The assignment addresses course outcomes 1-5 (these do NOT reflect the direct content and format expectations for this assignment which are described in detail below):
- apply the scientific method to scientific investigations
- state a scientific hypothesis and design a basic experiment
- conduct an experiment, make observations, and collect data
- use knowledge of biological principles to correctly interpret qualitative and quantitative information
- use critical analysis to draw conclusions
This is the culminating assessment for BIOL 102. It is designed to assess your ability to apply the principles of the scientific method. For this project, you will complete the activity below. Make sure to address all requirements associated with the activity.
Design, conduct, and report on an experiment in which you will test the effect of an acidic fluid on enzymatic activity. (Recall: Enzymes are proteins.) If necessary, it may be useful for you to review the Scientific Method lab.
Please read this carefully: You read about and studied enzymes. Recall the following:
- enzymes are specific, meaning that a given enzyme can only catalyze its substrate
- enzyme function is very much related to its structure
- changes in factors, such as the following, can affect enzyme function (aka – activity)
For this assignment, you must:
- select an enzyme
- know what its substrate is
- know what the product(s) of the enzyme catalyzed reaction is
- decide how you will determine and measure the activity of your enzyme (i.e. the production of bubbles)
- select one or more acidic fluids (if your enzyme-substrate combination is catalase and hydrogen peroxide, then the hydrogen peroxide cannot count as one of your acid fluid fluids)
- develop a hypothesis and conduct an experiment to determine whether or not your selected acidic fluid(s) has an effect on the activity of the enzyme you selected
- explain the entire process in a report, formatted as explained below
You may need the following, depending on your experimental design. Please understand that you do NOT have to use these materials. They are listed here because they are the materials that you used for the enzyme lab so they might be useful for this project – depending on how you design your experiment.
Materials in your lab kit:
- excess materials remaining from lab 4 (enzymes)
Additional materials you may need:
- plastic beakers or cups
- hydrogen peroxide solution (from Lab 4)
- yeast (from Lab 4)
- sample of fresh meat, about 1 cm cubed in size (unprocessed and uncooked, e.g., liver, steak, fish, or poultry—particularly organs)
- sample of fresh vegetable, about 1 cm cubed in size (e.g., potatoes or other root vegetables)
- a pen for labeling the beakers or cups
- a ruler with centimeter markings
- Develop a testable hypothesis regarding the effect of an acidic fluid on enzyme activity.
- Design an experiment to test your hypothesis. Make a list of all the materials you will need to conduct your experiment and then procure them. Record in advance all the steps you plan to take when executing the experiment. Design and prepare data tables in which you will record your data and observations while executing the experiment. Decide and make note of how you plan to analyze the data you collect.
- Conduct the experiment. Record any modifications you had to make to the steps in the experiment as you execute them, including details pertaining to amounts or types of materials used. Record all data you collect and observations you make while executing the experiment.
- Analyze your results (data and observations). As appropriate, calculate means, prepare summary data tables, refine how you will present your data in your report, prepare graphs of data, etc.
- Use your knowledge of enzymes to interpret your results. It may be helpful for you to refer to your lab manual, textbook, or other sources.
- Decidewhether or not the data you collected supports your hypothesis. Determine whether or not you will accept or reject your hypothesis.
- Formulate a conclusion about the effect of an acidic fluid on enzyme activity.
- Prepare and submit a formal written report of your experiment. This will determine your grade for the final applied lab project. See the “report format and content guidelines” below. A detailed grading rubric is available below.
It is very important to write with your own words. If you do copy one or two sentences directly (use sparingly), use quotation marks (“) around the copied text, followed by an in-text reference. All information sources need to be included in the reference list and as in-text references. Suspected cases of plagiarism will be reported to the proper UMUC authority. Guidance on how to avoid plagiarism can be found here: UMUC’s How to Avoid Plagiarism
Submit your final applied lab project in the assignment folder by the due date specified in the course schedule. LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Report Format and Content Requirements
The following sections are required. Format and content requirements are summarized below. Please refer to “writing a lab report” in the lab manual and the grading rubric for additional detail.
