What is Biology?
0.3 Assignment: Practice the Scientific Method and Lab Report Writing
Writing formal lab reports is an essential skill for secondary school student interested in higher
education, for both scientific and non-scientific fields! This activity’s purpose is to aid you in strengthening
your scientific and technical writing skills, as writing lab reports based on assigned virtual lab,
experimental, and observational will be a required entity within this course.
The research paper (lab report) is the primary means of communication in science. Lab reports present
the results of an experiment and interpretation of data, describes the rationale and design of the
experiment, provides a context for the results in terms of previous findings and assesses the overall
success of the experiment(s).
Formal lab reports should always be written in third-person, passive voice, and should not be inclusive of
first-person, “I” statements. Also, try to avoid “active voice” within a lab report. For example, if there are
instructions to pour a liquid a lab report would be written to provide that procedure as “200 mL of distilled
water was poured into a 500 mL beaker,” (passive voice) and not “I poured 200 mL, of distilled water into
a beaker” (active voice) or “Pour 200 mL, water into a beaker” (directional/command).
Scientific and academic language should also be used at all times throughout the lab report, in addition to
proper grammar, syntax (word order), and sentence structure (punctuation, capitalization, spelling, etc.).
Writers should also avoid any colloquial (slang, regional) terms and phrases within the writing of their lab
As a reminder, all lab reports should follow a specific flow and order. All sections but the title have the
section explicitly labeled, usually in bold letters to differentiate it from the rest of the text, and left aligned
on the page (not centered). A blank line should appear after the last word of the section to separate the
various sections, but a line should not be placed after the section title. The various sections of a lab report
should appear in your paper in the order described below:
In this lab activity, you will practice and refine your abilities to draft an original, and formal lab report. You
will be given a description of a lab, along with data collected from the experiment. From this information,
you will construct the proper sections of a formal lab report for the example experiment provided.
What is Biology?
The grade you earn for this activity will be dependent upon your ability to construct a properly formatted,
formal lab report, inclusive of all of the components mentioned above and the detail of information
provided within each section.
How Much Bounce Could a Bouncy Ball Bounce?
Your little sibling asked for you to get them a toy that would “bounce to the moon” (meaning, super high), because
they were fascinated with the idea of high bouncing things (kangaroos, springs, and even bouncy balls)! You had the
GREAT idea to take your sibling to the store, and buy them a bouncy ball with the limited money that you had
(because, you are the BEST sibling ever)!
Once you arrived at the store, you and your sibling saw a display for toy bouncy balls in various sizes and colors! On
one side of the display, they had bouncy balls that were 15 cm in diameter for $5, and on the other side larger balls
that were 30 cm in diameter for $15! Your sibling automatically gravitated to the larger ball, demanding two in the
colors purple and green, but, you redirected them to get two smaller balls (as you only had $20 to spend, and you
wanted to use the leftover money to buy something for yourself)! They argued about getting the larger balls, because
they assumed that a larger ball would mean that they would get a greater amount of bounce, however you
respectfully disagreed. In order to appease their request, you bought one of each sized ball, and made a bet/wager
with them that a larger ball would not necessarily mean a greater bounce! They agreed upon your offer, stating that if
they were right, you’d by them two additional balls later, and if you were right they’d do your household chores for a
In order to determine who the winner was going to be, you devised a method to test your idea by measuring the
bounce height of the smaller and larger bouncy balls by dropping them both from 5 different initial heights onto a tile
floor. Three trials were done for all 5 heights, and for each type of ball (the same ball and the same location were
used for every trial). As a reminder, the goal of this investigation is to determine the relationship between initial
height, bounce height of the ball, and the ball’s size (and of course, bragging rights with your sibling)!
15 cm ball:
Initial Height (cm) 20 cm = bounce height 18 cm (trial 1), 14 cm (trial 2), and 16 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 40 cm = bounce height 32 cm (trial 1), 37 cm (trial 2), and 35 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 60 cm = bounce height 51 cm (trial 1), 55 cm (trial 2), and 53 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 80 cm = bounce height 74 cm (trial 1), 74 cm (trial 2), and 76 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 100 cm = bounce height 95 cm (trial 1), 89 cm (trial 2), and 91 cm (trial 3)
30 cm ball:
Initial Height (cm) 20 cm = bounce height 15 cm (trial 1), 14 cm (trial 2), and 16 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 40 cm = bounce height 30 cm (trial 1), 35 cm (trial 2), and 36 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 60 cm = bounce height 50 cm (trial 1), 49 cm (trial 2), and 55 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 80 cm = bounce height 72 cm (trial 1), 75 cm (trial 2), and 76 cm (trial 3)
Initial Height (cm) 100 cm = bounce height 95 cm (trial 1), 98 cm (trial 2), and 90 cm (trial 3)
In this lab activity, you will practice and refine your abilities to draft an original, and lab report inclusive of the proper
sections of a formal lab report: introduction, objective, hypothesis, materials, procedure, data, analysis, and conclusion.
What is Biology?
Be mindful of how you incorporate the information from above, and that you use proper scientific vocabulary and
reasoning, as well as proper grammar and sentence structure to convey your ideas.