Research Proposal

Research Proposal.

1. Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:
[ x ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research
[  ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)
] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)
[  ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics

[  ] Observational and exploratory research
[  ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research 

2.Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format: 

Title: An investigation on the effect of colours produced by the flame after burning different chemicals. 

A. Question or Problem being addressed
A student wanted to find out what different colours would be produced when burnt over different chemicals. (The aim)
The independent variable is the types of chemicals available for use.
The dependent variable is the colour produced by the chemicals

The constants are :
  1. Time used to burn each chemical
  2. Amount of chemical to be burnt
  3. The environment used when burning
B. Goals / Expected Outcomes / Hypotheses
Hypothesis : If chemicals that requires a certain amount of energy for the electrons to reach the excited stage are burnt, the colour of flame will be the same.

C. Description in detail of method or procedures (The following are important and key items that should be included when formulating ANY AND ALL research plans.)
Equipment list :
  • White glue (1 small bottle), such as Elmer's
  • Bamboo skewers (12)
  • Chemicals; 12 grams (g) each of:
    • Copper sulfate
    • Strontium chloride
    • Boric acid
    • Sodium chloride
    • Cupric Sulfate
    • Lithium Chloride
    • Sodium Carbonate
  • Masking tape
  • Pen or marker
  • Small vials or ziplock bags for the chemicals (4)
    • Vials should be fairly narrow and short; just large enough to hold the chemicals and 1 inch of the tip of a bamboo skewer.
    • Ziplock bags should be small; 2" x 2" or 2" x 3" would be ideal.
  • Chemical goggles
  • Disposable latex or nitrile gloves
  • Paper towel (4 sheets)
  • Matches (1 box); the strike on box kind work best but any type will do
  • Solid fuel tablet (1); Esbit 14 g tablets 
  • Aluminum foil
  • Hard nonflammable outdoor surface like a sidewalk, driveway, or brick/concrete patio
  • Container of water
  • Heat resistant bowl (1); a soup or cereal bowl would work well
  • Lab notebook
  • Optional: video camera or digital camera and tripod
  • Optional: flashlight

D. Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection
Preparing the Chemical Skewers
  1. Prepare the bamboo skewers a day before the experiment. 
  2. Prepare at least 3 skewers for each chemical. 
  3. Put a piece of masking tape around the blunt end of each skewer, like a flag as seen in Figure 1 below. 
  4. Label the chemicals on each skewer.

Figure 1. A completed skewer is shown here. Notice the masking tape label at the blunt end, and the copper sulfate coating approximately 1 inch of the tip.

5. Apply a thin layer of glue directly to the last 1 inch of the tip of a skewer.

Figure 2. Cover approximately 1 inch of the tip of each skewer with a small amount of glue. Make sure the glue is on all sides of the skewer.

6. While wearing the chemical goggles and disposable gloves, dip the glue-coated tip end of the skewer in the jar of chemical. 
7. Make sure the name of the chemical on the skewer label is a match for the chemical you are using.
8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have made 3 skewers for each of the chemicals.
9. Let the skewers dry for at least two hours.

Conducting the Flame Tests

10. The flame test should be conducted in the dark on a hard nonflammable surface.

11. Bring the dried chemical skewers and all other materials outside.

12. Place a solid fuel tablet on a square of aluminum foil on your nonflammable surface as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Outside on a nonflammable surface is the ideal place to conduct your flame test. For easy cleanup make sure to but your solid fuel tablet on a square of aluminum foil.

13. As a safety precaution make sure to have a container of water with you. A fire extinguisher would be a fine alternative. If you are using a video camera, start recording.

14. Use a match to light the solid fuel tablet. Note the color of the flame in your lab notebook. If you are using a digital camera to document your experiment, take a picture of the burning tablet.

15. Once the solid fuel tablet is burning, carefully take a skewer and hold the chemical coated end in the flame. Observe the flame color and record it in your lab notebook. Take a photo if you are using a digital camera for documentation.

16. Repeat step 7 for all 12 skewers (3 per chemical). Record all your observations in your lab notebook.
17. When you are done either wait for the solid fuel tablet to burn itself out or extinguish it by carefully putting a heat resistant bowl over the tablet, as shown in Figure 4, for a few minutes.

E. Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.
  1. Careful when handling different chemicals as they may be acidic.
  2. Be careful when using fire to burn. 
  3. Find an area where there is no flammable objects near to carry out the experiment.
F. Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses
  1. Tabulate the data and observe the different colours produced. 
  2. The colours of the fire produced can tell us how much energy there is in the electrons are based on how much photons emitted.
  3. These colours can tell us how the electrons affect the colour produced by the different chemicals as the amount of energy an electron takes in has to be let out too.

D. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference. Choose the APA format and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan. List your entries in alphabetical order.

1. Douma, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2. Professor H.Y. Aboul-Enein. (n.d.). Retrieved from

3. Stephen Reucroft , S. R. (n.d.). Retrieved from 9 Jul 2013,

5. Retrieved from, on July 9, 2013.

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