One day to salvage a mummy project?

AFTER you've done your research and concluded your experiments, it is time to prepare for the science fair. Ask specific questions about preparing for a science fair, including how to set up your display board, how to prepare a presentation, etc. (Please post questions about selecting a project or conducting your experiment by posting in the appropriate "area of science" forum.)

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One day to salvage a mummy project?

Postby esbee » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:44 pm

Hello, we think we already know the answer to our question, but thought we would ask the experts here just to take one last stand for a project that we are so proud of.

My son's project was to mummify a hamburger. His testable question was: What part of the hamburger will have changed the most after the process of mummification?

He mummified an entire burger all together in one container, mostly for show and good pictures. He also took each ingredient and put them in the solution in separate containers. After all was said and done, he had measurements and observations of the before and after for each ingredient, and found that the meat had changed the most.

The problem is, he was told today that the project has to be disqualified from the science fair because it showed that he only tested one sandwich and he had to have at least three tests. Is there any way to salvage this? She is giving us one day to turn it around...and obviously we can't do a weeklong project in one day...

Based on the question being which one changed the most, is there any way to angle the question differently? Is it possible that the various foods in the same solution could be considered multiple tests, with the solution and container being the constants and the food being the variable?

Alternately, we do still have the entire hamburger that has been sitting in the solution twice as long that could be used as another testable subject if that might help...As well as fresh ingredients we could let sit in no solution overnight to gauge the difference with no make it three tests?

We are prepared to just chalk this one up to a life lesson and try again next year...but if there is any way to save it, we want to try! Please let me know if there is any outside the box way to save our science project!! (Just for learning purposes...if there is no way to save it...should we have mummified three of each food from the beginning?)

Thank you so much in advance for any help you can provide!
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:43 pm
Occupation: Student 3rd grade
Project Question: Mummification: Testing 3 Times
Project Due Date: Thursday, February 7th
Project Status: I am finished with my experiment and analyzing the data

Re: One day to salvage a mummy project?

Postby John Dreher » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:42 pm

Hello esbee. Sorry for the delay, which renders this reply moot. Sorry, too, for the fate of your project.

You asked "if there is no way to save it...should we have mummified three of each food from the beginning?" In my opinion, the answer is yes. Also, controls are needed. A better design of this experiment (which I must say is very amusing) would be to have three hamburgers that were just left alone under the same environment (sealed in containers, same temperature and lighting) as three mummified hamburgers. Each of the six hamburgers, with no explicit identification of mummified or not and in random order, would then be scored by several people using a questionnaire. This may seem overly complex, but this kind of procedure is necessary when dealing with such subjectively determined measures as "changed the most". To be really serious one would want to have several times three hamburgers plus ten or more evaluators -- you can see why research tends to be expensive!
John Dreher
Posts: 294
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:33 am
Occupation: Astronomer, Professor of Physics, SETI Researcher (retired)
Project Question: n/a
Project Due Date: n/a
Project Status: Not applicable

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