Annex A - Group Research Proposal

Group Project Proposal (Science)


Names: Natasha Low, Aye Pa Pa Mon, Phyllys Neo

Class: S2-02

Group Reference: B

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

X ] 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 

[    ] Observational and exploratory research
e.g. Investigation of the soil quality in School of Science and Technology, Singapore  

  1. Type & Category

Type of research: 1(a) (Write down one number from 1 to 6)

Category  – 10  (Write down one number from 7 to 20)

Sub-category –  (g) (Write down the sub-heading alphabet)

Application of project relevant to SST Community, Society or the World:
This project helps us to find out the type and Rf value of the artificial dyes in the candy. If the chemicals are consumed in large quantities, it won’t be healthy for the people eating it. As many of their parents allow their children to consume these candies with artificial dyes in large quantities, they are not aware of how their child’s health can be affected.  

C.    Write down your research title:

Investigation of the different types of dyes in three colours of skittles

D.   (a) Aim / question being addressed 

To investigate common dyes used in skittles.

(b) Independent variable

The independent variable is the different coloured skittles (Red, Green and Yellow).

(c) Dependent variable

The dependent variable is the Rf value measured from the chromatography paper.

(d) Controlled variables

(a)  Type of candy
(b)  Length of chromatography paper
(c)  Type of material used to draw the line on the chromatography paper.
(d)  Amount of dye
(e) Type of Solvent

      (e) Hypothesis

The hypothesis is that the Rf value of the common dyes and food colouring of skittles will be the same.

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:
  • Filter paper strips x 9
  • Conical Flask x 3
  • Red Skittles x 3
  • Yellow Skittles x 3
  • Green Skittles x 3
  • Red Food Colouring
  • Green Food Colouring
  • Yellow Food Colouring
  • Water
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Petri Dish x 3
  • Wooden Ice-cream sticks x 3
  • Mini Binder Clip x 3
  • Small wooden sticks

(b) Procedures: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection


  1. Choose three colors of candies you want to test.
  2. Use a pencil to lightly label which candy color or food coloring will be spotted on each paper strip.
  3. Label chromatography strips for each candy color.
  4. Draw a pencil line 1 cm from the edge of each strip of paper, which is the origin line.
  5. Fill the beaker with some water.
  6. Put a single drop of water in the petri dish.
  7. Leave the candy in the drop of water to allow the dye to dissolve.
  8. Remove the candy, then dip a wooden ice-cream stick into the now-colored                           drop of water.
  9. Spot the candy dye solution onto the chromatography strip by touching the wooden ice-cream stick.    
  10. Allow the spot on the strip to dry.                      
  11. Let the solvent rise up the strip (by capillary action) and wait for 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the chromatography strip and the solvent front— if you let it run too long the dye may run off the paper and become distorted.  
  12. Prepare chromatography strips with food coloring dyes.
  13. For each food coloring color put a drop of coloring with a drop of water in the bottom of the petri dish.
  14. Dip a wooden ice-cream stick into the drop of food coloring.
  15. Spot the food coloring onto a chromatography strip by touching the pipet to the strip right in the center of the origin line.
  16. Repeat step 2 to 14 (three times for every skittle color)
  17. Repeat steps 13 to 16 with other food colouring dyes (three times for every food colouring)
  18. Use a pencil to mark how far the solvent rose.
  19. Compare the Rf values for the candy colors and the food coloring dyes.

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

Skittles that are brought to the lab should not be consumed
Do not eat the skittles that are used in the experiment.
As the experiment involves glassware, there is a risk of breakage and cutting of the hands.
Wear gloves when carrying out the experiment. In case of breakage, the cut to the hands will be minimized.
When using scissors to cut the chromatography paper, might cut yourself.
Be careful, and put the scissors away when done.
When using the wooden toothpicks, might poke yourself and cause injuries.
While using the wooden toothpick, use it carefully.

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

1.    Tabulate the data using a table and from the results that are on the table, calculate the Rf of each dye. 

2.    From the table, you will use the Rf value to compare the "unknown" components of colored candy dyes with the "known" components of food coloring dyes. Since there are only a small number of approved food dyes, you should be able to identify the ones used in the candies by comparison to the chromatography results for food coloring.

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

Wood, C. A. (1896). Color measurement, and, its application in medicine and the arts. Detroit, MI: G.S. Davis.

(b) Journals

Slaten, L., Willard, M., & Green, S. A. (1956). Separation of some amino acids using ethanol-acetic acid-water: A student experiment in paper chromatography. J. Chem. Educ. Journal of Chemical Education, 33(3), 140.

(c) Websites

Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition. (n.d.). Paper Chromatography Science Background. Retrieved from

Science Buddies Staff. (2014, November 15). Candy Chromatography: What Makes Those Colors?. Retrieved from

What are Artificial Colors? (n.d.). Retrieved from

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