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Portfolio Activity Description

Experimental or Investigative Activity

For this activity, you will design, conduct, analyze and report the findings of an experimental, and/or investigative activity. This should be a laboratory investigation, experiment, or series of observations and experiments which focuses on a question that you initiate. After thorough consideration of the scope and limits of the activity, including adequate controls and safety, you should design the experimental/investigation activity, and carry it out. You are responsible for keeping original, clear and accurate records of all observations and experimental results. The use of the "Laboratory Report" format will be a guide for the final report.

The report should:

  • Describe the research problem, including background information, and relevance to self, society, and nature.
    • clearly identify the original question/problem
    • present information sources, demonstrating a progression of investigation
    • indicate the student-initiated direction of major aspects

  • Present the hypothesis
    • stated clearly and concisely and its focus is explained
    • rationale for hypothesis clearly explained

  • Present observational data and experimental results
    • original observations and records of experimental results [no copies]
    • correctly labeled and accurate tables, graphs, and charts of information and data

  • Analyze results
    • variables are identified, discussed, and controlled
    • results are clearly and concisely presented
    • data is explained and patterns are noted and discussed
    • contradictory results are pointed out, with an explanation offered

  • Draw conclusions from results
    • based on and supported by data, observations, and experimental results
    • relate conclusions to original hypothesis
    • generalize findings to relate to relevant scientific principles and concepts
    • suggest ways to improve data collection, procedure, or interpretation

  • Reference information/data sources
    • accurately cite sources that are legitimate, credible, and reliable

Research Activity

This activity will demonstrate your understanding of accessing and reporting in-depth information about a scientific concept and how ithat concept relates to personal and real world problems and issues. This activity will not be an encyclopedic presentation of a general topic, but will require you to access, interpret, summarize, and draw conclusions from a variety of quality sources of scientific information. While investigating a question, problem or issue explore all sources of information including libraries, teachers, resource personnel, local colleges and universities, experts from business, industry or government.

The report should:

  • Describe the question, problem, or issue of focus.
    • focus is clearly identified
    • background information indicating why the question, problem, or issue is important to self or society is presented

  • Utilize multiple, legitimate sources of scientific information and/or data.

  • Reference information and data sources using the English style guide (see your English teacher).

  • Present the information and/or data collected.
    • presented in a clear and organized manner
    • summarized using appropriate representational formats

  • Provide an analysis, evaluation, synthesis of the collected information and/or data.
    • analysis, evaluation, and synthesis should be related to the question, problem, or issue.
    • contradictions should be identified and resolved
    • alternatives and consequences should be identified
    • scientific terms should be used correctly

  • Provide a justification for the decision or conclusion using the information and/or data.
    • state the justification clearly
    • rationale or justification for the decision or conclusion should be referenced by the data/information cited.

  • Reference information/data sources
    • accurately cites sources that are legitimate, credible, and reliable

Open Format Activity

This activity allows you to communicate your understanding of science though a variety of media or formats (including written, vocal, pictorial, and theatrical) by offering an opportunity to express your understanding of science in a nontraditional manner. For example, an entry might consist of any of the following: poem, story, song, skit, sculpture, model, demonstration, news report, sketch, booklet, board game, field guide, computer program, photographic essay, brochure or advertisement, etc. This entry will include a written statement of explanation, describing how the final product demonstrates your understanding of the science concept. The activity will be evaluated based on how well the final product conveys an understanding of science to a specific audience rather than on artistic merit.

The competed entry should:

  • Communicate scientific concepts to a specific audience
    • concepts should be developed through the use of example, description, analogy, or illustrat ion
    • presentation should be organized
    • selected medium should represent the scientific concept clearly

  • Show relationships among scientific concepts
    • facts should be connected to scientific concepts, principles, or themes

  • Show relevance of science to applications
    • content should be connected to self, society, technology, and/or nature
    • consequences should be identified

  • Employ data, information, or evidence that supports the message
    • credible references should be used to support conclusions or claims
    • sources must be documented
    • emphasis should be placed on general trends rather than isolated observations, though exceptions may be noted

Written Expression Activity

This activity should express your understanding of scientific ideas and the connections with the applications of the concept. You are encouraged to express ideas to the public (e.g., letters to the editor, or local, state, or federal government representatives), write articles for school or local newspapers, or create a symposium.

Before beginning this activity, you will need to identify an issue/scientific concept that you have an interest in. The audience you are addressing is critical and must be identified so that the right style of communication can be used. You need to write initial drafts of what you are sending out and have it reviewed by fellow classmates, me, teachers, or parents. It is important that review and revision of work your focuses on identifying and eliminating weaknesses in the scientific concepts and reasoning, as well as improving the fluency with which the ideas are communicated. Keep all of you revisions.

The written expression should:

  • Communicate scientific concepts to specific audience
    • a problem, issue, or idea is described clearly
    • relevant scientific terminology is used correctly

  • Show relationships among scientific concepts
    • writing is organized
    • ideas flow and logically
    • provides a summary and reaches a conclusion
    • connects facts to principles, concepts, and ideas
    • gives appropriate examples

  • Show relevance of science to applications
    • provide statement of personal relevance to scientific applications (self, society, nature)

  • Use data, information, or evidence which supports the message
    • credible references should be used to support conclusions or claims
    • sources must be documented
    • emphasis should be placed on general trends rather than isolated observations, though exceptions may be noted


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