Course Description

Science Research Program – Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Full Year – Level H: Incoming freshman and sophomore students must apply for admission to this program in January of the prior academic year. Acceptance into the program will be based on a science teacher recommendation, a written essay, and excellent academic grades.

This is an ongoing program that is taken in conjunction with the student’s regular science course. There are several tiers to the program. During Year 1 students learn the components of scientific research including the scientific method and apply these concepts in various settings including designing and conducting an authentic science research project and communicating results by participation in at least one local science fair. Students also explore various applications of science topics through field trips, guest speakers and class projects. Advanced students (Years 2-4) select their science research topic, locate an out-of-school mentor (either in industry or at a local university) and compete in a variety of science fairs including the CT State Science Fair, Southern CT Invitational Science and Engineering Fair (SCSEF) and the CT Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (CT JSHS). Advanced students pursue their selected research in depth, perform statistical analysis and compete at a number of local and/or national science fairs and competitions. In Years 2, 3, and 4 students are grouped together in a non-traditional classroom setting and are required to meet individually outside of class with their Science Research Instructor biweekly to review individual goals and assess progress. All students participate in the culminating annual activity, Amity’s Science Symposium.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2013 Year 1 Research Proposals

Please place your 2012-13 Research Proposal on this Post. Proposals should be approximately 250 words. Be sure to include your name (or initials) and research title followed by a single paragraph including:

Research Question
Mentor (if applicable)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. How yoga affects test scores
    Helen Ruckes

    Scholars have studied how exercise increases endorphins which makes one feel better and can also help one to be more confident. Exercise also helps release the stress of the day. Does yoga stimulate the brain enough to be able to focus and retain information better than no exercise? It is hypothesized that if a person does fifteen minutes of yoga then that person will be able to retain information from a one sided study sheet after five minutes and subsequently score higher on an evaluation than someone who doesn't exercise. The independent variable is the yoga activity. The dependent variable is the test scores. The control group would not exercise and just sit for fifteen minutes and then five more minutes to account for the fifteen minutes of exercise and the five minutes after exercise before taking the test. First a short algebra 1 test that includes ten questions would be created. Next the participants spend five minutes studying a one page study guide. After the five minutes the participants spend fifteen minutes engaging in yoga. When the 15 minutes are over, the participants wait five minutes and then take the test. They will have twenty minutes to complete the test. Finally the tests will be scored and the data recorded. To analyze and measure the data, create a graph and observe if yoga led to higher test scores than no exercise did. This experiment will take place in the Amity High School gym. To ensure the safety of the participants, the Amity School nurse will be consulted

  3. How the Wording of Questions Affects People’s Responses
    Many experiments have been conducted about the manipulation of human memory. For example, one experiment was done in which participants were shown a video of a car crash, and were asked questions afterward with one specific “indicator word” changed between each set of questions (i.e. “How fast did the cars crash/bump/collide”). The purpose of this experiment would be to test whether or not certain actions can manipulate how a person remembers something. In this experiment, the "something" will be the details of a picture. This experiment is meaningful because there are many subtleties of human memorization and response to certain words that aren’t understood as well as others. Participants will be shown a picture of something very recognizable with reference objects in the background to give context, for example full-body picture of a person with a car in the background. After looking at the picture for two minutes (exactly), they will be asked for their best estimate of traits like the person's height, their facial expression, or the objects in the background. The independent variable will be the wording of the various questions that will be asked about the person. The dependent variable will be the closeness of the participants’ answers to the actual answer. The groups will be asked questions like how tall the person was vs. how short the person was. These questions would have the same answer if the answers were exactly accurate, but each question has a different wording. The control of this would be a question with a neutral "indicator word". For example, a control group would be asked, "What was the person's height". If these questions are changed with each group, it is hypothesized that their responses will become closer to fit the question that was asked. For example, if someone was asked "How tall was the person?", they would answer with a larger height than someone who was asked "How short was the person?". The experiment will be done by showing each group a picture and afterwards asking each group a set of questions with the same definite answer, but with varied wording between each question. Materials needed for the experiment include an image to be shown, a group of participants, a survey with the questions being asked, and a method of showing the picture to the participants.The data from this experiment will be recorded differently for each question. Some questions will already have number values, such as height. In this case, the average height given from each group will be recorded as the average. Concerning questions without a quantitative response, the question will ask for the response on a scale of 1 to 10. The picture will be shown on a SmartBoard/overhead in the classroom in which the experiment is done, and the surveys will be hard copies which are handed out. The experiment will be done in school, and each group will be a small class. The experiment will be done without a mentor, but the teacher of the class in which the experiment will be done will act as an advisor. -Vinnie Silverman

