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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
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
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
If you're interested in analyzing how things break, check out the Science Buddies project Fractography: The Way Things Break. Read more
MatlSci_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Project Idea
This project asks the question "How do friendship groups change over time?" The results may support inferences about how "people skills" develop. What types of changes would you expect to see? Do you expect friendship groups to grow larger over time? Do you expect that individuals will belong to more, less or about the same number of friendship groups as they get older? Do you think there will be more or less exclusivity among groups (and how would you measure such a concept)? Do you… Read more
Soc_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
Antioxidants have become very popular in the news lately for their potential health and anti-aging properties. Antioxidants work by preventing oxidation reactions that produce free-radicals which can cause harm to the body. Try testing different vitamins for antioxidant activity. How do vitamins A, B, C, and E compare? Do some vitamins have more antioxidant activity than others? What are some other sources of antioxidants? Try testing extracts from proposed sources of antioxidants like coffee,… Read more
HumBio_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Use caution when using sharp knives and do not eat any of your experiments.
Project Idea
One thing that all living things have in common is that they grow through cell division. How is this growth regulated? Sometimes growth occurs when it is not supposed to, leading to cancer. Scientists are trying to discover how growth is regulated, hoping to find potential cures for cancer. One idea is that cells keep track of growth using special regions of the chromosome called "telomeres" that count how many divisions a cell has made. If this is true, then growth, cell division and age are… Read more
Zoo_p033
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability To see other people's medical records, you will need their permission. Since this project involves medical data, it may require SRC approval.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Unlocking the three-dimensional structure of a protein is crucial to help scientists understand how it functions in our bodies and how it can cause devastating diseases if it becomes disrupted or interacts in the wrong way. However, figuring out the structure of a protein in three-dimensional space can be very challenging. Proteins are the functional units of our cells, and every protein is made up of a long chain of amino acids. Amino acids come in different shapes and sizes, and they have… Read more
BioMed_p008
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Understanding of what proteins are.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
Our metabolism changes as we get older, a sad fact of life that we cannot change. Old age affects our bodies in many ways. Changes in musculature, bone strength, energy, diet and breathing are some of the many ways we change as we age. You might notice that people often get out of breath when they are older and doing a physical activity. Why do some people feel out of breath, while others do not? Does this change correlate with age? Could this reflect a difference in lung capacity between… Read more
HumBio_p003
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Bromothymol blue is a specialty chemical which can be ordered from an online vendor.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. If using bromothymol blue, be careful not to ingest it. Any volunteer who feels light-headed after exhaling should stop immediately and not repeat the experiment.
Project Idea
Can you remember what the weather was like last week? Last year? Here's a project that looks at what the weather was like for over a hundred years. You'll use historical climate data to look at moisture conditions in regions across the contintental U.S. You'll use a spreadsheet program to calculate the frequency of different moisture conditions for each region and make graphs for comparison. Which part of the country has the most frequent droughts? The most frequent periods of prolonged… Read more
Math_p040
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
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