Classical music or silence
The materials required for this science fair project:
- Permission from the selected nursery to do observation, ensuring that parental consent forms have been signed
- 10 nursery children aged 4 to 5 years old
- 1 classical music CD
- 1 CD player
- 1 stopwatch
1. For this experiment, the independent variable is either silence or playing classical music during the children’s nap time. The dependent variable is the time it takes for the child to sleep. This is determined by using a stopwatch to time and observe the child not making any movement for 5 minutes. The constants (control variables) are the age of the children, the gender of the children and the environment of the room (bed firmness, air conditioning, etc).
2. Permission is obtained from the nursery school administration and the parents of the selected children to observe their children’s sleeping pattern for the next 10 days.
3. Arrangements are made with the school to maintain a similar level of activity for the children in the nursery for the next 10 days. This is so that the children do not become more tired on certain days and go to sleep early due to tiredness and not the environment.
4. On the odd days of observation (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th days) no music is played. The children are made to sleep in the quiet room. The time taken for each child to sleep is recorded in the table below.
5. On the even days of observation (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th days) classical music is played in the background whilst the children sleep. The time taken for the children to fall sleep is again recorded in the table below.