Resource 6: Suggestions for conducting and assessing research

Background information / subject knowledge for teacher

Suggestions for research

  • Nutritional values of local foods not mentioned in national textbook.
  • The organic movement.
  • Mother’s milk or powdered milk?
  • Health problems associated with obesity.
  • How our diet has changed. (Encourage students to interview grandparents – if possible use a recording device.)
  • Can we believe adverts about food?
  • What are the main causes of malnutrition in our country?
  • Assess the nutritional value of the meals served in the dining hall of students in a boarding house of a senior high school in your locality.
  • Determine the calorific value of the meals served to pupils under the school feeding programme of the government.

Criteria to evaluate the projects

The criteria used by Mr Saiti in (Case study 3) to judge the competition he set his class to research good techniques for growing crops on a small scale were as follows:

  1. Have the pupils taken note of the existing conditions in the plot?
  2. Have they suggested what tests, if any, they will do to find out more about how the plot is suited to crop growing?
  3. Have they suggested what preparatory work must be done before planting, including what measures they have taken to prevent stray animals from invading the plot?
  4. Have they researched what crops are grown successfully in the locality by other people?
  5. Have they tried to choose a mix of crops that will provide all the requirements of a healthy diet?
  6. What special conditions do these crops need and how could they meet these conditions?
  7. What plans have been made for looking after the crops?
  8. How will they organise a water supply for the plot?
  9. How will they prepare for and deal with potential pests or disease?
  10. When would planting take place?
  11. When would harvesting take place?
  12. What do they suggest is done with the harvest?
  13. Have they thought ahead about what would be planted in future years (crop rotation) and how they can recycle nutrients (composting)?
  14. What plans do they have for making other people aware of the scheme?

Criteria for evaluating research projects   

These criteria relate to Activity 3 and the score card below.

  1. Has the group stated the aims of their research clearly?
  2. Has the group collected sufficient evidence from a range of reliable resources?
  3. What scientific knowledge and understanding from their biology course has the group used in their research?
  4. How clearly have they explained the results of their research findings?
  5. To what extent have they used diagrams in an imaginative and creative way to explain their findings?
  6. Do you think they have covered the main issues in their chosen area of research? Are there any additional questions you think they should have considered?
  7. Is the project attractively presented? Is there an appropriate amount of text – not too much and not too little? Does the layout make you want to read it?
  8. Have they suggested areas in which their research could be continued if they had more time to develop it?
  9. Is there evidence that all members of the group have made an appropriate contribution to the work, using their particular skills?

For each poster, evaluators should give a score for how it was rated on each criterion.

Scores can be between 1 and 5:

5          Excellent

4          Very Good

3          Good

2          Needs more attention

1          Needs a lot more attention.

Score card
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Question 4
Question 5
Question 6
Question 7
Question 8
Question 9

Resource 5: Data on food and energy

Section 5 : Cells