Experimental Design
The experimental design is the set of steps or procedures that will be used to perform a series of experimental trials. The experimental design begins with the experimental set-up. It defines and describes the equipment that will be used to perform the experiment and describes how the equipment will be set-up for the performing of the experiment. It includes a description of the preparation of the materials that will be used in the performance of the experiment and the set-up of the experiment so that data can be collected. Finally, the experimental design includes a description of how the data will be collected.

The experimental design should be written in flow-chart style. A flow-chart can be set-up using several different methods or a combination of methods. The point of the flow-chart is to illustrate how the experiment was performed and to give other scientists, that may want to repeat your work, a foundation to build upon. The flow-chart may be:
  1. Boxes with brief statements of what was done. The boxes have arrows between them indicating the order in which the procedures were accomplished.
  2. Boxes with diagrams/drawings of what was done. These boxes are also connected to one another by arrows indicating the order of performance.
  3. Boxes with photographs indicating what was done and how it was done. Again, the boxes are connected to one another by arrows to indicate the order of performance.
  4. A combination of the statements, diagrams, and photographs can also be used.

Please take some time to go to the following links to see how other students made their flow-charts for poster displays of their projects.

Preparation of materials
Design a flow-chart that describes how to prepare the materials, equipment, solutions, etc that will be used during the experiment. Include the following:
  • Description of how to make any of the equipment that you design yourself. Be specific - include sizes, brand names of products, and amounts to be used.
  • Description of how to prepare any chemicals, solutions, or if you buy the chemicals already made give brand names and amounts to be used.

Set-up of the experiment
Design a flow-chart that describes how to set up the equipment to begin to collect data.
  • Be certain to include amounts of solutions/chemicals to be used
  • Be certain to include how much time to wait before making observations or collecting data
  • Be certain to include the number of test subjects to set-up

Collection of data
Design a flow-chart that describes how to collect the data from your experiment.
  • Explain how to use any measuring equipment
  • State the amount of time that the data is to be collected
  • State the time between data collections