Annex A - Group Research Proposal (Science)



Names: Hoh Shu Xian, Joshua Ong, Keagan Wong

Class: S2-06

Group Reference: E

1. Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:

[    ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research

e.g. Investigation of the anti-bacteria effect of chrysanthemum

[    ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)

e.g. Determination of the mass of Jupiter using planetary photography

[    ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)

e.g. Investigation of the effect of temperature on the growth of crystals

[    ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics

e.g. Modeling of the cooling curve of naphthalene  

[ X ] Observational and exploratory research

e.g. Investigation of the soil quality in School of Science and Technology, Singapore  

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

e.g. Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households  

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

Title: Investigation of effect of water collection at Ulu Pandan River on pH level of water.

A. Question or Problem being addressed

The world we currently reside in have a shortage of fresh water. Out of 70% of water, only 3% is fresh water, and 1% out of that 3% is available to us as the rest is frozen in glacier icebergs. We are trying to understand on how acidity level in water affects the amount of fresh water. pH affects most chemical and biological processes in water, and it is one of the most important environmental factors limiting the distribution of species in aquatic habitats. Different species flourish within different ranges of pH, with the optimal for most aquatic organisms falling between pH 6.5-8. U.S. EPA water quality criteria for pH in freshwater suggest a range of 6.5 to 9. Fluctuating pH or sustained pH outside this range reduces biological diversity in streams because it physiologically stresses many species and can result in decreased reproduction, decreased growth, disease, or death. As fresh water is normally collected from the rivers, we are focusing our research on the pH level of the Ulu Pandan river and how (if) changes in the pH level caused by nearby residents living along the river affects the ecosystem in the river.
presence of wildlife in the river

What causes pH level of the water to decrease,
  • Acid-generating rocks/soils
  • Power plants and other sources of acidic gases
  • Industrial effluents
  • Landfill leachate
  • Recent draining of naturally inundated wetlands or floodplains
  • Human pollutants such as dirty and soapy water from car washes

What will the low pH level of the water affect ,
  • Damage to gill epithelium(fish,amphibians)
  • Mucus on gills(fish,amphibians)
  • Decreased growth(plants)
  • Reproductive failure
  • Respiration difficulties
  • Reduced number of species and individuals
  • Mortality
  • Replacement of acid-sensitive species with acid-tolerant species(if water is acidic)

We will collect samples from different points along the river and test the water for it’s  pH level. Than we will see if different points along the river have different pH level, and if it is suitable for and living organisms to sustain life in. After finding the suitable pH level that can support the maximum number of organisms, we’ll find the factors contributing to the increase or decrease to the pH levels and create solutions to make life more sustainable.

B. Goals / Expected Outcomes / Hypotheses

We aim to find out the pH level of different points of the Ulu Pandan river, to find the main source of pollution and whether if the residents around the area are aware of the consequences by polluting of the canal.
-Expected Outcomes
After looking through our data, we think that the river pH is neutral even though its look dirty.
independent variable:
- The place where we collect the water from.
dependent variable
-pH level of the water collected
Constant variable
-Amount of water collected
-Time of the day water is collected
-Frequency of water collected

Based on these variables, we have created hypothesis for our experiments:

Our Hypothesis:The places where there are more residents living nearby,the higher the pH level.

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:

1.)Bucket                      (appx:700ml)----------------------------------x1

2.)Rope                         (appx:5m)--------------------------------------x1
Materials Needed for the experiment
3.)pH Sensors                   (Data Logger and pH probe)----------------x1
4.)Water Containers        (appx:200ml)-------------------------------------x10   
5.Ionized water              (pH level Neutral)--------------------------------x1 bottle
6.)Universal indicator     (Paper form)--------------------------------------x50
7.)Macbook                      (provided by self)--------------------------------x3
8.Paper towels                (for cleaning bucket)---------------------------x1 roll

• Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection  

  Collection of the water
1. Walk to Ulu Pandan River
2. Collect 100 ml of water from the river from different points.
3.If the water level is high, then attach a string to a bucket and drop the bucket into the river to collect the water.
If the water level is low, then head down into the river and collect the water using a bucket.
4.After collecting the water, use the pH data sensor(after dripping pure water on it to neutralize it) and test how acidic it is.
5.Head back to the lab to record the pH level of the water sample/s down.

Water condition of Ulu Pandan Canal

Data Collection
1.Dab the pH probe with ionized water and neutralize it.
2. Take the water collected from the river and place the pH probe into the water.
3. Test the water for it’s pH level.

The pH probe is inserted into the water

4.Take the pH level of the water and compare it with tap water’s pH level
5. Deduce if the water collected is neutral, acidic or alkalic

The datalogger show the pH level of the water.

pH level scale

• Risk and Safety: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

-Risky decisions and harm it could cause us. e.g. collection of water sample

How to avoid risks and potential safety hazards

-During the collection of water we should not enter the canal or go to the canal without adult supervision.We should also use the bucket and the rope to collect the water instead of directly entering the canal and collecting up the water.
-Be careful in not accidentally spilling the water onto datalogger

• Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses

1. Observe at the pH level on the datalogger
2. Record down the pH level.
3. Repeat steps 1-2 for all other points of collection
4. Conclude our findings on the pH levels
5. Depending on our result (pH levels e.g. alkalic water,neutral water,acidic water) we will design a brochure with (charts,tables,graphs) in order to raise awareness to the surrounding residents about how changes of pH level in the canal can cause severe consequences.

litter in the canal

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

Howells GG, Brown DJA, Sadler K (1983) Effects of acidity, calcium and aluminum on fish survival and productivity: a review. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 34(6):559-570.

Morris R, Taylor EW, Brown DJA, Brown JA (Eds.) (1989) Acid Toxicity and Aquatic Animals. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK.

Niyogi DK, McKnight DM, Lewis WM Jr (1999) Influences of water and substrate quality for periphyton in a montane stream affected by acid mine drainage. Limnology and Oceanography 44:804-809.

NParks. (n.d.). NParks - Park Connector Network. NParks - Park Connector Network. Retrieved July 21, 2014, from

Oral Reply by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources to Parliamentary Question on ABC Waters programme for Sungei Ulu Pandan. (n.d.). Oral Reply by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources to Parliamentary Question on ABC

PHneris29. (2011, February 28). Encounters with Nature in Singapore. : A self-guided walk along Sungei Ulu Pandan. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from

pH introduction | CADDIS: Sources, Stressors & Responses | US EPA. (n.d.). EPA. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from

pH. (2014, May 7). Wikipedia. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from

Playle RC, Goss GG, Wood CM (1989) Physiological disturbances in rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) during acid and aluminum exposures in soft water of two calcium concentrations. Canadian Journal of Zoology 67(2):314-324.

Ulu Pandan Park Connector. (n.d.). . Retrieved July 21, 2014, from

Waters programme for Sungei Ulu Pandan. Retrieved July 18, 2014, from

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