Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Basic science: understanding experiments
Basic science: understanding experiments

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.4 Week 2 summary

Figure _unit2.5.1 Figure 5

Congratulations on completing Week 2. Many of you will have certainly added ice cubes to your drink on a warm summer day and noticed that your ice cubes float at the top of your glass. As such, the starting point of this experiment was probably not much of a surprise. In carrying out this experiment, you became a real scientist and tested the hypothesis that other liquids will also behave in this fashion. Like a real scientist, you may have been confronted by results which proved your theory wrong and led you to question why that might be.

Hopefully you have learned that many experiments are observational and do not involve numbers, but both require detailed notes along the way. You should have also learned some science too, and be able to answer scientific questions, such as:

  • Why do things sink or float?
  • Why does ice behave differently from other common liquids in their solid state?
  • Why is this weird property of water important to life itself?

Next week, you will be investigating the conditions required for living organisms to survive. It is simply amazing that scientific investigations, which are so important to Earth and life as we know it, can be investigated in the safety of your home, using everyday equipment and ingredients you can find in your local supermarket.

To conduct next week’s experiment, you will need:

  • four glasses
  • four sachets of baker’s yeast
  • sugar
  • water
  • a kettle
  • a marker pen
  • cling film
  • your activity booklet [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

You can now go to Week 3.