Lab reports

Lab reports

Lab reports should have the following format:

Format

  • Name - so that we can hand it back to you
  • Heading - identifies which experiment it is
  • Purpose - a short one liner
  • Method - sufficient to explain how the experiment was performed
  • Results - detail of what was observed. Drawings where relevant, especially in Biology.
  • Calculations - Only in experiments that have them. We like to see your calculations in these kinds of experiments!
  • Conclusion - the "Why?" part of the experiment that explains what the results mean. It often ties back to the purpose. In the case of experiments which are merely intended to measure something, the final calculated result can be listed as the conclusion.

Examples

  1. An experiment where you learn something
  2. An experiment where you measure something
  3. A Biology experiment

1. An experiment where you learn something

Isaac Newton

Experiment 1.1 - The effect of gravity on heavy and light objects

Purpose To dispel the myth that heavy things fall faster due to gravity

Method

  1. Hold a book horizontally in one hand, and a page horizontally in the other. Hold both at the same height in front of you.
  2. Drop both simultaneously.
  3. Note which fell faster.
  4. Now place the page on top of the book and hold it horizontally in front of you.
  5. Drop the book with the page.
  6. Note which fell faster.

Results

In the first part, the book fell faster than the page. In the second part, the book and the page fell at the same speed.

Conclusion

The first part demonstrates why some people believe that heavier things accelerate faster under gravity, but the second part shows that when the wind factor is eliminated from interfering with the way that lighter objects fall, the acceleration is identical to the heavier object.

2. An experiment where you measure something

Archimedes

Experiment 1.2 - The density of water

Purpose To measure the density of water

Method

  1. Zero a kitchen scale
  2. Weigh an empty measuring cylinder in grams
  3. Pour 50 ml of water into the measuring cylinder
  4. Determine the mass of the water in the cylinder
  5. Determine the density of water

Results

Mass of empty measuring cylinder: 70 g

Mass of cylinder with 50.0 ml water: 120 g

Volume of water: 50.0 ml

Calculation

mass of water in cylinder = mass of water and cylinder - mass empty cylinder

                                         = 120 g - 70 g

                                         = 50 g

density = mass / volume

            = 50 g / 50.0 ml

            = 1.0 g/ml

Conclusion

The density of water is 1.0 g/ml

3. A Biology experiment

Carolus Linnaeus

Experiment 1.3 - Microscope use

Purpose Learning how to use a microscope correctly

Method

  1. Make a wet mount slide with a piece of thread.
  2. Observe on low power. Sketch.
  3. Collect some cheek cells with a cotton swab.
  4. Make a wet mount slide with the cheek cells. Use the Methylene blue water.
  5. Observe under all powers. Draw and label what you see.
  6. Wash, dry and put away slides.
  7. Pack up microscope in correct box.

Results

Conclusion

I feel more confident using a microscope, and I was amazed to see one of my own cells.