Design and carry out experimentation to fulfil the brief given for your appointed role and report… 1 answer below »

Introduction

There are varying roles undertaken by chemists in various industries. This practical will

explore the same experiment from three different perspectives;

1. A research and development (R&D) chemist employed by Company C

2. A quality control (QC) chemist employed by Company A

3. A quality control (QC) chemist employed by Company B

R&D Chemist

Responsible for the research and development of different products. They may be

involved in the design of different products, or the re-development and improvement of

an existing product.

QC Chemist

Utilises chemistry lab skills to test and measure materials to determine whether the

product or substance meets the reported standard or requirements.

Experiment Design

An understanding of how experiments are designed and structured, and ideas about

reliability, causality and validity are essential to enable critical evaluation of scientific

information. Designing an experiment requires scientific understanding. These

concepts need to be carefully considered and the design adapted and refined after

testing to produce a procedure that gives good quality evidence or data. Many of the

scientific techniques that need to be learned by rote, such as titration, are protocols

developed by previous scientists, with consideration for these key ideas, to ensure that

the data produced are of the highest possible quality. Designing a new experimental

method is a very different skill to carrying out a learned protocol. This activity allows

that skill to be practised with a focus on the processes involved.

Experiments are designed to allow the collection of evidence or data. Measurement is

central to the collection of scientific evidence, but how a measurement is carried out

and the choice of the apparatus used is key to understanding the quality of the

evidence. This activity, set in a very simple context, allows the exploration of some of

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these issues. Treatment of data, using the mean, range, standard deviation and

standard error, is also investigated.

Think carefully about each step of this activity. Try not to focus on the outcome, but

on the reasoning behind any experimental decisions or assumptions made. Different

people within a group, and different groups, will come up with different ideas to

tackle this exercise. This is encouraged as the discussion around each idea is

essential to develop understanding. There is no single right answer or expected

outcome for this activity, although some methods may give better quality data than

others. Learning about and understanding the planning process and the ideas

detailed above is the desired outcome. The aim is to develop understanding of some

key ideas about data, evidence, measurement and experimental design by exploring

many different possibilities.

Pre-work

1. There is a pre-work quiz you should complete in UTSOnline that covers the

different types of variables in experimental design

2. Organise and bring a laboratory notebook to your practical class (A4 size)

Objectives

The aims of the class are;

• To design and carry out experimentation to fulfil the brief given for your

appointed role and report on your findings in an objective manner

• To develop an understanding of the ideas behind experimental design and

measurement and perform a valid experiment with consideration to the different

types of variables

• To discuss and develop understanding of the use of mean values, ranges,

standard deviations and standard errors in reporting experimental findings

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