  4. The Effect of Training Caregivers of ASD Individuals

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex disorder of brain development. This disorder affects social and communication skills. Each level of autism is different in every person, some even with above average abilities, others that have trouble speaking, learning, etc. Recent studies were conducted when caregivers were assigned to take care of multiple autistic children, and results showed that the caregivers had high stress. Also, this increased instability of behavior problems. Will the caregivers be more comfortable taking care of individuals with ASD if they are put through training? If caregivers are trained to take care of autistic children, then the caregiver and parents will feel more comfortable with the child. This information is important because parents with individuals with ASD have difficulty finding babysitters to watch their child without feeling worry. By teaching the babysitters, the parents can assure that their child will be safe while they have a break. The independent variable is the training program. The dependent variable is the level of confidence in the caregiver’s capabilities. The constants are the adult participants, SIT kit, training program, experience with ASD individuals, and the interview/survey at the end to assess the change in confidence. This is a correlation study; therefore, there is no control group. The training session occurs monthly. Also, many are attending the session. How confident the adults are, how knowledgeable the guardians, and how effective the program was will be analyzed.

    Mentor:Dr. Barbara Cook
    SCSU Autism Center

  5. Harika Lingareddy

    The Effects of the Types of Information on the Ability to Remember:
    The purpose of this experiment is to see if there is a difference between visual and audio information, when it comes to remembering what the information is. Two studies that relate to this topic were conducted. One was to see why visual information was held in greater detail another was to see if auditory recognition is inferior to visual recognition. The research question is: Which helps memory more, visual or audio information. It is hypothesized that if visual information is used, then it will help memory more. The dependent variable in this experiment is how many pictures/words are remembered. Words will be remembered for audio information, and pictures for visual information. The independent variable would be the method of presenting the information-visual or audio. The method that will be used to test this is with human participants. The participants get to see words for a certain amount of time and have to wait 10 minutes. The participants then have five minutes to write down what images were remembered. Similar topics will be used to test the audio information. The information, or words, will be repeatedly said for the same amount of time. Then, the participants would wait and then write. There will be no control in this research. The data will be recorded by seeing how many images/words are remembered out of the total given. Also, a survey will be given to each of the group to see how they remember the information. This data will be compared with the two other groups. After one week, this experiment would be repeated with the same participants but the different information. All of the participants will be between the ages of 10-20.

  6. Kevin Dardik
    A Correlation Study Between Dream Clarity and Restfulness of Sleep
    According to a study published in Cambridge Journal, everybody dreams, but often people don't remember their dreams. Does remembering a dream, and it being very clear, have a correlation with how restful the sleep was? It is probable that yes, if a dream is remembered and very clear, then the sleep will be more restful. The correlation between clarity of a dream, including whether a dream is remembered, and restfulness of sleep, as defined by: if the volunteer woke up multiple times, and other factors that would affect tiredness by waking time. To conduct this study, volunteers will be given a dream journal for ten days. When they wake up, they will record 1) if they remember their dream, 2) how clear the dream was, and 3) how restful their sleep was. The questions are as follows: 1) do you remember your dream? 2) do you remember many, or few specifics of your dream? 3) on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being so blurry it was impossible to make out anything, and 10 being as clear as being awake, how clear was your dream? 4) on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being so tired you that if you're not moving you will fall asleep, and 10 being so rested that you don’t need any coffee at all, how rested are you? The data will then be analyzed through the means of a linear regression chart (correlation/causation).

