The effective communication of information is critical in science as in all walks of life. The main two forums that we use to foster communication are lab notebooks and oral presentations.
Lab notebooks should reflect an accurate accounting of the procedures followed in an experiment. In addition, we stress analysis of the data. Students will be required to write a conclusion for each experiment. This will include a discussion of what information was gained from the experiment and sources of error that may affect the interpretation. Lab notebooks are graded each week to give students continual feedback throughout the course.
We have several opportunities for students to deliver oral presentations, from the first day, with an ice-breaker exercise, to the final day, with a poster presentation.
During the final two weeks of the course, the students, in groups of four, work on an independent project. Each group will write a paper based upon this project, and on the last day of class, they will present the project in a poster presentation. Parents and siblings are welcome to attend the poster presentation.