devices development of applied systems making
use of known chemical or biological substances

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Applied science research projects
  • The development of innovative devices to achieve
    a meaningful purpose.

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Applied science research projects
  • The development of prototypes of working models
    or pilot-scale models to demonstrate the
    feasibility of an innovative idea.

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Applied science research projects
  • Making use of existing chemicals / biological
    substances (natural or synthetic) or processes to
    fulfill a specific, meaningful task.

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Applied science research projects
  • The development of innovative devices / systems
    / technologies to assist a special scientific
    investigation.

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Dos and donts
  • Relevant, meaningful and timely applications
  • Thorough literature survey of similar
    applications
  • Application of principles of science
    technology
  • ? Circuit designs based on principles of
    electronics
  • ? Applications of optical, electromagnetic
    principles
  • ? The use of established organic chemical
    reactions
  • ? Applications of known biological processes
  • ? Applications of special properties of
    materials
  • ? etc
  • For prototypes of working models or pilot-scale
    models, they must be able to demonstrate the
    feasibility of your idea.

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Dos and donts
  • Dont pontificate about theories or
    technologies. You have to thoroughly understand
    the theory and principle behind your application.
  • Dont base your project on technologies beyond
    your capability.
  • Dont just rely on non-working / non-functional
    models to explain your idea.
  • Your invention should not solve the specified
    problem by creating another problem.
  • Dont base you whole project on controversial
    claims or misinformation.

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The nature of your project
Scientific investigation
Applied science research
The study of a phenomenon by scientific methods
and to draw scientific insights from it. e.g.
studying factors that affect a process or a
system understanding the reasons behind an
observation scientific experiments to find out
What happens if I do this?
The application of principles of science and
technology to solve a particular problem or to
carry out a task. e.g. fabrication of innovative
devices development of applied systems making
use of known chemical or biological substances

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Scientific investigation
  • The investigation of natural phenomena.

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Scientific investigation
  • Qualitative / quantitative chemical or
    biological analysis.

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Scientific investigation
  • Studies of properties of chemicals / materials.

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Scientific investigation
  • Studies of behaviours of biological / ecological
    systems.
  • Field surveys environmental / ecological
    studies.

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Dos and donts
  • Clearly states the rationales behind your
    investigation.
  • Clearly states what scientific insight you have
    obtained from your study.
  • Thorough literature survey of background
    information and systematic presentation of these
    information.
  • Good, innovative experimental designs that can
    really test your hypothesis.
  • Carry out control experiments and blank testing
    to check for interference. Always be alert for
    interference.
  • Good quality control of data.
  • A good scientific investigation usually leads to
    more interesting questions to be researched.

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Dos and donts
  • Dont base you whole project on controversial
    claims or misinformation.
  • Dont just display a collection of things (unless
    the collection is used for comparative research
    leading to scientific insights).
  • Dont do experiments that are not relevant to
    your hypothesis or those that cannot prove or
    disprove your hypothesis.
  • Dont do measurements with non-accurate equipment
    and interprets your results as if they are very
    reliable data.
  • Dont base your project on technologies beyond
    your understanding.
  • Dont ignore natural variance of data (especially
    in biological and environmental studies).
  • Dont jump to conclusion too soon without a
    thorough set of data to prove or disprove your
    hypothesis.

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Dos and donts
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Dos and donts
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Teamwork
  • A small team usually works better.
  • Regular meeting is necessary. Meetings should be
    arranged by fellow teammates, not by school
    teachers.
  • Meeting minutes, even if they are very simple
    and short, are important.
  • Regular check on progress is necessary.
  • Practice multi-tasking whenever possible.
  • Keep good check of time. Always keep an eye on
    the deadline. Things usually go wrong right
    before submission deadline.

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Murphys laws
  • If anything can go wrong, it will.
  • If there is a possibility of several things
    going wrong, the one that will cause the most
    damage will be the one to go wrong.
  • Nothing is as easy as it looks.
  • Everything takes longer than you think.
  • Whenever you set out to do something, something
    else must be done first.

http//www.murphys-laws.com/
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Thank you very much for your attention Good Luck
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