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Glossary

Abstract

A summary of the project that provides justification for the research.

Acknowledgements

A detailed list of people who helped you and what they did

Aim

The why behind doing an experiment. Usually stated as ‘To show…’, ‘To demonstrate…’.

Analysis of results

Results/findings/graphs explained in words, more extensive in report than on poster.

Branded products

These show the name of an item e.g. BMW and these names should not be visible in any Eskom Expo report or poster.

Conclusion

Relates to the hypothesis and either agrees or disagrees with the hypothesis and must include key results.

Discussion of result

Patterns and trends are noted and explained, anomalies/unusual results are discussed, limitations noted and clarified.

Engineering goals

These are the design processes that an engineer does when he/she identifies a problem or need and then creates or develops a solution.

Errors and Modifications

What went wrong that you can change next time and what could you have done if you had more time or resources?

Hypothesis

A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations – this is a statement based on the aim.

Introduction

The reason for you doing the project and it includes evidence from the most important source as well as the value of your project i.e. who will benefit from this knowledge. In addition you should refer to ethical issues if relevant.

Mentor

A person who assists you as you develop your project and gives you professional help (e.g. scientist or a teacher)

Method/ Procedure

A step-wise description, written in the third person, of how the project is being done. It includes the apparatus used (where relevant).

Observation

Something interesting (a phenomenon) that you have noticed e.g. Elephants prefer to eat leaves off trees.

Problem/Question

This is what you want to know about the phenomenon e.g. why do elephants prefer to eat tree leaves?

Prototype

A device made from a design and tested when doing an engineering project.

References

ALL the books, magazines and Internet sites that you consulted while doing the project and referenced in the correct way.

Reliability of results

Reliability refers to the results. The sample size must be large enough to support the hypothesis. In order to increase reliability there should be evidence of repeated testing and increasing the size of the sample group.

Research Plan

How you intend to do your project so it is written in the future tense.

Results

What can be discovered from doing the investigation or project? They should be quantitative – in other words, can be measured and recorded in a table. Graphs should be able to be drawn.

Scientific method

The way of proving whether something is true or false by carrying out experiments. The steps of the scientific method are: aim, hypothesis, method, results, interpretations, and conclusion.

Validity of a scientific investigation

Validity refers to variables. A scientific method project/experiment is valid if there is only one independent variable and other variables are fixed. It does not matter if there is more than one dependent variable.

Variables:

Factor that affect an experiment.

Controlled/fixed variable

Factor(s) that cannot change throughout an experiment.

Dependent/Responding

The result obtained after doing the investigation. They are dependent on the independent variable and changes as the independent variable changes

Independent/Manipulated

Factor that is being investigated in an experiment.

Dependent/ Responding

The results obtained after doing the investigation. They are dependent on the independent variable and change as the independent variable changes.

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