Monday, 4 March 2013

Michael nguyens science assignment blog

Day 1 (21/02/13)
What do I aim to achieve from this experiment and why did I choose to do it?

My goal from this experiment is to be able to determine which colour increases the melting rate of ice the most. To begin with, I was thinking of performing an experiment involving colour as I thought it would be interesting. Researching on the internet, I had found many experiments involving colour. For example, which colour would trap the most warmth in a house or in clothing? I was particularly interested in colour and heat absorption and a simple experiment to see this relationship was through using ice blocks. As a result, I had decided to do an experiment that would determine which colour increases the melting rate of ice the most.

Diagram of experiment:

Draft Method-
1. Add 5 drops of each of 5 different dyes into an ice make maker.
2. Add 20mL of water into each of the 5 slots on the ice cube maker using a pipette.
3. Place the ice cube maker into a freezer and leave to freeze overnight.
3. Turn on the heater and leave it on for 5 minutes to completely warm it up.
4. Take the first coloured cube of the freezer and place it in front of the heater for 3minutes.
5. After the 3 minutes,calcuate the approximate volume of the remaining ice cube by using measurements made by a ruler.
6. Repeat steps 4 - 5, for the remaining ice cubes.

Day 2 (22/02/13)
How my answer to the problem I was investigating could be used?  

My answer to the problem I am investigating can be used in a variety of ways. For example, food products such as icecreams or ice blocks can last longer on warmer days, through adding a certain food colouring to them. Furthermore, entertainment areas with rooms completely covered in ice and filled with ice sculptures can be made into a certain colour, so that less energy would be used to keep the ice from melting. The coloured nature of the ice would also make it attractive to visitors.My results from this investigation may also be used in an unsual way, that is to melt ice covering roads. By dying the ice, it may melt quicker out in the sun.

Day 3 (23/02/13)
What were some changes that I had made to my original plan due to problems that I had experienced?
  1. I decided to change from using ice cubes to ice blocks sitting in 5 plastic cups respectively, since ice cubes are too small in size and hence would not give as accurate results as ice blocks which would clearly show a trend in the melting rate of different coloured ice blocks as they are larger in size.
  2. I had shifted from measuring the remaining volume of ice cubes, to pouring out the amount of molten ice from each cup into a measuring cup and dividing these results by a fixed time. This would give more accurate and valid results and would give a better trend.
  3. I had decided to place the ice blocks one at a time in front of the heater, so that I did not spend more time measuring the melting rate of one over the other. This would given an experiment that was more fair.

Day 4 (24/02/13)
What I read about my topic?

I did not find any reliable information on my experiment, and so I decided to look for information on colour and heat absorption. From this information, I would be able to predict which coloured ice block would melt the quickest.
* According to my research, dark colours such as deep reds and blues absorb more heat than light colours do.Thus a dark coloured ice cube would melt very rapidly as compared to a clear ice cube.
~ Naturally light colours such as yellow and lighter shades of colours such as of blues and greens do not absorb as much heat and so an ice block of these colours would probably last longer.
~ Red is at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum, and so it has the least energy. So a red ice block would reflect red light but absorb all other high energy wavelengths and this energy will therefore melt the ice rapidly.
~ Blue light is at the shorter wavelength end of the visible light spectrum and so has the strongest energy. A blue ice block will reflect blue light but absorb the other lights, which do not have as much energy and so will melt slower than red ice.
~ Clear ice, does not have any colour and hence it does not absorb as much heat and therefore would melt slower than a coloured ice block.

~ If you put two ice cubes out in the sun, but one on a white cloth and another on a black cloth, the cube on the black cloth will melt faster.
~ These are the links:




Day 5 (25/02/13)
What observations did I make?
There were many observations that I had made throughout my experiment. Firstly, all coloured ice blocks had melted at a faster rate than the clear ice block, in the 5 minute time span. Also, the red ice cube had melted the quickest, followed by the orange,then the blue and slowest out of all the coloured ice blocks was yellow.

Who did I consult for information and feedback?

I had seeked advice from my family members on how to improve my experiment because I knew that they were experienced. Also, my parents had helped me out by buying the equipment I needed for my assignment. I had also asked teachers to give me tips on how to write a blog and how to perform a fair and valid experiment.


How I assessed the feedback that I received, what went wrong and how I overcame the challenges?

I assessed the feedback that I received by comparing it to my textbook and the internet. For instance, on how to achieve a fair experiment,  I had compared the information gained with secondary sources, to find out whether I was given the correct information. I had also broken down the advice I  had received and had use that used it to improve my experiment. One of the things, that went wrong was that in my experiment I had left one of the coloured iceblocks out for ten minutes without realising it,  and so I had got an unusual reading. Due to this mistake, I had redone the experiment for this coloured ice block.