SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, SINGAPORE
INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS IN SCIENCE
Group Reference: A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H
1. Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:
[ ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research
e.g. Investigation of the anti-bacteria effect of chrysanthemum
[ ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)
e.g. Determination of the mass of Jupiter using planetary photography
[ X ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)
e.g. Investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals
[ ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics
e.g. Modeling of the cooling curve of naphthalene
[ ] Observational and exploratory research
e.g. Investigation of the soil quality in School of Science and Technology, Singapore
[ ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research
e.g. Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households
2. Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format:
Title: An investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals.
A. Question or Problem being addressed
A student wanted to find out what temperature is the best for making the biggest crystals. (The aim)
The independent variable is temperature.
The dependent variable is the mass of copper sulphate crystals.
The constants are:
(a) The concentration of the copper sulphate solution used
(b) the total volume of the copper sulphate solution used
(c) the humidity of the environment above the beaker
(d) the mass of the seeding crystal
(e) the shape of the seeding crystal
B. Goals / Expected Outcomes / Hypotheses
Her hypothesis is that the lower the temperature, the bigger is the crystal grown.
C. Description in detail of method or procedures (The following are important and key items that should be included when formulating ANY AND ALL research plans.)
- clean beaker (250 ml) x 10
- copper sulphate in powder form
- Bunsen burner
- Weighing machine
- Magnifying glass
- Silica gel
- refrigerator (-10 degree celcius to room temperature)
- incubator oven ( room temperature to 50 degree celcius)
- chopsticks x 100
• Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection
1. Set up the experiment as shown in the diagram above.
2. Pour 50 grams of copper sulphate crystals into a beaker of 200 ml of distilled water and dissolve it using a stirrer.
3. To ensure that the concentration of copper sulphate is saturated, heat the beaker using a Bunsen flame so that we can dissolve the maximum amount of copper sulphate.
4. When we observe that the crystals cannot be dissolve any further due to heating and stirring, stop the heating process.
5. Pour equal amounts of the copper sulphate solution into 6 different beakers of different amounts. (e.g. 25 ml each)
6. Make sure that the seeding crystals used to make the big crystals are of the same shape by using a magnifying glass to inspect.
7. Make sure that the seeding crystals used to make the big crystals are of the same mass by using a weighing machine.
8. Place the seeding crystals into the 6 different beakers.
9. Place the 6 different beakers into refrigerator and the incubator ovens set according to the temperatures specified.
10. To ensure that the humidity of the space above the beakers remains the same, place a packet of moisture absorber (silica gel) in each of the refrigerator and the oven so as to make sure that the humidity is low. This is to make sure that there is no condensation of water vapour in the refrigerator and oven into the beaker of copper sulphate.
11. Wait patiently for a period of 5 days without disturbing the 6 beakers of copper suphate solution.
12. After 5 days, remove the beakers from the refrigerators or ovens and remove the seeded crystal using a pair of chopsticks carefully.
13. Measure the final mass of the grown crystal using a weighing machine.
14. Repeat the experiment again using a similar setup and measure the average mass of the grown crystal again.
• Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.
1. As this experiment involves heating, use mittens or thongs when carrying hot liquids.
2. As the experiment involves chemicals, avoid consuming these chemicals.
• Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses
1. Tabulate the data and calculate the average mass of the grown crystal.
2. Plot a graph of the average mass of the crystal against the temperature in which it is grown.
3. From the graph, we can find out what temperature is the best for making the biggest crystals. (The aim)
D. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference. Choose the APA format and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan. List your entries in alphabetical order.
About.com (2013, July 10). How to grow great crystals. Retrieved from
Holden A. et al (2011). Crystals and Crystal Growing. Cambridge, MA, USA: The MIT Press.
Scientific American (2013). Solubility Science: How to Grow the Best Crystals: A chemistry challenge from Science Buddies. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bring-science-home-crystals.
Wiki How (2013, July 01). How to Make Salt Crystals. Retrieved from