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IB Physics Lab Report Design

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So I'm supposed to write a design lab report for my Physics practical experiments. I have no idea what it is. My experiment is based on a parachute experiment. My aim is how does the mass placed on the parachute affect the time taken for the parachute to land? But my teacher said that I don't have to do the practical, and gain raw data from the experiment. I just have to formulate a design. How am I supposed to answer my aim question, if I don't acquire the raw data by doing the experiment? And what exactly is a Design lab report. I'm really confused.

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Essentially there's three aspects to a lab report, the design, data collection & processing and the conclusion+evaluation. While you can do experiments that cover all three aspects (known as a complete lab) you don't need to either, you can just to a lab that has one or two aspects.

In your case, you just have to design a possible lab. This requires you to have the usual things like aim, variables, method and such, but you don't have to actually carry out the experiment. You don't need to really answer the original question/aim either, just outline how you would answer it.

Best way to approach it would probably be to design it as if you are going to actually carry out the experiment. The report will be written like any other lab report, just that you stop before carrying out the experiment.

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The design ia is designing an experiment as if someone else where to do it, but in depth.

Have a look at this sample one: the design aspect is essentially everything before/ without conducting the experiment and getting a conclusion.


You should also refer to the criteria.

Essentially according to the criteria you need to:

  • Come up with a concise research question
  • Identify your variables
  • Design and state a method for controlling your variables effectively
  • And include a method that allows the collection of adequate data
  • Like 1

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