Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Cycle Experiment
Design and Implementation Assignment
For this assignment, your group will be asked to be creative, yet practical, in a
demonstration of your newly acquired understanding of the scientific method. The task is
to design, implement, and conduct an experiment that provides evidence to support the
idea that the processes of combustion, respiration, and photosynthesis alter the
chemical composition of the air. Please focus your attention on only one of these three
processes. The experiment should be simple enough that, given the proper equipment, it
would be suitable for a high school class. After you come up with an idea or two (you
may find a preliminary Internet search useful), run them by me, and I should be able to
tell you if the basic plan can be implemented.
Please hand in a write-up with the following information:
1. A sentence or two introductory overview of the purpose of the experiment.
2. A clear statement the hypothesis that you are testing.
3. A description of the methods that is detailed enough to enable a high school science
class to exactly replicate the experiment.
4. A summary of results, including descriptive statistics, tables, graphs, results of
statistical tests, where appropriate.
5. A discussion of the results in the context of your hypothesis. Were your predictions
supported? Do you think this experiment (or a modified version) is practical for the
Materials that can be made available to you:
Data acquisition equipment, oxygen (dissolved and gas) sensors, carbon dioxide
gas sensors, air pressure sensors, glass containers of various volumes, candles, plants,
giant cockroaches, and plenty of other stuff.
You will be asked to make an oral presentation of this project to the class.