Term 2 Science Project

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Term 2 Science Project

Science project term 2To conclude our science unit on adaptation students will prepare an information display with supporting resources on a desert animal or plant.

Teams will:
• describe the desert environment to which the species is adapted
• describe the structural features and behaviour of the species
• make claims about which are key adaptations that help the species survive.

Present your research on a display board.

  • All in your own words. The language should be impersonal and contain three tier words.
  • Use a font size of at least 16 points for the text on your display board, so that it is easy to read from a few feet away. It’s OK to use slightly smaller fonts for captions on picture and tables
  • The title should be big and easily read from across the room. Choose one that accurately describes your work, but also grabs peoples’ attention.
  • It should contain a least one graph.
  • A picture speaks a thousand words! Use photos or draw diagrams to present non-numerical data, to propose models that explain your claims. As well as creating an annotated drawing to (similar to the one on ‘Camel features’) you’ll be expected to construct a 3D model. This will need to highlight the features and adaptations that are central to your species’s survival in the Australian desert.
  • A Bibliography. At least three sources – one being a book
  • A proposal for an experiment to investigate if your claimed structural feature of the animal/plant is an adaptation for surviving in a desert environment. Deciding on what you and your team think you can achieve in the given time, you can either:
  1. propose an investigation
  2. plan the experiment
  3. conduct your experiment and observe, record and share the results in your final display.

An experiment is optional, but you must at least have ideas and a plan for it. If you do not carry out your experiment, you will have to find out data on your animal/plant and draw (digitally or not) a graph to draw data.

A good-quality presentation is:
• well-organised information
• clear, concise communication
• use of evidence and reasoning to support claims
• quality/creative visual aids.

Examples of oral presentations by scientists on adaptations can be found at:

Species to investigate:
• The Australian Mulga (Acacia aneura)
• Old Man Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia)
• The Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis)
• Spencer’s Burrowing Frog (Opisthodon spenceri, formerly Limnodynastes spenceri)
• The Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus)
• Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus)
• The Boab tree (Adansonia gregorii)
• Spinifex grass, for example, Triodia wiseana
• The Spinifex Hopping Mouse (Notomys alexis)
• Shield shrimps (Triops australiensis)
• Termites, for example, Nasutitermes triodiae*

Conduct an experiment: How can we prevent rusting? part 2

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Today we kicked off the morning by conducting our anti-rusting science experiments. Everyone used different materials to place in the salt water. My partner and I used steel wool. The independent variable ( the condition that is changed by the scientist ) was what we wrapped around it.One piece of steel wool was wrapped in plastic, one was painted and the last one was left unchanged so we could compare it to the others.

We wrote down predictions on our P.O.E chart ( Predict, Observe, Explain) and now we have to wait until Monday to write down our observations and explainations.

I predict that the piece of steel wool that is wrapped in plastic won’t rust because it has something covering it all around. I think that the steel wool that is painted will rust a little bit and I also think that the paint might wash off, meaning that it will DEFINITLEY rust.

If you want to know more, click here to see my first post on this experiment.

Conduct an experiment: How can we prevent rusting?

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Questions on our topic:

Why don’t some metals rust?

Some metals like aluminium have a thin layer known as aluminum oxide. It forms on the metals outer surface and acts like a rust-preventing shield.

Why does it take some things longer to rust than others?

Because it would depend on what the object is added into.

Why do materials rust?

Metals rust because in some way, they are exposed to air and water for a certain period of time.

What does rust look like?

Rust is a iron oxide that looks brownish-orange in colour. It is brittle, soft, weak and flaky.

How can rust be prevented?

There are many ways to prevent rust from forming. One way to stop it is to paint over the object that is able to rust. This helps because it acts as a shield and stops the oxygen from affecting the metal. Plastic also helps to keep the oxygen away from the material.

How does Rust work?

Iron and steel rust when they come into contact with water and oxygen. Both water and oxygen are needed for rusting to occur. But aluminium does not because of the thin layer of aluminium oxide that protects it.

 Does every type of iron rust?

All irons rust when they come in contact with oxygen. Both air and water are needed for the rusting of iron.

Are there different types of rust?

Yes, there are different kinds of rust. There are 2 types of rust. The first on is FeO and the next one is Fe2O3. The second one, Fe2O3 has two different crystal structures: trigonal (hematite) and cubic (magnetite).


Aim: To find the best way to prevent rust.


  • Steel wool (x3) One already painted 
  • Plastic
  • Water-based paint
  • Salt water
  • Beaker x3 


  1. Measure out 150mL of salt water in each beaker.
  2. Wrap plastic around one piece of steel wool tightly.
  3. Place each piece of steel wool in each beaker.
  4.  Wait until Monday.
  5.  Observe the results. Was our hypothesis (prediction) correct?

 Fair test table:

Chart 4 rusting project