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Do people who live close to the sea consume more or less water than those who live inland?

Materials

The materials required for this science fair project:
- 50 families that live within a 2 km distance from the ocean
- 50 families that live more than 50 km away from the ocean
- a computer to help analyze the data
- a survey form
- permission from your school’s administration, to obtain data from the students

Procedure

1. For this science project, the independent variable is the location of residence of the families – within 2 km from the ocean or over 50km from the ocean. The dependent variable is the average amount of water consumed by each person in the family. This is determined by calculating the data obtained from the students’ families. The constants (control variables) are the income levels of the families, the price of water and the constant supply of water to the homes.

2. To simplify this project, 2 schools are selected. One school is located within 2 km from the ocean while the other school is located over 50 km from the ocean.

3. Permission and assistance is obtained from the administration of the school to distribute the survey forms to 50 students from each school. Table 1 shows the sample  survey form. The completed survey forms are collected a week later.

4. Once the survey forms are obtained, the data is analyzed with the help of a computer. The data obtained from both schools are separated according to the monthly income levels of the family. They are grouped as follows - less that US\$1,000, between US\$1,000  and  US\$3,000, between US\$3,000  and  US\$5,000, and over US\$5,000

5. The amount of water used per month in each household is divided by the number of persons living in the home in that month. This figure is then totaled for the whole year and divided by 12 to obtain the total amount of water consumed per person.

6. The average of the figure obtained in procedure 5 is calculated for each group and the result is recorded in  table 2 given below.

Table 1 – Table used to source water consumption data from the students’ families.

 Name School Total family income Distance from sea (tick) □ < 2km  □  >50km Month Water used (m3) No. of persons in home Average water consumed, per person January February March April May June July August September October November December Total Monthly Average (Total / 12)

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost (\$):
30
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 7 days for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

None