Engineering and Mathematics Lab Note-Taking Guide
Analysis of experimental data and observations leads to results and possible conclusions, but this is a separate process from acquiring and recording meaningful information from an experiment. For engineering and mathematical experiments, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Background Research and Goals
Be sure you know the goal of your experiment. This allows you to figure out what exactly needs to be recorded from the experiment and what needs to be calculated and analyzed at a later time. Being familiar enough with the background of the experiment will help you determine what kind of raw data needs to be gathered.
Describe the materials used for the project. You should include how much of each material you used. Prepare the environment of the project. If necessary, you need to add schematics and procedure. This will make the experiment easy for you and others to recreate. For example:
- A solar cell was connected to the voltmeter with the alligator clips.
- White LED (light emitting diode) was placed in the lamp and the solar cell was placed six centimeters below the LED.
- All the lights in the room were turned off and outside light was blocked.
Record the results and include pictures or graphs in the worksheet. Pictures provide evidence and information to readers making your report easier to understand. Be sure to have correctly-sized blank charts and tables ready for recording data. Additionally, if you are using a computer to record results, make sure the necessary software for gathering data is set up and working properly.
Check out our General Lab Note-taking Guide for more information.