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Carrying Out Your Investigations 2

In this worksheet, students will consolidate their understanding of carrying out investigations, the pitfalls and problems and why great planning is vital.

'Carrying Out Your Investigations 2' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Exam-Style Questions: SATs Science

Curriculum subtopic:   Exam-Style Questions: Carrying Out

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Scientific Investigations are the heart of science - and they're the best fun, aren't they?

 

Mad scientist

 

As you'll know by now, we at EdPlace like to join in the fun and we also like to do our best to help you get the most out of your own investigations.

 

So that means helping you to get your investigations sorted out - good and proper! 

 

Maybe you've looked at the 'Planning' activities - not only does a good plan save a lot of heartache and wasted time when it all goes wrong, but it helps you to think through what you actually​ want to find out and how you're going to do it.

 

Science questions

 

So, here we are, carrying out an investigation into the dissolving of sugar. 

 

Ned and Conor have noticed that there are different sorts of sugar and they want to investigate whether the different sizes of granule affect how fast they dissolve. 

 

They've made their plan - shall we see if it's going to work as they dive into the actual experiment?

Ned and Conor are testing three sizes of sugar granule to see whether they dissolve at different rates. 

 

Here are the three sorts of sugar:

 

sugar crystals granulated sugar caster sugar
Sugar Crystals - large granules Granulated sugar - medium-sized granules Caster sugar - fine granules

 

Which one do you predict will dissolve the fastest?

sugar crystals

granulated sugar

caster sugar

Here are some of the variables that could affect how their experiment progresses. 

 

Which of these variables do you think they need to control in their investigation?

Granule size

Sunlight

Temperature of the water

Amount of sugar

Number of stirs

Type of spoon

Here's their list of equipment:

 

  • Sugar crystals
  • Granulated sugar
  • Caster sugar
  • Spoon
  • 3 x cups
  • Stopwatch/timer

 

What have they forgotten? Their experiment won't work without it!

In order for their test to be 'fair', each type of sugar must have the same amount (volume) of water to dissolve in.

 

Here are 4 pictures of different measuring devices - which one do you think is the best one for Ned and Conor to choose to measure out equal volumes of water?

 

tape measure measuring jug scales measuring cylinder
TAPE MEASURE MEASURING JUG MEASURING SCALES MEASURING CYLINDER

 

Measuring tape

Measuring jug

Measuring scales

Measuring cylinder

Ned has written out their plan, but he's got a bit mixed up with the order of each stage. 

 

Can you help him out by putting them into the correct order?

 

(You simply need to match '1' to the first thing they should do, '2' to the second and so on to '6' for the final instruction.)

Column A

Column B

1
Measure out 100ml of warm water into each cup
2
Stir for 10 times
3
Start the timer
4
Add a level teaspoon of sugar
5
Watch until all the sugar has dissolved
6
Stop the timer

The young scientists discover that the brown sugar crystals are so big that a level teaspoonful contains much less sugar than the other two types.

 

Complete this sentence:

Column A

Column B

1
Measure out 100ml of warm water into each cup
2
Stir for 10 times
3
Start the timer
4
Add a level teaspoon of sugar
5
Watch until all the sugar has dissolved
6
Stop the timer

Why do you think Ned and Conor chose to use warm water rather than water straight from the tap?

To keep their hands warm while they're stirring

Sugar only dissolves when water is warm

Sugar dissolves fatser in warm water

Their teacher told them to

As so often happens when you carry out scientific investigations, there are unforeseen problems!

 

The young scientists discovered that they should have chosen a different type of cup for their experiment. 

 

Can you suggest what the problem that they discovered might be?

They were made of non-recyclable plastic

They were white

They had a handle

They couldn't hold 100ml of water

Another problem that they encountered is that long after they'd stopped stirring, there were still undissolved sugar crystals in the cup containing the large sugar crystals.

 

Which of the following might help the sugar crystals to dissolve in a reasonable amount of time? 

 

Tick as many as you agree with.

More water

Warmer water

More stirring

More sugar

Larger cup

If Ned and Conor decide to make changes to help the large sugar crystals dissolve within a reasonable amount of time, will they need to change how they treat the other two types of sugar?

NO - the changes should only affect the large sugar crystals

YES - they need to have the same amount of water for each one

YES - they all need to be at the same temperature

YES - all changes must be identical for all three sugars

  • Question 1

Ned and Conor are testing three sizes of sugar granule to see whether they dissolve at different rates. 

 

Here are the three sorts of sugar:

 

sugar crystals granulated sugar caster sugar
Sugar Crystals - large granules Granulated sugar - medium-sized granules Caster sugar - fine granules

 

Which one do you predict will dissolve the fastest?

CORRECT ANSWER
sugar crystals
granulated sugar
caster sugar
EDDIE SAYS
Of course - your prediction is your prediction ... it cannot be wrong! The point of a prediction is that it's what you THINK will happen based on the knowledge you already possess. Often, as a result of the experiment, things work out differently - then you have the fun of finding out what's ACTUALLY going on.
  • Question 2

Here are some of the variables that could affect how their experiment progresses. 