  7. Direction goalkeeper dives during a penalty kick

    Jacob Gibbons-Morales

    In a soccer match, penalty kicks are a significant opportunity to score a goal, yet the goalkeeper must dive in a split second to one direction to block the shot. In which direction will the goalie dive? The Association for Psychological Science studied which way a goalkeeper dives in a penalty shootout. The results were that when the goalie's team was losing, they dived to the right while there was no significant difference if their team was either winning or tied. This proposal will look at penalty kicks during the actual game, given when there is illegal play in the box, rather then a penalty shootout, where a series of penalties taken at the end of a game to determine the winner. The research question is: Which direction does a goalkeeper dive during a penalty kick if his team is either tied, winning or losing? The knowledge of the results are significant since shooters might change the direction they shot, and given that one goal is so important, it can have a major impact on the game. The hypothesis would be that a goalkeeper will dive right when his team losing, but there will be no difference in the direction he dives when his team is tied or winning. The independent variable is the result of the game at the time the penalty kick is taken for the goalkeeper’s team either: wining losing or tied. While the dependent variable would be the direction the goalie dives. The data is obtained from videos of male professional soccer games where a penalty kick has occurred. The rules for a penalty are always the same. The experiment can be performed anywhere with a device that has Internet access to website like YouTube. The date of the game, the competition, the teams, the result at the time of the penalty, which way the goalie dived, and which way the shooter shots will be recorded.

  8. Reja Ahmad
    The Effect of Genres on the Interpretation of Music
    Music has always created a deep mental connection to people. Depending on the genre, the focus may be on different parts of the music, such as the rhythm. The purpose of this study is show how genres play an important role in influencing one’s perception of music, and to generally see the connection that is made between the two. It is hypothesized that if the participant is listening to rock music, the focus may be primarily on the rhythm because it creates the desire to move around to the music, unlike the other genres, which would be focused around the lyrics. There has been a study in Finland by Dr. Vinoo Alluri, which shows that listening to music has effects on the brain. Music is able to stimulate the brain. The independent variable is the type of song played. The dependent variable is how the listener interprets the music. It will be measured by the results of the questionnaire. The constants are the duration of the music, the number of songs, the number of participants, and the questionnaire. There is no control because this is a correlation. Before the experiment begins, there will be a list of songs sent to the participants, in order to make sure that they are not familiar with them. This is part of the questionnaire. There will be a total of five songs played. There will be five different genres with one song each. Then, the duration of each song is one minute long. Each participant will answer the same questionnaire two times, before the music is played and after it is over. The listeners will describe their mood based on each situation. Based on what the mood is, the results will show if the participants are affected by the rhythm. The questionnaire will include all of the participant’s information. Then, the questions will have scales going from 1-5. 1 means that the listener is feeling the same way as before, while the 5 means the listener is actually feeling a different emotion. The middle numbers signify a slight change in emotion starting to occur, getting strong with each number. There are two for each song, one for lyrics and one for rhythm. Depending on the number chosen for each scale, it will be determined whether the listener is more affected by lyrics or rhythm. The repeated trials would be based on the different songs and the multiple people. The location of where this experiment will be conducted is at the school and the number of participants will be a minimum of 20 people.

  9. Matt Kachmar
    Creating Educational Video Games to Teach STEM

    The purpose of this experiment is to determine how well educational video games teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Learning how to program the game is also a major portion of this experiment. This project is an experimental type project that is based off the engineering rubric. STEM Fuse is a company that will provide GAME: IT and GAME: IT Advanced, two $500 programs that they are providing for free to learn how to program. PBS and STEM Fuse both say that educational video games are the new future in learning, and provide engaging opportunities for students to learn STEM skills. The hypothesis is: If an educational video game is created that implements STEM, then students will have a more engaging opportunity to learn these skills. The materials that are required for this experiment are GAME: IT, GAME: IT Advanced, Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, Microsoft C#, XNA Studio 4.0, a journal, and a personal computer, which are all already obtained, besides for GAME: IT Advanced, which Mrs. Kari Tatge from STEM Fuse is working on providing. The procedure of this experiment is to use GAME: IT and GAME: IT Advanced to learn how to program, then use Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, C#, and XNA Game Studios 4.0 to create an educational STEM related video game for students between the age of five and eight. After the game is created, the same game and a pre-post evaluation will be created and distributed to the students to determine what they have learned and their thoughts and opinions on how well the game taught them STEM skills. Some things that will be tested are skills such as basic geometry, mathematics, and physics, along with testing the participants’ creativity to overcome the challenges presented in the game. Finally, the questionnaire results will be evaluated into a data table. During the entire process of this experiment, a laboratory journal will be kept of any changes that were made to the game, a log of time that it took to create the project and finish the GAME:IT Advanced program, and what users thought of the game.

