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Evaluation of the experiment

Was it a fair test?

We felt that our test was mostly fair. We made sure that we each used the same type of beans, the same type and amount of soil, the same amount of water (or tea) in the same time intervals, and the same amount of solute (salt and sugar). We tried to keep the beans in the same kind of areas (e.g. by a window, away from a radiator and in sunlight), however because the beans were in different houses the temperatures of each room might have been different, as was the amount of sunlight exposure.

What would we change if we did the experiment again?

Because we would conduct the experiment in a classroom, we could keep all the beans in the same place. We would also be able to water them at the same time each day to ensure consistency. We could expand our experiment by using other beverages, such as coca-cola, coffee and orange juice to get a broader picture.

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October 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Reflection

How would a longer investigation such as this promote learning in this area?

The children can see the effects of something over an extended period of time, rather than reading it from a book or website. The frequency of exposure to the topic will hopefully help root it in children’s memory – they refresh what they are learning and have learnt each time they need to take a measurement or water their bean. They also become curious to find out why certain effects can be seen in their bean, and can use research methods to find out the answers. It also helps them practice good investigation skills.

Were there any problems with carrying out this investigation and how did your group solve these?

The main concern in the group was how to all take part over such a broad period of time. We solved this easily by chosing to each take home one bean, record it’s growth over the two weeks and then keep a blog of our recordings. This meant we were all able to access and contribute to the experiment and the final outcome (blog) in our own time.

Would children have similar difficulties?

Children would all be in the same classroom during the day which would help. However, it is likely that turn taking and the sharing of roles would be a problem, especially in mixed ability groups where the more capable children are likely to take over.

As a teacher, we could manage this activity and the arising complications by having specified times where all the children measure their beans. Each child could have responsibility for watering and measuring one bean out of the four so the responsibility is shared equally. This activity could be completed each morning before lessons begin, with a clipboard nearby for each groups’ table of results. You could also have 2 bean monitors for the week who make sure each day’s activities have been performed for every bean.

October 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm Leave a comment


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