Research is any process that results in the collecting of information about a specific topic. This can be done by reading information recorded by others and/or your own observations and experiments.
Exploratory experiments are done for the purpose to learn more about the topic. In other words, the results of exploratory experiments are considered research. For example, the following exploratory experiment is about growing salt crystals.
Purpose: To describe the physical properties of halite crystals that form by evaporation.
Materials: tap water, measuring cup, tablespoons of table salt, stirring spoon, tray (large enough to hold the paper), 1 sheet of black construction paper
(1.) Fill the measuring cup with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of distilled water.
2. Make a concentrated salt solution by adding table salt to the a tablespoon at a time until no more salt will dissolve. After each addition of salt, stir the solution until the salt has dissolved. The solution is concentrated when any part of the added salt will not dissolve.
(3.) Lay the paper in the tray, and then pour the concentrated salt solution over the paper. The paper is the surface for the crystals to grow on.
(4.) Place the tray in a warm place where its contents can be observed but not disturbed until the paper is dry. May take 7 or more days.
Expected Results: As the water evaporated, clear, cube shaped crystals will form on the black paper.
- A solution is made. A solution is a combination of a solute and a solvent.
- The solute is table salt and the solvent is water.
- Two things are changing:
1. solvent is evaporating
2. solute particles are sticking together to form evaporite crystals
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