Area and Oasis Blocks Essay

Words: 1284
Pages: 6

Internal Assesment - Task 2C
In this experiment I am investigating the relationship between surface area and the volume of a model cactus and to determine whether this relationship affects the loss of water.
We used oasis blocks, an absorbant material used by florists as a substitute for a cactus, that would soak up the water, and thus ideally show the percentage water loss by weighing the before and after evaporation weights.

Independent Variable
The independent variable is the total surface area for each size of the blocks and I think this will affect the dependent variable as larger blocks, I hypothesize, will have less water loss by evaporation as there is less surface area for it, as opposed to the smaller (2cm x 2cm x 2cm)
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This graph demonstrates the anomalies in my results. I hypothesized that it would be a positive correlation between points on the graph demonstrating the effectiveness of surface area in the evaporation of water, however for the second point showing 4 x (4cm x 4cm x 4cm) is incorrect, as the trend should be that if the surface area has increased, so has the percentage loss of water. This anomalous result could be due to having to re-do this set, as a result of complications with the material and the saturated result was distorted due to lack of time to absorb. My experiment’s time-management was otherwise uncomplicated. The equipment however, was not at the degree of accuracy necessary to successfully carry out this experiment. For example, controlling the size and shape of each of the blocks was difficult due to the metal rulers slight thickness and it was relatively difficult to control while cutting. In addition to this, to avoid further complications with the oasis material, before leaving the trays to allow the blocks to evaporate, they were sealed with cling-film, which I believe distorted my results and would have stifled evaporation, shown by the abundance of condensation on the cling-film. In order to counter these potential mistakes in further experiments, I think it is necessary to repeat the experiment many times, and modify some of the equipment to suit the experiment