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8th Science Lab Rpt Rubric

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					                  LAB REPORT RUBRIC - Needed for 8th Grade

Required Parts and What They Should Contain
(Someone else who doesn't know about the experiment should be able to follow
the directions and perform it without being confused, and learn what you did,
not necessarily to get the same results, but to see whether the result can be
duplicated and predicted.)

1. Purpose - (Always needed.) Tell me in one descriptive sentence or as a
question why you are doing this experiment - what are you trying to investigate
or learn? (2 points)

2. Hypothesis - (Most, but not all, lab reports should state a hypothesis.) Make a
"testable" prediction - what results do you think you will get from your
experiment? Describe it ideally as a cause and effect: "If I do this, then this will
happen." The pothesis should be related to the purpose of the experiment, not
something different, and not something obvious (don't say, "If I add energy to
the water, it will boil."). (1 point)

3. Variables - What are you testing? What are YOU changing to see what
differences you might observe? THIS IS THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE.
   What are you measuring, or kind of thing are you making observations of, and
recording as your data? THIS IS THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE.
   Which important things are you trying to keep the same between different
tests in your experiment, or between different groups, so you only see the
effects of what you have intentionally changed? THESE ARE THE CONTROLLED
VARIABLES AND THERE SHOULD BE SEVERAL FOR ANY EXPERIMENT. (3
points)

4. Materials - Make a complete list of what you used, and is needed, for the
experiment. Show amounts in proper units of measurement, and describe
clearly so someone knows they have the same materials. (2 points)

5. Procedure - Step-by-step instructions of what you did so someone else could
follow it. What you ACTUALLY DID, NOT what you may have been instructed to
do or wanted to do. Include a picture or a diagram to show how you set it
up. (A procedure is never "wrong," it just is whatever you did.) (2 points)

6. Data - ONE OF THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT PARTS. A complete recording of
your relevant numerical measurements and descriptive observations of the
Dependent Variable (the data), with correct units of measurements, clearly and
correctly labeled, and a table, graph, chart or paragraph of descriptions,
depending on the kind of data. (3 points)
7. Analysis - THE OTHER MOST IMPORTANT PART. Summarize your results with
your scientific explanation of what you think happened and why (what caused
what actually happened?). Say whether the data supported (not "proved" - you
can't do that from just one experiment!) your hypothesis and why, or why
not. Describe any possible errors that may have affected your results and could
be corrected or eliminated (like things that may have interfered with what you
intended to test, or problems measuring something, or accidents). (4 points)

8. Conclusion - What did you learn? How would you change or improve the
experiment to get a better or "fairer" test? What other things could you, or
would you want to, investigate after this to understand the subject better? (2
points)

TYPES OF VARIABLES in science experiments

INDEPENDENT (also sometimes called "experimental") - the factor which I
change and I am in control of, what I am testing and want to see the effect of
changing.

DEPENDENT (also sometimes called "responding") - the factor that changes
"depending on" what I change. It "responds" to the change I make. What I
measure for my data.

Example: Suppose I say, "If I change the amount of water I give my plants,
they will grow more." I change the amount of water to see if they will actually
grow differently. The amount of water I give them is the INDEPENDENT variable
(it's what I'm changing and testing to see the effeect of), and measuring the size
and way the plants actually grow (my data - the DEPENDENT variable - could be
the size, the shape, color, healthy or unhealthy looking - all of those things). My
data in an experiment is what I get "in response" to what I'm testing (changing).

CONTROLLED variables - Things that could change the results if I don't keep
them the same for my experiment, and could interfere with my
test. Examples: for my plant and water test, I use 1] the same seeds, 2] same
soil, 3] same amount of soil, 4] same size of pot, 5] same amount of sunlight, 6]
keep them at the same temperature, and 7] water them at the same time and 8]
same number of times each day. All of these are things I could also change and
test separately because they might affect how plants grow, but I'M NOT IN THIS
EXPERIMENT, so I try to keep them the same to make it a "fair" test of what
happens by changing just one thing at a time, the amount of water.

				
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