Experimentation by professional scientists differs in several key ways from the experiments routinely conducted in this course. Scientists develop their own directions; their experiments often extend over considerable time; and the outcome is not well established at the beginning. The kind of experimentation that most nearly approximates true science, is typically called a project. You will be required to do such a project each quarter.
One method scientists use to communicate their findings with their colleagues is a poster. Posters are usually presented during scheduled professional meetings and are evaluated by the presenter's colleagues.
Possible sources of project ideas:
An extensive stockroom of chemicals and equipment is available for use. But you must research the hazards of each needed substance before experimenting either on or off campus. A notebook of MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) is available in the laboratory. DO NOT REMOVE ANY PAGE, but instead copy the information desired. MSDS are also available on the web. This web site contains links to several sources where you can view and print MSDS for all common substances. After you have formulated your purpose and procedures and set them and MSDS on paper, consult your instructor to secure SAFETY APPROVAL on the form below. It would be prudent to obtain signed approval at least three or four weeks before the poster date. The instructor can help determine what is available to borrow or obtain. Obtaining other approved materials is the responsibility of the research team.
The supervised laboratory (B-2) is typically open for research for an hour after school. (The lab may be closed for periodic afternoon faculty meetings, when the supervisor is scheduled away from school, and perhaps upon emergency.)
AN ADULT MUST PROVIDE SAFETY SUPERVISION even if research is conducted elsewhere. Fasten a signature box on the bottom left corner of your poster showing safety authorization and acknowledging adult supervision.
by D Trapp revised 10/1/2001