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A comparison of response time across genders - the "Ruler drop test"Science project video


This experiment was performed to compare the response time of boys and girls. The "ruler-drop" test was used.


Boys have a shorted response time than girls.

Scientific Terms

Stimuli, reflex, brain, nerves, muscles, hand-eye coordination


Response time

Response time refers to the amount of time the body takes to respond to a stimulant. The body may react with a reflex action. For example, when a person touches something hot, or when his/her finger is pierced by a sharp thorn, he or she will naturally pull away from the hot or sharp object without having to think about it. How quickly a person reacts to external stimuli which is anticipated, also provides us with an indication of his/her response time. The stimuli that a person reacts to may be audible or visual. For example, how long does it take for a sprinter to take off from the starting line when the gun is fired? How quickly can a goalkeeper jump for the ball when a player from the opposing team takes a penalty kick? A popular method of ascertaining a person's response time is the "Ruler drop test", which we will be using for our experiment.

Hand-eye coordination

When a person responds to a visual stimulus, he/she co-ordinates his/her hands and eyes during the entire process of responding. Hand-eye coordination is a skill that human beings learn naturally from a young age. Hand-eye coordination is very important for human survival: humans need it in order to avert danger, to build homes, to harvest food and to acquire new skills. We use this skill in almost all of our daily activities: we use it when we make coffee, to write, to drive, in sports or for playing computer games. The eye processes bits of information and sends it to the brain. The brain processes these bits of information. It sends a signal to the hand through our nervous system and the muscles in our hands contract accordingly, to produce a desired response.

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Time required:
It will take an hour to set up the experiment, and an hour to conduct it.
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