Science Projects


Exothermic Reactions!

The idea behind a science project is to discover "what happens if." What happens to one thing if you change something else?

1. The Research Question

Your research question is what you hope to figure out. It is your "what if" question. You should be able to write the research question in a simple sentence. For example, "What happens to seeds if they are kept at different temperatures before they are planted?"

What materials cause an exothermic reaction and does the amount of each material give us a different result?

2. The Hypothesis

The hypothesis is what you expect to happen in your experiment. For the research question about seeds (above), the hypothesis might be, "higher temperatures will make seeds sprout faster."

Oxidation of Iron will result in heat being produced. More Iron and less graphite along with a material to allow them to breathe will give us higher temperatures.

3. The Procedure

The procedure is the plan for how you will conduct your experiment. Here are some things to think about:
An experiment can only have one variable. That is, you can change only one condition in each experiment. For example, with the seed experiment, the variable is the temperature at which the seeds are kept before you plant them. Keep each group of seeds at that temperature for the same amount of time. Also make sure that all the seeds get the same amount of light and water after you plant them.
How long will your experiment take? If you only have a few weeks to do your experiment, decide on a procedure that you can carry out in that time.
Consider your "sample size." How many seeds will you test at each temperature? Allow a big enough sample so that you can have a few duds in each group.
Once you decide on a procedure, write it down step by step. That way, you can prove what you did and can follow the same procedure if you need to repeat the experiment.

The amount of water added and the reaction time/temperature.

4. The Results

Results are the data, or information, that you collected. Your data should be in numbers. For example, let's say that some of your plants grew 1 centimeter the first week. Don't just write that the plants "look bigger"; write down exactly how much they grew.

Write amount of water added in mL, time it took to start warming up and the temperature.

5. The Conclusion

The conclusion is what you learned from doing the experiment. You might also think of the conclusion as a summary. In just a few sentences, your conclusion explains what happened in your experiment and whether it supported your hypothesis.

The more water I added the quicker it began to heat up and hotter it became.