luma007
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:04 pm
Occupation: parent

How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby luma007 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:19 am

Hello. My son is doing his 5th grade science fair project on how different styles of music affect the activity level of mexican jumping beans. He has 4 beans. He will test these same beans' reaction to three or four different styles of music. The problem is that we don't know how to properly conduct the experiment, and there is no referencing material that we can find online.

Some items of note:

--he is planning to expose the beans to the music at the same time each day of the tests.

--in order for the beans to "rest" between each different style of music exposure, he will wait 15 min between, for example, music style "A" and music style "B"

--he is planning to do this for three or four days

-- he is going to expose the beans to the specific music type for approximately 3 min (is this enough time?)

** any suggestions on how he can improve upon this experiment?
**should the music be the same on each try? For example, in the "Rock" category , should he use the same song on each day of the experiment?
**His school doesn't allow anyone to bring in any models/equipment. Just the display board and pics. I have no idea how he can make this visually appealing with just pics because you can't capture the movement of the beans to the music. Suggestions?

Thank you for your help!

luma007
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:04 pm
Occupation: parent

Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby luma007 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:29 am

Hi again. Any suggestions? Anyone? We have to start experiment by next week. Thanks

scibuddyAK
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Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby scibuddyAK » Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:46 pm

I think this experiment already has excellent starting points, although it's often difficult to control such an experiment, so I'd suggest increasing the testing time and amount of tests. Data will be more accurate that way. Secondly, I think a board can be great, even without pictures! Colorful graphs with measurements, tables, and pictures will make it extremely appealing. :)

Hope this helps, and good luck!

connief
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Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby connief » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:54 pm

Hello there,

Very interesting topic choice. One thing I was wondering though is how you're going to measure the "activity level" of these beans and compare them between beans exposed to different genres of music (I'm assuming that the activity level you mean is how much the beans are "jumping"). Are you going to measure the amount of vibrations? Are you going to count the number of beans that are actually "jumping" in the entire pool of beans? Are you just going to simply record the observations as "not jumping" or "jumping", or will you have a scale of "jumping intensities" that you will rate each of your samples exposed to different music (for example, 1 = barely jumping, 5 = jumping violently). Second of all, have you tried exposing jumping beans to music before and see that they "jump" in response? There is a possibility that different genres of music may not result in any type of response from the beans, and you may need to consider what to do from there if that is indeed the case. These are just some aspects to consider, but otherwise, I think this is a really cool project idea!

Let us know if you have anymore questions.

Best,
Connie

HeatherL
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Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby HeatherL » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:57 am

Hi luma007,

You have already gotten some good advice from the other Experts. I just wanted to add a few suggestions. One is that you should have a control session on each day, during which your son records the activity of the beans with no music playing. (If, for example, temperature affects the activity of the beans and it is different from day to day, it will be good to have a baseline level of activity.)

Secondly, I recommend that he not test the genres in the same order every day. He should mix up the order of the songs.

Finally, it is up to your son as to whether he uses the same song every day, or uses different songs from the same genre.

I hope that helps. Please post back with your progress!

Heather

luma007
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:04 pm
Occupation: parent

Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby luma007 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:46 am

We are conducting our tests this week. I will apply these wonderful suggestions and keep everyone posted. Thank you so very much!!!

luma007
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:04 pm
Occupation: parent

Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby luma007 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:10 am

Hello again! Almost done :) Quick question: what are our variables and control? Is the control the amount of movements the beans make with no music? How about dependent and independent variables? Thanks

luma007
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:04 pm
Occupation: parent

Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby luma007 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:52 am

What do you think? Is this right?

Dependent variable: the rate of movement of the Mexican jumping beans
Independent variable: the music genre/style used (rock, pop, classical, and rap)
the controlled variables: beans tested at same time every day (6:30 pm); beans exposed to exactly two minutes of music for each style; 10 minute break between exposure to differing styles of music; beans tested on wood table each time, radio placed in same position for each experimental run;
temperature, humidity, and light conditions constant.

scibuddyAK
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Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby scibuddyAK » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:11 am

This looks good. Great job!

HeatherL
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Re: How to properly conduct experiment?

Postby HeatherL » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:20 pm

Hi luma007,

You've nailed it! You have identified all of your variables correctly. And yes, the trial in which you measure the movement of the beans with no movement is your control trial. (It can be confusing with control trial and controlled variable. The control trial is the baseline, to which you compare your experimental trials. Controlled variables are things you try to keep the same for every trial.)

Great job! Please let us know how it goes.

Best,
Heather


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