  10. Dana Perry
    Research Proposal
    The Temporal Patterns of Feeding of Whitetailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

    White-tailed deer are an important part of the Connecticut ecosystem. These deer are quite common, but not many studies have been performed on their feeding habits. If they have any sort of temporal pattern of feeding, it is unknown. Thus, the research question is “Do whitetailed deer return to the areas in which they feed at the same time each day?” The purpose of this study is to better understand whitetail movements and the workings of our ecosystem. A study conducted in the Edwards Plateau Region showed that if there is a suitable food source, deer tend to stay in one small area for at least three years. This could support my hypothesis, which is if deer are presented with a constant food supply, they wil return to the area on a regular basis and at about the same time each day, by showing that deer will probably stick with the food sources in their small areas for a few years. The independent variable is the day of the week for --- weeks. For each day, the time at which any deer returned to the feeder will be recorded, therefore the dependent variable is the time of return. A control group is not necessary since this is a correlation study. The constants include species of animal, type of area, feeder, feed, brand of trail camera used, and time of food dispersion. While gender is not a constant, as both bucks and does will be observed, it will be taken into account. Data for bucks and data for does will be kept separate. The materials are relatively simple: three Cuddeback trail cameras, three tripod feeders, bags of corn to fill the feeders,three wooded areas (two in Bethany and one in Oxford) , and an sd card reader. The procedure will be to set up the cameras and the feeders, leave them for a period of time, check the photos for data, and record observations. Linear regression will be used to interpret the correlated data.

  11. Recently, the idea of robots has transformed from science fiction to reality. According to
    CNN, robot teachers in South Korea are very popular among students. Bum-Jae You, the head of
    cognitive robots at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, says that the children think of
    robots as their friends, which helps enhance and improve the learning experience. The purpose of this
    year’s project is to find the effect of robotic teaching on high school students. Since a robot could
    not be obtained for this project, an artificial voice will be used to represent the robot. To avoid
    introducing the speaker him/herself as an additional variable, a recording of a human voice will be
    used. It is hypothesized that if students are lectured with an artificial voice, they will be able to
    remember more material than with a human voice. The independent variable will be the type of voice
    and the dependent variable will be each student’s score on an assessment. After school, a history
    lesson will be taught to two groups of freshmen, ten students in each, in Level 1 World History. The
    human voice will lecture one group and the artificial voice will lecture another. Each group will be
    shown the same PowerPoint presentation about the incandescent bulb for thirty minutes. At the end
    of both lectures, they will take the same assessment for fifteen minutes. Assessment results will
    reveal how effective each voice was. There will be two trials on two different days testing four
    different groups of students (two groups lectured by an artificial voice, two groups lectured by a
    human voice) at the same time of day.

  12. Thomas Boutros
    The Relationship Between Music and Memory

    Music has been shown to have a positive effect on mental issues such as Alzheimer's and Dementia. For example, according to an article by Missouri Western,the ancient Greeks used music to soothe those with mental ailments. The purpose of this project is to see whether music has a positive effect on short-term memory. For example, according to Science Daily, Alzheimer's patients are treated with music therapy to help them remember certain things in their lives. If the patient forgets to take their medication, the doctor will associate a song with that issue, and in turn help them remember to take their medication. Therefore, the purpose of the experiment is to test whether this method of treating Alzheimer’s patients can also help those who are perfectly healthy. For example, to remember things within a short-term based on the genre being listened to. It is hypothesized that if music does show to have an affect on short-term memorization, then the genre that will show to have the most effect on it will be classical music. Classical music is believed to be the most helpful due to an article on Cerebromente. In this article, Dr. George Lozanov formatted a new way to learn foreign languages, but in a fraction of the normal time it would normally take. This renowned psychologist utilized classical music while teaching these languages. These songs had around 60 beats per minute. As a result, the average amount of knowledge his students would retain was about 92%. It was found in this study that the classical music was the most helpful in teaching the students. This study was not only beneficial to the students in the short-term sense, but they were also able to recall what was learned four years later. This is why classical music is believed to be the most effective on memorization. The independent variable of this project is the genre of music being played as the test subject reads the short story given. The dependent variable would be the test subject's ability to recall what was read. The dependent variable is to be measured by how well the test subject can recall the short story based on questions that are asked. A control group is required to see if music does really play a role in memorization. The control group is the group of test subjects that do not listen to any music at all. Some constants are the amount of time given to each test subject, the questions asked, and the short story that is given. Repeated trials are the questions asked, as each relies on the ability of the test subjects to recollect the story. Some materials will be one alternative song, one pop song, one rap song, and one jazz song. Once the short story is given, the genre assigned to the test subject is played. After exactly five minutes the researcher asks questions while the music is still playing. The data table is going to be based on how well the test subject is able to answer the questions, through the percentage of questions correct. This is how this project will be conducted.