- General content and format information
o Font: Times New Roman
o Font size: 12 point
o Tense: Past
o Person: Not 1st
o Margins: top and bottom = 1”; left and right sides = 1.25”
o Writing style: Scientific
o Sentence structure: Extremely well-developed
o Grammar, punctuation, spelling: No more than two insignificant errors (meaning the errors do not detract from the message or interfere with reader’s comprehension)
o Minimum length: There is no minimum length for the lab report. The goal is to say everything that must and should be said as concisely as possible.
o Section headings: Should be centered on the page before the beginning of each section. New sections do not need to begin on a new page, except that the abstract and literature cited sections will begin on new pages.
- Section-based content and format information
- Content: Title must be thoroughly descriptive of the experiment (not the assignment). For example, the title should NOT be “Final Applied Lab Project Report”. A descriptive title example (for a non-related experiment) would be “The effect of spring rainfall quantity on the growth of white oak tree seedlings.”
- Format: Title should appear on a cover page with title mid-way down the page, centered. At the bottom of the cover page, centered, student’s name should appear on its own line, followed on the next line by the name of the instructor (centered), followed on the next line by the lab section number (centered), followed on the next line by the date of submission.
- Content: A “miniature” version of the lab report that will contain enough information about the experiment for the reader to decide whether or not they should
read the entire paper. All information should be presented in the same order in which it will be encountered in the lab report.
- Format: Abstract will be on a page to itself following the title page and will be single-spaced.
- Content:The problem or issue being studied must be described. Background information on this problem/issue must be provided. This requires doing some research into the problem/issue and providing a summary of the key information. This background information should also familiarize the reader with the topic. The source of the background information must be cited in the body of the introduction section. For this report, students must cite literature from three sources in their introduction section. This section must include a statement of the hypotheses, a description of the main objectives of the experiment, and a brief explanation of the experimental design. In addition, the following five general questions must be addressed/answered in the introduction section:
- What are enzymes (in general)
- What are the functions of enzymes (in general) and why are enzymes important (in general)
- What factors (in general) can affect the activity of enzymes
- What enzyme, specifically, is being tested in this experiment and what is its function and importance
- What is already known, specifically, about the effect of pH on the enzyme being used in this experiment
- Format: Will begin on its own page following the abstract. In-text literature citations will be in APA format.
- Content: This section should contain an explanation of the procedures that were carried out in the experiment in sufficient detail that someone reading the methods could repeat the experiment, if desired. The materials used are not listed but are mentioned only in the context of the description of their use – DO NOT LIST THEM, even in sentence form. Include a description of what data will be collected, when in the experiment it will be collected and how it will be analyzed.
- Format: Must be in paragraph form with no bulleted or numbered lists. This section does not have to begin on its own page.
- Content: All main findings of the experiment, supported by key pieces of data, should be described in paragraph form. There must be no interpretation of data in this section. All data must be summarized in at least one table or figure. Tables and or figures must be labeled and numbered sequentially followed by a descriptive title. This label/title is placed above tables and below figures. Graphs in figures must have labels that identify the parameter and units involved. All tables/figures must be referenced in the paragraph portion of the section by the table/figure number. That means you must say something like, “Table 1 summarizes the amount of gas produced over time for each treatment”.
- Format: This section must not begin with a table or figure. It does not have to begin on its own page.
- Content: Restate the hypotheses. Do not include any results not mentioned in the results section. Interpret all data by explaining how the results link to basic scientific concepts and how they link to the findings of other researchers. Address other issues including sources of uncertainty in the experiment, further investigations that could/should be done to gather more information, suggestions for improving the experiment, and an alternative explanation for positive or negative results. State whether or not the data supported the hypothesis and the conclusions that can be drawn from the results.
- Format: This section does not have to begin on its own page.
o Literature Cited:
- Content: The sources for all citations contains in the report must be listed, in alphabetical order by author, using the APA format. A minimum of three peer-reviewed sources must be used and the lab manual does not count as one of those.
- Format: Use the APA format. Within a source use single-spacing and a 05.” Hanging indent and between sources use double-spacing.