Does the gender of a baby affect its preference for toys?
The materials required for this science fair project:
- Permission from a daycare center to conduct science fair project. Parental consent forms will need to be handed out and signed.
- 10 baby girls (4 to 6 months old)
- 10 baby boys ( 4 to 6 months old)
- 1 Barbie doll
- 1 toy truck
- 1 curtain
- 1 stop watch
- an assistant to watch the time
- a day care center worker to help handle the babies
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the gender of the baby. The dependent variable is whether the baby takes to trucks or Barbie dolls. This is determined by observing the movement of the baby’s eyes for 10 seconds and ascertaining whether the baby prefers to gaze upon the truck or the Barbie doll. The constants (control variables) are the length of time the babies are allowed to look at the toys and the age of the babies.
2. Permission is obtained from the day care center administration to do this science fair project with the babies. The purpose of the science fair project and the procedure used is explained to the administration. The assistance of one of the day care workers is required to help handle the babies.
3. 10 baby girls and 10 baby boys are selected, aged between 4 and 8 months.
4. The babies are brought into the room to be tested one at a time. The day care worker will handle the baby. The assistant holds the curtain 1.5 meters in front of the babies. The toy truck and Barbie doll are placed a meter apart behind the curtain. Ensure that the baby is carried and held squarely in between the truck and the doll.
5. The curtain is removed and the stopwatch started. For the next 10 seconds, the baby’s eye movements are observed to see which toy the baby prefers to look at. After 10 seconds the curtain is closed. The observation is recorded in the table below.
6. The position of the toys is changed and procedure 5 is repeated.
7. The position of the toys is changed again and procedure 5 is repeated once more.
8. Procedures 4, 5, 6 and 7 are repeated on the remaining 19 babies. All the observations are recorded in the table given below.
Ensure that babies are handled with care, by qualified day care center staff