  13. Jordan D'Onofrio

    Type of place kicking vs. accuracy and distance of the kick

    The purpose of this experiment is to see what type of place kicking is best for kicking points after touchdown (PAT) and field goals. There are three different ways to kick the ball for place kicking, you can perform a straight away kick (kick with the front of the toes), laces kick (kick the ball with the top of the foot of the laces) , this kick will also be the control for the experiment, and there is soccer style kicking (kicking the ball with the instep of the foot). When the national football league (N.F.L) was first founded in 1920 the most used style of kicking was straight on style. As of now 100% of place kickers in the N.F.L now use soccer style kicking. The professional place kicker to kick straight on style was Mark Moseley, who retired in 1986. Studies show that straight on kicking causes for more distance but is less accurate. It's is because when kicking with the toe there is less surface area making contact with the ball creating more pressure when hitting the ball, (pressure = force / area). The down side is the less surface area causes for less margin of error in the accuracy of the kick. It is vise-versa for soccer style. The more surface area causes less pressure but a larger margin of error. Which style of kicking is best for place kickers to successfully covert PATs and field goals. If the styles of place kicking were to be tested, then the results would show that soccer style is the best style of kicking. The IV is the style of kick. The DV is how accurate and far the kicks go. Laces kick will be the control group for this experiment, because it involves the least amount of change in the ankle.the experiment will use a kicking machine that swings on an axis a mimics the motion of the kicker's leg. The ankle part will be made so that the foot can be moved for the kicking style. The experiment shall be conducted at home with help from parents.

  14. Patrick Neumann

    The Effect Of Low Stress Levels On Blood Pressure

    There are many factors that affect heart health. All of those are things that you determine yourself. Those things could range anywhere from your diet to stress. These things could increase your blood pressure, which is very harmful, or they could possibly lower your blood pressure, which is very good. According to a study at the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos; about 20% of people with higher amounts of stress are more likely to develop blood pressure increase or heart problems. Stress is already known to affect one’s blood pressure. However, people only know that having a lot of stress increases your blood pressure, but they don’t know what having a low amount of stress can do. It is hypothesized that having a low amount of stress would lower your blood pressure. The objective of this project is to find the effects of low stress on blood pressure. 14 people will be gathered, where 7 will relax, and the other 7 will not be relaxing. The independent variable will be if the person is relaxing or not, and the dependent variable will be their blood pressure at the end of the test. The control group will be the group that is not relaxing. The constants will be: same age of participants, same amount of relaxation, same time of day, and same stress level at the beginning of the test. The control group will just be talking with one another for 10 minutes. The relaxing group will use one set method of relaxation for 10 minutes. After those 10 minutes are done, their blood pressure will be measured and recorded. Hopefully, these results will provide a better understanding of the effects of stress on heart condition.

  15. The Effect of Chewing Gun on Concentration
    Matthew McKenna
    Chewing gum is always a contested subject in schools because there are pros and cons to it. Research has been done stating that chewing gum relieves stress and relaxes you, which is a pro. However, chewing gum often ends up not being properly disposed of, and a student chewing gum may distract others in the class. This is a major con. The research question is whether or not chewing gum effects concentration. The purpose of this experiment is to prove if chewing gum effects concentration. The hypothesis is that a student that chews gum will be able to concentrate better than one who does not. The independent variable is chewing gum or no chewing gum, and the dependant variable is the student’s performance on a simple mathematics test. The constants are students taking the test, type of gum, type of test, and time given to complete the test. The materials necessary are gum, a timer, consent forms, and simple mathematics tests. The first step of the procedure is to give a group of students a simple mathematics test for them to complete. Next, Split the students into two groups, one to chew gum during the test, and one that will not chew gum. Then, give the students ten minutes to complete the test before collecting it and grading it. Finally, you analyze the results. This experiment could be conducted in the classroom, or the participants could be given the test to complete on their own.

