You will be required to use a lab notebook throughout this course. This will serve as your lab and activity diary and is to be brought to class every day. Think of this as the place where all thinking associated with labs and activities will be recorded. While you should ensure that submitted work is neat and legible, much of the purpose of this book is to serve as your scratch paper as well. By the end of the year you will have a comprehensive record of all that you have accomplished in this course. I will periodically collect and check your progress, although not every time that an activity is completed. Here are some things to keep in mind about your lab notebook.
- Write your identifying information on the inside of the LNB
- Write in only dark blue or black ink inside the LNB
- Mistakes should be crossed out – no erasing or white out
- No page should ever be ripped out or removed for any reason
- All data collection, notes, ideas, processing must be shown in the notebook
- At times photocopies (or other printed paper) should be taped into the book, but as a general rule this is a place for wirting (pen to paper!).
- The top of the first page of every activity should have the proper labeling (date, topic etc)
- Even when working in pairs, each person should have a copy of the collected data
Thinking About Labs
- What is the beginning question?
- How will I conduct the investigation?
- How will I stay safe?
- What observations and measurements did I make?
- What can I claim? What evidence do I have to support the claim?
- How do my ideas and results compare with others and to the literature?
- How have my ideas changed?
What is Data?
- Data is anything directly recorded, including units, organized in a table
- No calculations or interpretations or conversions of any kind allowed
What are Calculations?
- Only one example of each type of calculation using data from the lab (only one) is necessary
- Title, Formula, Number Example (see example for how this looks)
- Then summarize all calculation results in a table
- If you plot a graph then this is mentioned in this section
How do I show synthesis of the results?
- What are the trends? What did you expect? How did it differ from your results?
- What factors introduced uncertainty? How did they impact the result of the lab?
- What did you conclude from the lab? (be specific)
This is your lab diary!
- you want to record your partial thoughts, scratch work, drawings and unfinished work.
- not only is there not extra grade benefit to “being neat” this is actually counter-productive to the process.
- Trust me – I am coaching you on a process