3.3 The student explained what they have learnt and reflected on what they could improve

3.3 The student explained what they have learnt and reflected on what they could improve

Award level
Criteria breakdown
The student explained what they learned and gave a few ways the project could be improved. 
I’ve learned a lot about dehydration, and more about how it can be treated. I think I developed my research and practical skills, and I now feel confident doing research by myself.
The project could be improved by repeating the tests with each rehydration therapy at least three times so an averaging can be taken.
The student summarised the key information they learnt and skills they developed. They reflected on what they could improve about the project if they were to either repeat the project or take it further.
The key information I learnt during my project was:
  1. That there is only a small amount of difference in sugar content between “healthy” and normal crisps.
  2. That there is a moderate difference in the amount of fat in “healthy” and normal crisps
  3. That young people (15-year olds) perceive there to be a big difference in how bad normal and “healthy” crisps are for you.
I also learnt various skills including, how to design and run a project (and how to apply the scientific method); how to measure the calorific content of a substance; and how to research, analyse and reference information sources. 

My project could be improved by having access to better (more accurate and precise) equipment. For example, I used a regular thermometer when measuring the temperature change of the water in the calorimeter. The degree of precision was very poor. 
I would also try to test a larger variety of crisps – particularly American ones. A lot of the research I found (excluding the information from the NHS website) was from America and it’s unclear whether the findings from those papers can be applied directly as their crisps may be different from ours.

The student summarised what they learnt and the skills they developed over the project. They reflected on their performance, what they did well and where they can improve. They stated how the project could be improved if it were to be repeated or taken further (and what would be required to do this – time, resources etc.)
We feel this project has greatly benefitted our scientific and technological skillset, we have become more confident both in the science behind hydropower and with using complex computer systems and machinery. We have also improved our time management skills and ability to work independently. We now understand the history behind energy production and the wide variety of ways in which it can be achieved. This project has also allowed us to gain a wider view on the serious issues associated with energy use and abuse of the Earth’s natural resources and what we as individuals can do to help prevent the advancement of climate change.

There were several things we did well as a team. We made a point of lying down ground rules at the start of the project. This helped to set everyone’s expectations and ensure that everyone’s opinions were listened to and taken on-board. This proved useful, as there were several times in the project where team members disagreed, but because we had agreed to listen to each other and respect each other’s opinions, we were able to resolve the disagreements in a way that everyone was happy with.

My performance could have been improved by spending more time planning my tasks, rather than rushing in. Because of my impatience, I ended up making silly mistakes (not reading the method properly etc.) which resulted in me taking longer than I would have done if I had planned better. 

If we were complete this project again, we would try and keep to our schedules and reduce the break in the middle during exams and holidays. We would also try and split up the responsibilities of each section more equally.  We do realise there are a number of improvements we could make to our model in order to improve its efficiency and reliability. For example, we could investigate making and using our own generator. Another improvement we could make is moving our prototype from the classroom to a drainpipe which will improve reliability and validity of results. Also, instead of using thermosetting plastic for the paddles and the tank, we could research different materials because it was quite difficult to mould due to its properties.