Science Project Interview

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Science Project Interview

Postby leahj99 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:37 am

My project is about hair strength.I am currently done with my experiment portion of the project and analyzing my data. I tested the hair strengths of 4 different colored hairs: blonde, brown, black, and ginger. To see which hair is strongest, I exposed the 4 different hair colors to non-stop UVB radiation (black light) for 2 hours. Before exposure, the hair strength ranking was 1) black hair 2) brown hair 3) ginger hair and 4) blonde hair. After exposure, the strength ranking was still the same. If possible, I would very much appreciate it if you would take the time to answer some of the questions.

1) Why are the darker colored hairs stronger than the lighter colored hairs?

2) In your opinion, do you think the hair strength ranking should have changed after UVB exposure?

3) Do you think that using a spring scale to test hair strength was accurate?

4) Should I have used something other than UVB radiation to weaken the hair?

5) What ways could my experiment be improved?

6) What does my data say about my topic?

7) How do you think the UVB radiation effected the hair strength?

Thank you and please respond as soon as possible!
leahj99
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:15 pm
Occupation: student
Project Question: To see which color hair (black, brown, blonde, or ginger) would be most weakened by UV radiation
Project Due Date: 1/17/13
Project Status: I am finished with my experiment and analyzing the data

Re: Science Project Interview

Postby drowningfish » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:24 pm

1) Why are the darker colored hairs stronger than the lighter colored hairs?
Darker colored hairs have more melanin, the dark brown or black pigment that makes it darker. Melanin provides a natural protection against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays of the sun. Therefore, darker hairs are stronger because they probably have less sun damage.

2) In your opinion, do you think the hair strength ranking should have changed after UVB exposure?
In your experiment, it seems like the hair strength was already different to begin with. This makes it hard to tell whether the difference in hair strength was really caused by the UV radiation. Maybe the UV radiation did not affect the hairs at all, maybe they made all of them weaker by the same amount, and maybe weaker by different amounts. They way your experiment was set up, you can not be conclusive about your data. I think you should do a before/after experiment for each hair so you can see which one is affected more by the UV radiation.
In my opinion, I don't think hair strength ranking would change because, again, darker hairs have more melanin and so have more resistance toward UV radiation.

3) Do you think that using a spring scale to test hair strength was accurate?
I have never used a spring scale before, and I don't really know what it is...

4) Should I have used something other than UVB radiation to weaken the hair?
I think using UVB radiation is a very good idea because we are exposed to it almost every day. It shows how damaging the sun can be and is a good reminder to those who overexpose themselves to sunlight in order to get tan. If you would like, maybe you can do another experiment on hair strength by exposing them to different chemicals. However, make sure you start with hair with the same strength (i.e. from the same person). Maybe you can test bleach, dyes, conditioner, etc, to see how these affect hair strength.

5) What ways could my experiment be improved?
Make sure you start with hair of the same strength so you can be certain the difference in strength is really caused by the UV rays.
Or, measure the change in strength of each hair before and after UV radiation and see which one is affected most.

6) What does my data say about my topic?
Your initial data shows that hair strength is directly proportional to how dark it is: the darker the color, the stronger; the lighter the color, the weaker. However, since the hair strength was different already before you exposed them to UV rays, it is hard to make a conclusion about your ranking results after the exposure.

7) How do you think the UVB radiation effected the hair strength?
Again, try a before/after experiment to answer this question. I don't know if the damage after a 2-hour exposure is large enough to measure.
drowningfish
Expert
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:10 pm
Occupation: Student: College Third Year
Project Question: n/a
Project Due Date: n/a
Project Status: Not applicable


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