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How quickly do we respond to colors?Featured science projectScience project video


The materials required for the science fair project experiment:
- 20 children aged between 10  and  15 years old
- 1 digital timer
- 3 lamps – red, amber and green color
- sockets for the 3 lamps
- 4 switches
- sockets for the 4 switches
- copper insulated wire to make the connections
- an assistant


1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the color of the light used – red, amber and green. The dependent variable is the response time of the participant. This is determined by observing how quickly the participant is able to stop the timer.  The constants (control variables) are the distance of the light from the participant, the distance of the switch from the participant and the lighting in the room used for the experiment.

2. The circuit is connected as shown in figure 1. The 3 light switches are toggled according to the lamp intended to be turned on. When the lamp is turned on, the timer will start simultaneously. The timer will be stopped when the stop switch is hit.

color and response time science project

3. The setup is prepared as shown above in the room to be used for testing. The participant is seated 5 meters away from the 3 lamps. The switches are placed about 80cm in front of the participant, just within reach of the participant . The lamps are randomly switched on and the response time of the participant for each colored lamp is averaged and recorded.

4. The science fair project is repeated on all the 20 participants and the average time taken by them to respond to each of the 3 colored lamps is calculated and recorded in the table given below.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for the science fair project experiment
Material availability:
May be obtained at an electronics hobby store
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements