The Importance Of Being Both Accurate And Precise With Your Measurements While Conducting And Experiment

The Importance Of Being Both Accurate And Precise With Your Measurements While Conducting And Experiment

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Prompt 1:
A theme that I have noticed in lab that has stood out to me is the importance of being both accurate and precise with your measurements while conducting and experiment in the lab. Given the fact that I only had one chemistry course in high school, I was unsure as to what I should prepare for with a college level chemistry course as well as the lab that went along with it. The one skill that my high school chemistry teacher always scrutinized was the ability of his students to be both accurate and precise with their measurements in the lab. He always would go out of his way to make sure that we were being as accurate and as precise as possible during our lab work. If you were not very careful with your measurements, your grade would reflect that and be significantly lower that what you would have hoped for. The overwhelming majority of the people in his classes disliked him as a teacher because they thought he required too much out of his students. Now that I am in a college level laboratory I realize that the skills he taught me is vital to my success in the lab.
The need for this skill became very apparent to me in our first lab “Density of a Salt Solution” where we compared the accuracy and precision of three different forms of measurement. These three methods used a 50mL Beaker, 25mL graduated cylinder, or a 10mL volumetric pipet to measure out 10mL of a salt solution. Then, we were to use the measurements to calculate the density of the solution (Figure 1). After the lab we created a graph in Excel that related the accuracy and precision of each of these three forms of measurement to each other (Figure 2).
Throughout each of the labs that we have been required to complete so far, we have measured our standard err...


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...hen we began using Beer’s Law in the lab we really didn’t discuss how or why it worked before we started to use it. I tend to do a lot better in my class work when I know why something works and not just how to use it to get to the answer I am seeking. I think that it would be very helpful if we discussed why Beer’s Law works and not just focus on how to use it to our advantage in the lab. A way that we could better learn how to use Beer’s Law would be a worksheet to complete that gave us multiple sets of data on which we had to use Beer’s law to find the unknown concentration. This would help us learn how to use Beer’s law and it would help us to better understand how it works. Repetition is often one of the best ways of learning a complex idea. If we did have a worksheet like this we would be better suited to use the law, not only in this course, but in the future.

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