  16. Over the past few years, the temperature in cities has been rising due to the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE). UHIE is when the urban area’s temperature is higher than surrounding rural and suburban areas. The asphalt on roads in the city and the concrete roofs all help distribute solar energy, which warms the surrounding air. To help mitigate the increase in temperature, green roofs and blue roofs have come into light. Green roofs are vegetated roofs, and blue roofs are roofs that can hold large reservoirs of water on it, and they both help modify the internal temperature of a building. Examples of green roofs can be seen on Chicago city hall. An example of a green roof can be found in Nagoya, Japan, at the Oasis 21 Complex. This experiment is to observe the temperature trend of each type of roof and compare it to a normal temperature’s roof. It is hypothesized that both a green roof and a blue roof will help decrease the temperature, but the blue roof’s temperature will fluctuate more than a green roof’s. The independent variable is the type of roof, and the dependent variable is the internal temperature of a building. It would be necessary to build three models of a green roof and a blue roof and a normal roof, and then place a probe thermometer inside each model, then record their temperature at various times of the day, and do this for at least a week , then create a graph to show their trends.

    Victoria Li

  17. George Zhang

    The Effect of Test Format on Test Performance

    The goal of this project is to answer the question: How does the format of a test (high or low stress) affect performance? The hypothesis is: If the format has the stress inducer, then the scores will be lower. It has been shown that stress negatively affects working memory and neurons in the prefrontal cortex, which are vital during tests. The independent variable is the type of test format and the dependent variable is the test score. The stress inducer will be changing the question order/having the harder questions first (the students in the high stress group may panic at the start and think the test is harder than it actually is). The experiment would require 2 different tests (on material from Algebra 1), pencils, 12 participants, and a quiet classroom. Questions on the two types of tests, the academic level of the participants (with no disorders like dyslexia), amount of time given and time of day would stay constant. The control would be the group that has the low stress format because their performance will not be affected by stress inducers. The students would take the test after school. They will be divided into two groups of six. One group will take the high stress tests and one group will take the low stress tests. The scores will be analyzed by finding the averages for high and low stress formats. The experiment can be done at Amity High School under teacher supervision.

  18. Eli Silvert

    How Practicing Memorizing Affects One’s Ability To Memorize
    Does repeated memorization affect one’s ability to memorize? The results from this experiment could help people memorize new information more efficiently. If someone is given unique sets of 15 digits 10 times, then the amount of numbers memorized will increase as the amount of practice increases. Brain activity (e.g. doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and similar games) improves short and long term memory. This “exercise” creates/strengthens nerve connections, according to The Yale Neuroscience Center. Practicing memorizing should strengthen nerve pathways – improving short-term memory. The independent variable is the number of tests (practice sessions) given. The dependent variable is the number of digits memorized. Each participant’s initial test is the baseline for comparison. In this experiment, time of day the tests occur, about 15 participants, location of tests, amount of practice participant has, amount of digits in tests, display of digits, paper, and how tests are given needs to be kept constant. The materials include 150 tests (10 different tests), a stopwatch, and pencils. Participants are given 15 random digits on a sheet of paper. They must memorize for a minute, then flip the paper over and remember the digits for another minute (during this time they can’t write anything down). Then, they write the numbers on the blank side of paper. The amount of digits written in correct order is the dependent variable. This process is conducted for 10 trials. Data will be analyzed by plotting it in a graph which will show how the amount if digits memorized is affected by the test number. This study will occur in Room 23 under teacher supervision. The tests will be given at 2:30 P.M. for 10 days.

