wilsonbeth
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:31 am
Occupation: Parent

### Does this kids experiment have too many variables?

This is the research problem that was submitted but I'm not sure if I should let him (7th grader) continue.

I recently read a book called Grit by Angela Duckworth. The author develops a questionnaire to test how gritty a person is. I was wondering if I could use this proven grit scale to test my own method of testing people's grit. I was wondering if I could use this proven grit scale to test my own method of testing people's grit. The reason why I wanted to make my own grit scale is all the questions in Mrs. Duckworth's grit scale are so dry and repetitive for example, “Do you have perseverance?” The problem with these questions is they seem very obvious that they're testing for grit so I was wondering if I could create a different way to test people's grit.
His plan is to create a puzzle box that is unsolvable but seems solvable and test how long people work on the puzzle. Then administer Mrs. Duckworth proven grit scale questionnaire and see if the people who scored high on her test also spent the most time working on the puzzle.

I love the experiment idea but not sure if it will be good for a first science fair project. Let me know your thoughts

Cherylreif
Expert
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:11 pm

### Re: Does this kids experiment have too many variables?

Hi there! I love your student's science fair project idea--it's very original and asks an interesting question. I'm glad that you're thinking about the number of variables involved now, though. Too many variables could potentially make this a complex project. However, I think your student may be able to limit the number of variables in order to make the experimental results easier to interpret.

The most important first step in this experiment would be to make a list of the potential variables, or factors, that might contribute to the experiment's results. For example, things that might influence the length of time a person spends working on the puzzle box might include: age, gender, time of day, and the person's level of "grit". Ideally, you want to keep all of these variables constant while changing only one--the individual person's time spent on the puzzle. You would then measure how grit (the dependent variable) changes with respect to how long an individual worked on the puzzle (the independent variable).

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/variables

And Variables for Beginners - Doing a Fair Test:

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/doing-a-fair-test-variables-for-beginners

Another useful resource is the Science Buddies guide on Experimental Design for Advanced Science Projects:

The thing that makes the project tricky is that you're actually changing the whole person, not just the amount of time they spend on the puzzle, from one test to the next. You can keep some things the same between tests--for example, the age and gender of the different people--but obviously you can't keep everything the same. Personally, I think you could choose a limited number of factors to try to keep the same, which would allow you to design an experiment that's not too complicated for a science fair project. It would be worth getting the opinions of other experts as well, though.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your science fair project!

Cherylreif

cnoonan180
Student Expert
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:33 am
Occupation: Student

### Re: Does this kids experiment have too many variables?

Hello!

This is a very interesting project, and well-thought-out so far!

This project could be categorized as a survey project. You can read more about what this means here: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/blog/sur ... hypothesis

Also check out this resource about designing experiments to test certain aspects of human behavior, like the aim of this project. https://www.sciencebuddies.org/blog/sur ... hypothesis