Age and memoryFeatured science projectScience project video

popular science fair projects
Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 hours for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to ascertain if age affects the ability of a person to learn and remember. The science project experiment involved showing flash cards to 10- year old children and adults between the age of 30 and 40.

Hypothesis

Adults and children will have the same learning ability.

Background

Age and learning

Learning is a continuous process throughout our life. The only difference between children and adults is in what is being learned and the way it is being learned.

A newborn child first learns the motor skills required to control movement. The child will next learn how to walk and talk. They will also learn to use simple utensils and to play a lot. Next, they are sent to nurseries and schools to learn reading, writing and counting, and as they grow older, more advanced subjects will be included in this learning process.

When the child grows up and finishes school, and becomes an adult, the learning process still goes on but it is different from the learning that occurs in a classroom environment. New skills are acquired on the job, and other vital skills like driving, cooking, managing your personal finance or caring for children become a necessity. It is therefore not meaningful to make a direct comparison between children who are still in school with an adult who has left school for many years. Likewise the child will also not be able to perform the tasks that an adult can do. An apple should only be compared to an apple.

Scientific Terms

Motor skills, memory

Materials

The materials required for this science fair project:
- 10 boys 10 years of age
- 10 girls 10 years of age
- 10 men between 30 to 40 years of age
- 10 women between 30 to 40 years of age
- 20 flash cards
- 20 sheets of paper
- 20 pens

Procedure

1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the age of the participants – child or adult. The dependent variable is the ability of the participant to remember the contents of the flash cards. This is determined by asking the participant to write down what he saw on the flash card. The constants (control variables) are the duration of time for which they are allowed to look at the flash cards and the number of flash cards used.

2. One set of flash cards containing 20 cards is used in this experiment.

3. The 20 children and 20 adults are made to sit in the same room. The flash cards are shown to them one at a time. The participants are allowed to look at each flash card for only 10 seconds before the next card is shown to them.

4. After all 20 flash cards are shown, the participants are each given a pen and a sheet of paper. They are given 10 minutes to recall what they saw on the flash cards and to write it down on the paper.

5. After the 10 minutes is over, the sheets of paper are collected from the participants for analysis. The number of correct answers is counted and recorded.

Observation

The results show that the adult men and women have a slightly higher ability for memory retention and memory recall compared to younger boys and girls.

Participants group

Number of correct flash cards written down in paper

Average

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Boy (10 year)

11

8

12

15

12

14

11

16

12

13

12.4

Girl (10 year)

15

11

13

12

14

11

15

14

11

12

12.8

Men (30+ year)

15

12

16

13

12

15

11

13

13

14

13.4

Women (30+ year)

14

13

13

15

13

12

13

11

14

14

13.2

 

The chart below represents the results of our science project.
 

age and memory science fair projects

Conclusion

The hypothesis that adults and children will have the same learning ability is proven to be false. Adult participants performed slightly better than the children.

Also consider

This science fair project may be repeated, this time, with  a different age group like 15 year old students and 60 year old adults.

Modify the science project experiment, using a different type or number of flash cards.

References

Relation between age and learning ability - http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Relation-Between-Age-and-Learning-Ability&id=3959025

Principles of adult learning - http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/adults-2.htm

Videos