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Project Idea
The concept of beauty changes over time and often differs among societal groups. How strongly do societal conceptions of beauty shape an individual's self-image? There are many fascinating questions you could choose to explore with surveys on this subject. For example, how well do girls' ideas of what is attractive in boys agree with boys' expectations about what girls find attractive (or vice versa)? Try your survey with different generations to see how conceptions change over time. If you… Read more
Soc_p025
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Is there a correlation between birth order and grade point average? Design a survey study to find out. How many completed surveys do you need for a representative sample of your school? If you limit your survey to one school, would you expect it to be representative of a larger population (such as your county or state?) How do you control for potential effects of parental age at birth? (In other words, younger siblings will have a higher probability of being born to older parents. If there… Read more
Soc_p018
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Project Idea
Here's a project that combines sports and math. You'll learn how to use correlation analysis to choose the best team batting statistic for predicting run-scoring ability (Albert, 2003). You'll also learn how to use a spreadsheet to measure correlations between two variables. Which Team Batting Statistic Predicts Run Production Best? Read more
Math_p041
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
What causes the most stress for teenagers? Is it school? family relationships? peer pressure? worries about the future? Design a survey to find out what contributes to teens' stress levels. Possible variations include: How do teenagers deal with stress? Are today's teens more or less stressed than their parents were as teenagers? Were the sources of stress the same for your parent's generation or different? (Idea from De Biasi, 2003) Read more
Soc_p020
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
thumbnail Here's a sports science project that shows you how to use correlation analysis to choose the best batting statistic for predicting run-scoring ability. You'll learn how to use a spreadsheet to measure correlations between two variables. Read more
Sports_p003
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites To do this project you must be comfortable using a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel®, or be willing to learn how to use one.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
How well do adults understand basic science concepts? This project is a good opportunity for you to test your own scientific understanding as you create a short test to assess knowledge of basic science concepts. Your test will have to brief (probably 10–15 questions, maximum) or you'll have a hard time getting a sufficient number of complete responses. With so few questions, you'll have to think carefully about exactly what comprises "basic science knowledge," and exactly how to word your… Read more
Soc_p016
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Do violin students have better relative pitch than piano students? Since the violin requires the player to choose the correct location to stop the string in order to sound the proper note, you might think that violin players would, as a result of practice, have better ear training than piano students. On the other hand, you could argue the opposite viewpoint, since piano students would have the benefit of hearing correct intervals (assuming that the piano is in tune). Which hypothesis do you… Read more
Music_p002
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Here's a project that will give you insight into accidents, and maybe help you prevent them. The original project used a survey method to gather data, which you could also do. Another approach for data collection that you might try would be to use published articles from the pediatric medical literature. Finding a pediatrician or pediatric orthopedist who is willing to be your mentor for this project would be helpful. (Idea from Caito, 2003) Read more
Soc_p023
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
How much force can a rubber band withstand before breaking? Do rubber bands that stretch longer take more or less force to break? How does the elasticity of a rubber band change with temperature? Use a spring scale to measure the applied force, and a meter stick or ruler to measure the change in length. Recording with a video camera (or possibly two) can help you to capture the values at the moment before the rubber band breaks. You can change the temperature of the rubber bands using… Read more
ApMech_p033
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
Have you ever set up a line of dominoes and watched them fall? If you wanted to make your line of dominoes fall faster, do you think you should set the dominoes up with more or less space between them? Set your dominoes up in a straight line, using a ruler to keep the spacing between them constant. Try different spacings at 0.5 cm increments. Conduct multiple trials at each spacing, and time how long it takes for a fixed total length of dominoes to fall (e.g., a 1.5 or 3.0 meter length of… Read more
ApMech_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
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