  19. Nick Beckwith

    How Do Video Games Affect Stress Levels
    Do video games affect stress levels? The answer to this question can help students decide whether or not to play video games. A similar concept was tested by the American Psychological Association in 2004. Their experiment consisted of 23 workers of a Montreal-based call center playing a video game. The purpose of the game was to click on a smiley face as opposed to the frowny face. However, this game was intended to improve social interaction, not to reduce stress. This experiment will focus on video games as they relate to stress levels. It is hypothesized that playing video games lowers the amount of stress a person has. The independent variable being tested would be if the participants were playing the video game and the dependent variable would be the change in their stress levels. The materials required for this experiment are computers, the game (Google Pac-Man), and human volunteers to work the experiment. Constants within the experiment will include the same amount of time playing, the same game being played, and same way of playing the game (using a keyboard.) To collect the data, the volunteers will take a questionnaire that relates to how much stress they have and have their blood pressure taken both before and after playing. The questionnaire being used is linked below. Each person will play one video game for a total of 10 minutes. There will be no control group, because the experiment is just a measure of the change in stress. The stress measured prior to playing the game will serve as a baseline measurement. The data will be graphed to examine what has become of the experiment after 10 volunteers have participated. This experiment will be at Amity High School. The testing will take place after school with adult supervision.

  20. How the Time of Day Affects Student Cognition

    The purpose of this experiment is to determine what the best time is for students to function. The hypothesis is that if students participate in classes in the afternoon rather than the morning, they will perform better. This was determined by reading multiple journal articles, and seeing that on average, students prefer/do better in afternoon classes. One example of this included a study conducted in 2008 in the University of Aveiro, at Portugal, which showed that evening-type college students were put at a disadvantage in their early morning classes. The independent variable is the time of day, and the dependent variable is how well they score on a series of simple cognitive tests. The morning test will be the baseline for comparison, as a control in this case is not possible. Roughly 30 – 50 human participants will be selected, all from the same grade and the same level classes. The school computer lab will be used. There will be two testing sessions, one for each time of day. The first one will be in the morning before school, at 6:30 AM. Next will be the afternoon sessions, at 2:30 PM. The participants will be randomly divided into two groups according to time of day. During these testing sessions, test subjects will each complete several short tests and allow me to record their results. They will all do the same test, have the same instructor, and use the same room.
    The website used for the testing is linked above. The four free tests in each category that do not require you to make an account are the ones used.

  21. Ryan Oleynik

    Effect of Caffeine Consumption on Test Scores

    If you have one cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of cream before a test, then your test score will increase. Over the past century many studies have been conducted about learning styles and methods of studying. One focus area to further explore is the potential impacts of caffeine on test taking; specifically, looking at the effects of caffeine when taken prior to a test. Adenosine is a chemical in the body that makes the body drowsy. Caffeine acts as a wall blocking the chemical from reaching the brain and telling the body to fall asleep. Thus, caffeine keeps people awake. To test the effect of caffeine consumption on test scores, a series of cognitive test will be administered. There will be two groups with ten adult participants in each group. The independent variable in this experiment will be the consumption of one cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of cream before a test. The dependent variable will be test scores of the participants. The first group of ten (independent group) will be the group consuming one cup of coffee and 1 tablespoon of cream. The control will be the group without coffee. The independent group will consume coffee and cream and immediately take the cognitive test. The control will take the test without coffee consumption. In this experiment, the amount of coffee, time of day, test location, and test will remain constant. This experiment will require coffee, cream, pencils, tests, and twenty volunteers. The experiment results will determine if there is a positive correlation between caffeine and increased test scores.

  22. Haseeb Khan

    The Effect of Noise on the Ability to Memorize

    It has long been believed that a noisy environment can be bad for a person when they are trying to study or memorize material. This experiment’s goal is to test the question: How do different levels of noise, measured in decibels, affect a person’s ability to memorize? This question will be tested by choosing fifteen random two-digit numbers and showing them to three groups of five people. The first group will be exposed to no noise (0 dbs). The second group will be exposed to 50 decibels of static noise. The last group will be exposed to the 80 decibels of static noise. They will have thirty seconds to look and memorize the list of two-digit numbers. Then, they will immediately start to write down as many numbers as they remember in any order. The amount of numbers they successfully write will show how well they were able to memorize the list while being exposed to the different levels of noise. The materials needed are fifteen volunteers, fifteen random numbers, pens/pencils, paper, clock/watch and a screen for presenting the numbers. The independent variable is the decibels of noise. The dependent variable is the amount of numbers each person writes successfully. The constants are the amount of time each person has to look at the numbers and the classroom where the experiment takes place. The control variable is the 0 dbs. of sound. The experiment will be tested and overseen by me after school in an empty classroom with a screen and speakers that projects the noise.

