Annex A - Group Research Proposal

Group Project Proposal (Science)

Isabella Goh
Benjamin Teng
Clarise Ang
Class: S2-02
Group Reference: C
A.    Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:
[] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)
e.g. Investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals
Type & Category
Type of research: 3  (Write down one number from 1 to 6)
Category  –  10 (Write down one number from 7 to 20)
Sub-category – D (Write down the sub-heading alphabet)
(Refer to
Application of project relevant to SST Community, Society or the World:
students use paper, people can use recycled paper to reduce the rate of global warming, adding starch may strengthen the recycled paper to make it more durable.

C.    Write down your research title:
investigation of the effect of the amount of liquid starch on the strength of recycled paper.

D.   (a) Aim / question being addressed 

How the amount of liquid starch in recycled paper affects strength of the recycled paper.
(b) Independent variable
The independent variable is the amount of liquid starch in the recycled paper.
(c) Dependent variable
The dependent variable is the strength of the recycled paper.
(d) Controlled variables
type of liquid starch used
thickness of the paper
size of the paper
area where the paper is made and tested for its strength
type of weights used to test the strength of the paper
type of paper used to make recycled paper

      (e) Hypotheses

The greater the amount of liquid starch in the paper, the stronger it is.
E.    Method – 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.)
(a) Equipment list:

3 identical picture frames
fine wire mesh
basin that can fit the frame
mortar and pestle
80 gsm paper ( use old worksheets)
weights (50g each) for testing paper strength
liquid starch (can be made with one tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup of cold water  then added to 3 3/4 cups of boiling water, cool before using)
fabric (preferably felt or flannel) big enough to cover the entire frame
sponge to squeeze water out from drying the recycled paper

OPTIONAL (white vinegar for whiter paper, hairdryer and iron to speed up drying process)
(b) Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection

Stretch wire mesh very tightly over picture frame and staple it or nail it to the edges.
Clean up the paper. Remove plastic, staples and other contaminants.Tear the paper into small pieces.
Soak 20 pieces of paper in a bowl or cup with 600ml water to cover the paper for 30 to 45 minutes. (If you want to have whiter paper, half a cup of white vinegar can be added to the pulp mixture.)
Mash the paper with the mortar and pestle. Aim to get the pulp so that it's similar to the consistency of watery oatmeal.
Fill your basin about halfway with water.
Add the pulp to the basin and stir.
Stir two teaspoons of liquid starch into the pulp mix.
Immerse the frame in the mixture. Place your frame into the pulp, screen-side down, then level it while it is submerged. Lightly move it side-to-side until the pulp on top of the screen lies fairly uniformly flat.
Slowly lift up the screen from the basin until it is above the water. Drip-drain it over the basin. Wait until most of the water has drained from the pulp. If the paper is very thick, remove some of the pulp from the top. If it is too thin, add some more pulp and stir the mixture again.
Remove excess water from the paper. After you've lifted the screen out of the basin, gently place a piece of fabric on top of the "paper" in the frame. Use a sponge to press out as much water as possible from the other side of the screen.
Gently press out any bubbles and loose edges at this point and then lift the fabric out of the frame once the paper is more dry. The wet sheet of paper should remain on the fabric. Place another piece of fabric on top of it and gently press. This will make the resulting paper smoother and thinner. Leave the second piece there as it dries.
Peel the fabric off the frame slowly. If it's not coming off easily, try ironing it underneath the towel again.
Set the paper out to dry. Take the piece of paper and lay it out to dry on a flat surface. Speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer on the low setting.
When the sheet of paper is thoroughly dried, gently peel off the fabric.
(OPTIONAL) When the paper is damp but safe, peel the fabric from the paper and then use an iron set on high to dry the paper quickly and give it a nice shine.
This piece of paper will be Paper A.
Repeat the above steps to make two additional sheets. The second batch of paper pulp must have four teaspoons of liquid starch in it. This will be Paper B.The third batch must have no liquid starch added to it. This will be Paper C. Each batch must consist of three papers.

Number of weights held before breaking (each weight is 50g)
1st attempt
2nd attempt
3rd attempt
4th attempt
Paper A (2 tsp)

Paper B (4 tsp)

Paper C (0 tsp)

Cut each sheet of paper into identical rectangles.
Put the sheets across two table tops, held down at the ends with tape.
Put weights on Paper A till the paper tears. Record number of weights placed on the paper up to the moment it tears. Repeat the experiment three times to get an average number of weights it can hold before it tears.
Repeat step 20 for Paper B and Paper C.

(c) Risk, Assessment and Management: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

when cutting the wire mesh and stretching it over the frame, we could hurt our hands
wear thick gloves e.g. gardening gloves when handling wire mesh
getting burnt by iron/hairdryer
use iron and hairdryer carefully with adult supervision
getting cut by staples/etc during cleaning process
Use gloves to protect hands
accidentally dropping weights on self and hurting our feet
handle weights carefully
wear covered shoes

(d) Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses
Adding liquid starch to recycled paper helps prevent ink from soaking into the paper fibres. By preventing ink from soaking into the paper, it makes it easier to write on the paper using ink without tearing it, and hence this may mean that adding starch would make the recycled paper stronger.
Tape the paper to the edges of 2 tables as shown in the diagram.
Place weights on the center of the paper
 Tabulate the data in a table and calculate the average number of weights each sheet of paper could hold.
 Plot a graph of the number of weights in relationship to the amount of impurities present in each paper.
 From the graph, we can find out how the amount of impurities affects the strength of recycled paper.
F. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major sources (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 for each type of source.
(a) Books
Mary Reimer & Heidi Reimer-Epp(2000). 300 Papermaking Recipes. Bothell, Wash. : Martingale & Co., 2000.
(b) Journals
Johnston, H. (n.d.). A novel approach to improve dry strength. Retrieved January 19, 2016, from TAPPSA Journal
(c) Websites
Wikihow (2015, January 9)How to Make Paper. Retrieved from
Alternate Sources for Paper fibre
NCSU (2015, January 15). Strength Problems : Troubleshooting Guide. Retrieved from
Mendelow, K, (1999) Handmade Paper. Retrieved 22 January 2015 from


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