1. Write a detailed procedure

The standard for this step is that anyone, anywhere should be able to repeat your experiment without having to ask you questions. This is a list of steps. Chances are good that you will need to revise this after you have done the experiment. You might include a well labelled diagram or the set up.

2. Create a Resources and Budget table

Experiments require gear, some more than others. You may have to plan ahead to order or purchase something so don't wait until the last minute. Ask your teachers, parents or others involved in your experiment. Be sure you have everything you need before you begin. Record your needs in a table like this.

3. Create tables and graphs

One way to keep organized as you begin is to know exactly what your data collection will look like. You can do this by setting up your data tables and graphs before you begin collecting data. You should use a spreadsheet application (Excel, Google Spreadsheets, or Open Office Calc) to record your data. You may also need to use your journal to record the initial data, if you do not have a computer with you during your data collection. Put your data in a table using columns. If you have categorical data, each column heading is the different Independent or Manipulated variable, representing your control. If you have change over time or continuous data you can still set up the data in columns but this time you put the measures of the Independent variable in the first column and the measures of the Dependent or Responding variable in the second column. You would have different columns for your experimental treatment and your control. If you have more than one Dependent or Responding Variable than just add more columns.
Here is the example table. Please note that all data is FABRICATED FOR DEMONSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY.

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4. Create a timeline

Create a timeline for when you will complete certain tasks then stick to it. Here are some things to consider.
  • How long will it take to gather your supplies?
  • How long will it take to set up or build your lab space?
  • What date are you going to start this experiment?
  • What date should you be finished observing your experiment by?
  • When will you analyze your data?
  • How long will it take to write your discussion?
  • How long will it take to build your poster?
Here is an example

8. List of photos

Think about your experiment. What photos would help others to best see how you did your experiment? List those here.

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