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The Correlation between physical activity and academic performanceFeatured science projectScience project video


The materials required for this experiment:

  • 5 boys and 5 girls aged 15
  • 2 sets of mathematics exam papers of equal difficulty (labeled mathematics Paper A and Paper B)
  • 2 sets of science exam papers of equal difficulty (labeled science Paper A and Paper B)
  • 2 sets of history exam papers of equal difficulty (labeled history Paper A and Paper B)
  • 2 sets of geography exam papers of equal difficulty (labeled geography Paper A and Paper B)
  • A quiet examination room
  • A field to perform physical exercise
  • An assistant to help coordinate the physical exercise and examination 


  1. For this experiment, the independent variable is the exercise and exam topic. The dependent variable is the examination score. This is determined by marking and grading the papers. The constants (control variables) are the difficulty level of the exam papers, the number of questions and the duration of physical exercise and the examination.
  2. Two sets of examination papers of equal difficulty are prepared for 4 subjects ?mathematics, science, history and geography. Each subject is labeled A and B. Each exam paper will consist of 50 multiple choice questions. 10 copies are made of each exam paper.
  3. Prepare an answer guide to facilitate marking and grading the papers after each exam.
  4. The examination time table is handed out to the students
  5. Day 1 and 2 - Mathematics
  6. Day 2 and 3 - Science
  7. Day 3 and 4 - History
  8. Day 4 and 5 - Geography
  9. On the day of the exam the 5 boys and 5 girls are brought into the examination hall and seated. The Set A examination papers for each subject are distributed to the students. They are given 90 minutes to complete the examination.
  10. The students are asked to go home.
  11. The next day, the students are assembled in the field to perform some light physical exercise for 30 minutes. You can choose to make them jog, cycle or walk.
  12. After exercising, the students are asked to rest for 45 minutes.
  13. After the period of rest, instruct the students to enter the exam hall again. Seat the 5 boys and 5 girls in the examination hall and distribute the Set B exam papers. Once again, allow them 90 minutes to complete the examination.
  14. Collect the exam scripts at the end of the experiment.
  15. Repeat steps 5 to 10 for each of the four examination subjects.
  16. Mark and grade all of the exam papers and record the results in the table given below.
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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 4 days for experiment
Material availability:
Easily found. Ideas for questions may be obtained from textbooks, past examination papers and the internet.
Safety concerns:

Ensure that the students engage in low risk physical activities