 

Which of these variables do you think they need to control in their investigation?

CORRECT ANSWER
Granule size
Temperature of the water
Amount of sugar
Number of stirs
EDDIE SAYS
Ned and Conor are interested in whether granule size affects the rate of dissolving, so that's definitely the variable they're investigating. What about the amount of the sugar, temperature of the water, or how much they stir the mixture - will these things affect the rate of sugar dissolving? Almost certainly, so they need to be factored in. Sunny or cloudy? Metal spoon or plastic spoon? They aren't going to change the dissolving rate, are they?
  • Question 3

Here's their list of equipment:

 

  • Sugar crystals
  • Granulated sugar
  • Caster sugar
  • Spoon
  • 3 x cups
  • Stopwatch/timer

 

What have they forgotten? Their experiment won't work without it!

CORRECT ANSWER
water
EDDIE SAYS
Well, did you do better than Ned and Conor? To be honest, it won't have taken them long to realise what's missing - how can you do a sugar-dissolving experiment without water?! Mind you, you might have picked things like pencil and paper to jot their results down (important) or some way of warming their water (nice, but not vital) but it has to be water.
  • Question 4

In order for their test to be 'fair', each type of sugar must have the same amount (volume) of water to dissolve in.

 

Here are 4 pictures of different measuring devices - which one do you think is the best one for Ned and Conor to choose to measure out equal volumes of water?

 

tape measure measuring jug scales measuring cylinder
TAPE MEASURE MEASURING JUG MEASURING SCALES MEASURING CYLINDER

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Measuring cylinder
EDDIE SAYS
To measure out a volume of liquid you need something to hold the liquid that has a scale on. The jug is good, but the markings aren't very accurate, so a measuring cylinder is a better choice.
  • Question 5

Ned has written out their plan, but he's got a bit mixed up with the order of each stage. 

 

Can you help him out by putting them into the correct order?

 

(You simply need to match '1' to the first thing they should do, '2' to the second and so on to '6' for the final instruction.)

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

1
Measure out 100ml of warm water i...
2
Add a level teaspoon of sugar
3
Start the timer
4
Stir for 10 times
5
Watch until all the sugar has dis...
6
Stop the timer
EDDIE SAYS
It's important to think things through carefully before you start! Ned has tried to do this, but it's easy to get mixed up! They need to make sure that the same volume of water is in each cup, the same amount of sugar is added, the timer's started, the sugar's stirred the same number of times, and then the timer's stopped when all the sugar's dissolved.
  • Question 6

The young scientists discover that the brown sugar crystals are so big that a level teaspoonful contains much less sugar than the other two types.

 

Complete this sentence:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Same old story! It's not until you get stuck in that you ACTUALLY find out where the problems lie! The chunky sugar crystals take up much more room than the fine sugars and so each spoonful contains more empty space! Weighing out the sugar using an accurate weighing balance would be a much more accurate way of doing things than "a level teaspoon" and they also need to make sure that each cup had the same amount of sugar in it.
  • Question 7

Why do you think Ned and Conor chose to use warm water rather than water straight from the tap?

CORRECT ANSWER
Sugar dissolves fatser in warm water
EDDIE SAYS
Warm water helps things to dissolve faster - it's as simple as that! The extra energy of the water particles (because they're hot and whizzing around) means that the sugar particles mix with them faster.
  • Question 8

As so often happens when you carry out scientific investigations, there are unforeseen problems!

 

The young scientists discovered that they should have chosen a different type of cup for their experiment. 

 

Can you suggest what the problem that they discovered might be?

CORRECT ANSWER
They were white
EDDIE SAYS
Hmmm - did you need to think about that? The handle and the plastic don't really matter here. 100ml water - it's not very much. Anything but a toy tea-set cup will hold that much! The problem is that their cups are white and two of the three types of sugar are white, so it's hard to see whether it's all dissolved. Problems, problems!
  • Question 9

Another problem that they encountered is that long after they'd stopped stirring, there were still undissolved sugar crystals in the cup containing the large sugar crystals.

 

Which of the following might help the sugar crystals to dissolve in a reasonable amount of time? 

 

Tick as many as you agree with.

CORRECT ANSWER
More water
Warmer water
More stirring
EDDIE SAYS
When sugar dissolves in water, the particles of sugar and water mix together and making the water warmer speeds that process up. Having more water to spread out into and stirring it more will also help. More sugar will make the situation worse! Having a larger cup won't make any difference unless the type that they have chosen cannot hold much more than 100ml (unlikely).
  • Question 10

If Ned and Conor decide to make changes to help the large sugar crystals dissolve within a reasonable amount of time, will they need to change how they treat the other two types of sugar?

CORRECT ANSWER
YES - all changes must be identical for all three sugars
EDDIE SAYS
Have you got that? The idea of a 'fair test' is vital: the young scientists are testing how different sugars dissolve. That means that the ONLY variable that should change is the type of sugar. The conditions each one has to dissolve in MUST be the same, otherwise, their results will be meaningless!
---- OR ----

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