Previous page View a printable version of this page Go back to the contents page for this topic Data Logging in Scientific Enquiries
Data logging can be used to help answer scientific questions like:
  • What happens to the temperature of a glass of water after ice cube(s) are dropped in over a period of X minutes?
  • Which will cool quickest Ė a large or small bowl of hot water?
  • Which coat/jumper is the warmest?
  • What is the darkest/brightest time over a 24-hour period?
A graph of the data collected can be drawn to help see any changes over the period of logging easily. It might also help you predict any future results based upon the current trends.

Factors to Consider when using Data Logging in a Science Investigation

Before starting an investigation, you will need to answer these questions to help decide how data logging is going to be used to collect the measurements:
  1. What do you want to measure?
    You will need to choose which sensor(s) are best to use for measuring the particular condition(s).
  2. Where will you position the sensor(s)?
    You will need to leave the sensor(s) in a suitable place for measuring the particular condition(s) to keep the investigation fair and so have reliable results.
  3. Will you have to use remote data logging?
    This will be needed if you canít put the computer and the sensor(s) near each other.
  4. What will the period of logging and the time interval between readings be?
    For example, if you wanted to monitor the temperature of ice as it melts, you would probably want to take readings every 30 seconds over 10 minutes.
Previous page Page 4 of 4