Week 8: Carbon Footprint (with a Formal Lab Report) We are going to do something

Week 8: Carbon Footprint (with a Formal Lab Report)
We are going to do something different from our routine this week. We’ll finish a lab and turn in a formal lab report. The purposes of this lab are to improve your writing skills and promote critical thinking.
Firstly, please browse through the experiment manual and have some basic ideas about what you need to do in this lab. Since Part 2 of the lab needs one week, you may have to start the lab TODAY! If you start in Tuesday, use the same data for Monday.
You need to finish a formal lab report at the end of next Tuesday. Our formal lab report should include five sections, i.e., Introduction, Methodology, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. We’ll explain how to write each section and the rubrics in the next few pages. You don’t have to wait until the end of the week to write your lab report. I would recommend that you start to write the Introduction section now! It will help you better understand what you need to do in the lab and the meaning of the lab.
Your lab report must include all the sections, and your score for this week is solely determined by the formal lab report.
Here are some specific formatting requirements: in “Home” choose either Times New Roman or Arial, use 12-pt font for your main texts, the title and section could use bigger fonts, and choose 1.15 for line spacing; In “Layout” choose the margins to be normal (1″ for all margins), and all Indent and Spacing should all be set to 0. There should be a cover page with a title, your name, and date. All pages should be numbered. This instructional document can actually serve an example that meets the formatting requirements.
How to write the “Introduction” section
In the Introduction section, you should introduce the background information of the experiment and the theories the lab is based on. You may also present the meaning of the experiment.
For this particular lab, you need to explain the concepts of climate change, man-made greenhouse emissions, and carbon footprint. You should also elucidate the connections among the concepts. For example, how might carbon footprint affect climate?
You should have 2-3 well-developed paragraphs.
Please refer to the rubrics for the detailed requirements.
How to write the “Methodology” section
In the methodology section, you need to state what you actually do in the experiment. If any materials are used in the experiment, you should also describe them clearly. So, any people with basic scientific training can repeat your experiment.
In this section, passive voice should be used to emphasize what has been done, not who does it. All steps must be written in reported speech (i.e., past tense). A numbered list is often used. Please record what YOU actually do; do not just copy the lab manual. Please do NOT include measurement results (numbers), calculations, and findings in this section, which should go to the Results section.
For this particular lab, this section may start as follows:
1. The carbon footprint worksheet was filled, and the total was calculated.
2. A personal carbon footprint plan was developed. The changes, including ……, were carried out throughout the week.
3. …
Please refer to the rubrics for more detailed requirements.
How to write the “Results” section
This is a major section. You should present the data collected in the lab, calculations, analysis of the data, and findings in this section.
Figures and tables are very helpful in this section. For Part 1 in this lab, you may include the carbon footprint worksheet. For Part 2, you may employ the example table. All figures and tables must be titled and numbered.
Please try to analyze your data and present your findings.
Please present the results clearly and in a logical sequence.
Please refer to the rubrics for more detailed requirements.
How to write the “Discussion” section
In this section, you need to interpret your results and discuss any related issues. For a teaching lab, you may also need to answer some questions. You should have 3-5 well-developed paragraphs. You may use the following questions to guide your discussion, but do NOT simply answer the questions.
1. Were you able to follow the lifestyle changes in your carbon footprint plan for the whole week? What was the most challenging thing about making changes?
2. How did it feel to make those changes? Did it significantly change your daily routine?
3. What kind of difference do you think it would make if everyone followed the changes you made for a week?
4. Could you follow your plan for a longer period of time, like a month or even a year? What would stop you from doing this? Would it be worth it? Why or why not?
5. Based on what you learned from exploring the household carbon calculator and your experience in Parts 1 & 2, can you develop/refine a practical plan to reduce your carbon footprint in the long term?
Please refer to the rubrics for more detailed requirements.
How to write the “Conclusion” section
In the Conclusion section, you should use simple words to summarize the key results and findings of the lab. It doesn’t have to be very long but needs to state your conclusions clearly and in a logical way.
Please refer to the rubrics for more detailed requirements.
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