  23. Kaite Meehan

    The Effects of Recalling an Event Multiple Times on its Accuracy

    In recent studies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, results have shown that when people remember events multiple times, their recollection can be incorrect due to distortion of the memory. Recalling a memory requires many different actions simultaneously, which causes events to be mixed together. This experiment will test how the accuracy of an event is affected by recalling a memory multiple times. As mood or environment may differ with each memory recall, it is hypothesized that the greater number of times an event is recalled, the less accurately it will be recalled. The experiment will require, a short film, human participants between the ages of 13 and 15, and paper. To begin this experiment a short visual clip will be shown to the participants. The participants will be asked to write a summary about the film immediately after watching it, a day later, two days later, and three days later. The summaries will be graded out of 10 points. The points are based on whether or not their summaries includes key points from the film, like the color of a main character's shirt or names of supporting characters. There will be 10 participants, who will complete the experiment once. The independent variable in this experiment is how many times the event is remembered and retold and the dependent variable is how accurately an event is retold. The constants are the film that will be shown once to all participants, the amount of time between each retelling, the question being asked, the room where this experiment will take place, the time the summaries will be written, and the ages of the participants.

  24. The Correlation Between Playing Sports and Reaction Times of Players

    This research will attempt to answer the following question: Does the sport that an individual plays correlate with his/her reaction time? In this investigation the independent variable will be the sport(s) that the person plays, and the dependent variable will be the person's reaction times. A study done in Japan tested 22 baseball players, 22 tennis players and 38 non-athletes. The professional baseball players had the fastest reaction times of all the individuals who were tested. Thus, it is hypothesized that people who play baseball will have the fastest reaction times. To test this hypothesis, reaction time test will be administered to athletes of different sports. The reaction time test is internet based and consists of the person clicking the mouse whenever a red light turns green. The amount of time between the green light and the click is the person's reaction time. In order to maintain accuracy in testing each sport will be represented by at least 10 participants for each of the 10 sports. People who play multiple sports will count towards multiple groups in the data. For example, if someone plays soccer and basketball, their data will count towards both of the sport's data. Constants include age group, intoxication levels, time of day, and the same reaction time test. The control group will contain a people who have played no organized sports. Experiments will be done at the Media Center at school. The possible sports that will be tested include basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, field hockey, football, volleyball, tennis, and any other sport available at Amity High School.

    Reaction time test-

    Barak Davidi

  25. Devon Hebert
    Does light effect scale pigment?
    This experiment may demonstrate an effective way for pet stores to create colored fish, and may reveal information about the adaptive nature of scale pigment. Research has shown, including research conducted at Johns Hopkins that goldfish would turn white in the dark. The experiment will be conducted as follows: Four tanks will be arranged, each with three goldfish. One will have a red, one will have a blue light, one will have a yellow light, and one will have no light. Once per day, any color change in the fish will be observed. The goldfish will be measured according to a color wheel. The independent variable is the color of the light and the dependent variable is the color of the fish. Since goldfish turn white if left in the dark, it is hypothesize that if another color of light was introduced to the fish then they should turn the color that is similar to the light. The control group is the three fish in the dark at all times. There are several constants including food, fish bowls, and water temperature. For repeated trials there are 3 fish in each tank. The materials that are required to be used are goldfish, fish tanks, red light, yellow light, blue light, fish tank rocks, and fish food.

  26. George Zhang

    The Effect of Test Format on Test Performance

    The purpose of this study was to find out how test format affects test performance. The study may show that some ways of formatting tests are more beneficial to students than others. It is obvious that the students and the teachers both want the highest scores possible and some formats may promote higher scores than others. This experiment used twelve participants who were in geometry level 1. The twelve participants were split into two groups. One group was given tests with a high stress format and the other was given tests with a low stress formats. They were told to take do the questions in order and were given roughly 25 minutes. The tests were then graded and the scores were analyzed. So far, the results show that those who took the high stress tests did in fact get a lower score. The average score for high stress tests was 51.67 (out of 100) while the average score for low stress test was 59.17. The lowest score of 35 was received by a participant who took the high stress test, and the highest score of 70 was received by one who took the low stress test. The current results support the hypothesis and show that the test format that included the stress inducer (high stress format) negatively affected performance on the test. The average for low stress tests was 7.5 points higher than that of the high stress tests. The results seem mostly reliable with no outliers and no serious errors. However, many more participants are needed to effectively draw a conclusion.