It looks like you're in the right place, and hopefully we can help guide you toward a fun, fulfilling, and successful project. We can't decide for you which one will be the best, because it's really about what most interests you. I have some suggestions that will hopefully help you narrow things down to this year's project.
drisgon wrote:The last two years, my projects have been on music's effect on heart rate and how well people remember things. Neither project was executed very well. I also was more stressed out with them then I probably should have been.
If you enjoyed your previous music projects but did not think they were executed well, perhaps you might consider making them better. What was the problem? Did you not get enough subjects to participate? Did you have difficulty with your experimental design? Some of the best science projects are improvements upon previous attempts!
drisgon wrote:When I first started looking for a project for this year, I started off with a music project. The one I found that interested me most was 'Does listening to classical music help or hinder concentration and performance on cognitive tasks?' I've always heard about how playing Mozart to your sleeping baby will make them smarter, and exploring this idea sounds fun. I think I could expand it, though I'm not sure how yet. Any suggestions?
Since you are passionate about music, it makes sense that you are looking at another music project. I think the research has shown that playing Mozart to babies does not actually make them smarter, but there have been studies looking at the effects of music on cognitive performance. Some studies find that music without words is the best for studying, or music that you don't know (or like), because it serves as a background without distracting the person from studying. Keep in mind that music preference can have an effect on things.
One study that might be fun is the effect of music on exercise performance. This could be a project that expands upon your previous one with music and heart rate. I'm thinking you could see which kind of music allows people to go longer (or faster) on a treadmill or exercise bike. You could monitor their heart rate during the exercise as well. Remember to include a control (no music), and to take note of each person's music preferences, since that could affect their motivation during exercise.
drisgon wrote:Next, I moved into chemistry and found one on studying the chemistry on explosions. The idea is to shoot a film canister by igniting ethanol with a spark. This one really interests me. However, I'm not really sure how I would make this into a good project. Once again, suggestions welcome!
Have you looked at the "Make It Your Own" section for this project? http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... eityourown
It's a good project by itself, but something like exploring different fuels could make it even better.
drisgon wrote:I checked out the space section here at Science Buddies, and found a couple projects on Sunspot cycles. I think this would be fun to study and could be competitive. I am totally clueless as to making this into a good project! Any input here would be wonderful!
I think the Sunspot Cycles project (http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p017.shtml
) combines your interest in space and your love of history.
Counting Sunspots (http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... w&from=TSW
) is an extension of that one that could help you make it your own.
Again, I cannot tell you what is most interesting to you. Please post again as you narrow down your interests, so we can help you design something successful this year!