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Does highlighting what you read help you remember more easily?Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to find out if students using a highlighter while studying would be able to recall facts better. The experiment was done by comparing the test scores of participants who were given an essay to study without the use of a highlighter, with those who were given an essay that was already highlighted, as well as those who were allowed to make their own highlights on the same essay.

Hypothesis

The participants will perform better in the tests when they highlighted their own essays.

Scientific Terms

Long term memory, short term memory

Background

Memory

Memory refers to the ability of our brains to store information and recall it again when needed. It can be divided into long term memory and short term memory.
Long term memories are permanent and will remain with us for a long time. These are normally related to events that occur repeatedly in our lives. For example, we will never forget our names and the names of our family members. Important birthdays, anniversaries and telephone numbers are also unlikely to be forgotten. Long term memory is also useful for students when recalling what they have studied, and for adults to learn and remember new skills.

Short term memory is more likely to be used for a one-time event. We will not remember for long the faces we see when we walk down a street. Neither are we able to we recall what we had for dinner two weeks ago. These memories are easily forgotten as we do not try to actively recall these events, thus transferring them to our long term memory, unless they are important to us.
 

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Complexity level:
3
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
1 day for preparation, 3 days for experiment
Material availability:
Easily found at a bookstore or supermarket
Safety concerns:

None