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The National Student Research Center

E-Journal of Student Research: Science

Volume 9, Number 3, September, 2000

 


The National Student Research Center is dedicated to promoting student research and the use of the scientific method in all subject areas across the curriculum, especially science and math. 

For more information contact:

 

John I. Swang, Ph.D.
Founder/Director
National Student Research Center
2024 Livingston Street
Mandeville, Louisiana 70448
U.S.A.
E-Mail: nsrcmms@communique.net
http://youth.net/nsrc/nsrc.html

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
  1. Feet and the Growth of Bacteria
  2. The Physics of Baseball
  3. The Amount of Voltage Left in Different Batteries After Four Hours of Use
  4. The Effect of Type of Stain Remover on the Ability to Remove Stain
  5. The Effect of Light on Change in Lettuce Plant Height
  6. The Effects of Common Drinks on the Strength of Egg Shells
  7. The Speed of Dye Ascending to the Carnation's Petals
  8. Do Celery Leaves, Daisy Petals, or Carnation Petals Obtain the Dye Fastest?
  9. The Effect of Acid Rain on the Growth of Radish, Tomato, and Squash Plants.
  10. Backpack Weight, Posture, and Back Pain in Fox Lane Students
  11. How Does Location and Weather Effect a Cell Phone's Signal?
  12. The Treats Which a Horse Likes Best

 


Title: Feet and the Growth of Bacteria Student Researcher: Scott Cole School Address: Longfellow Middle School Falls Church, VA 22043 Grade: 7 Teacher: Mrs. Hankins

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The point of the experiment I conducted was to see which bacteria, bacteria that came from the feet of a human, a rabbit, and a chicken, would grow the fastest. I hypothesized that if the size of the animal that the sample was taken from was increased, then the speed of the growth of the bacteria would increase.

II. Methodology:

I tested my hypothesis by taking samples of bacteria from the feet of a chicken, a human, and a rabbit, placing them in augers, and recording their growth over three days. I used a culture mix, water, a stove, a pot, nine petri dishes, graph paper, and samples of bacteria in my project. The full procedure went like this. I first mixed the water and the culture mix, then boiled it, and added some to each of the petri dishes. Then I pressed the feet of each of the animals on three of the cultures. Next, I recorded the size of the bacteria. I waited for twenty-four hours, then recorded the size again. I repeated this procedure once more. The controls of the experiment were the environment where the cultures were kept, how they were prepared, the time allowed for the bacteria to grow, the type of culture the bacteria was placed on, and the units used to measure the growth of the bacteria. Some possible intervening variables are the amount of each kind of bacteria introduced to each culture and the possibility of contamination of the cultures.

III. Analysis of Data:

The average growth for the chicken cultures was 12 44/125 cm. on the first day, 19 2/3 cm on the second day, and 30 cm on the third day. The average growth for the rabbit cultures was 13 cm the first day, 15 cm the second day, and 19 1/3 cm the last day. Finally, the average growth for the human cultures was 1/30 cm the first day, 3 1/6 cm the second day, and 31 2/3 cm the third day.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

In the end of the experiment, my hypothesis was correct. During the first and second days though, my hypothesis was incorrect.

These data prove that the growth of bacteria can be erratic or consistent, depending on the kind of bacteria. As for my hypothesis, I'm not sure what to conclude based on the fact that the status of my hypothesis changed day to day. There are possibilities that the cultures were contaminated with bacteria other than the kind I was testing. Also, the rabbit foot had fur on It, while the chicken and human feet didn't. This could've had an influence on the results.

V. Application:

I can't apply my experiment to the real world because the animals' feet which I sampled came from different areas of sterilization. If someone was to repeat this experiment, I would advise he/she to keep the augers as sterile of bacteria (except for the bacteria you are testing) as he/she can.

 

 


Title: The Physics of Baseball Student Researcher: Andrew Lardy School Address: 2000 Westmoreland St. Falls Church, VA 22043 Grade: 7 Teacher: Mrs. Hankins

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The topic that I chose was based on the physics that apply to baseball. I wanted to see the effect that different filling materials would have on the distance that a ball would travel when hit by a baseball bat with these materials inside. My hypothesis was that if the bat filling was rolled cork, then the distance traveled by the baseball would increase.

II. Methodology:

I tested my hypothesis by setting up a batting apparatus. This apparatus would hold the baseball bat and be spring loaded so that when it was pulled back to a marked distance, it would swing the bat around and hit the baseball off of a baseball tee with the exact same amount of force every time.

I made this apparatus out of a piece of wood, nuts and bolts, clamps, and hinges attached to a wooden post. My independent variable (the variable in the experiment that is altered purposefully by the experimenter) was the material that the bat was filled with. The different materials I used to fill the bats were solid wood, sawdust, rolled cork, and rubber balls. My dependent variable (the variable that is altered because of the independent variable) was the distance traveled by the baseball when hit by the bat. The first step of the experiment was to obtain a wooden bat and build the bat apparatus. The next step is to mount the solid wooden bat on the apparatus and place the ball on the tee. You then pull back the apparatus to the marked point and release. Have a helper mark the exact point that the ball landed. Mark this spot with some form of a marker. Repeat this 10 times or more. Then drill a hole down the barrel of the bat that you just used. Fill the bat with one of the filling materials and use something to keep the contents in the chamber such as wood putty or packing tape. Mount the newly filled bat and repeat the testing process. Repeat this with every bat filling and then record your results.

III. Analysis of Data:

After I reviewed my data, I found that my hypothesis was incorrect. The rolled cork actually ranked second to last of the four bat fillings in average distance traveled, barely placing ahead of the sawdust filling. Surprisingly, the bat that hit the ball the furthest on average was the solid wooden bat. It surpassed all fillings with a healthy margin. The closest to the solid wooden bat was the rubber ball filling.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

From my data, I found that the heavier and more solid the bat filling, the further the ball will travel. The wood, obviously the most solid and the heaviest, came out on top of the other fillings. The sawdust was neither solid nor heavy, and it ranked last. The rubber balls placed ahead of the rolled cork because they were tightly packed and weighed more than the cork which was not packed very tightly. The only error in my experiment that I could find was the way I packed the fillings in the bat. I could not pack the cork as tightly as it was supposed to be because I had to be able to remove it so that I could put the other fillings in the bat. The rubber balls however, I had to pack tightly because they would not have fit in the chamber if they were not packed. This is a considerable window for error that may have thrown my findings off from what they should have been.

V. Application:

My experiment could be very useful in the real world. In Major League Baseball, it is illegal to "cork" a baseball bat or do anything to the bat that would make it hollow or filled with something. Unfortunately, this rule has, over time, been broken over and over again. The data that I have found will tell major league players that it is not worth it to fill your bat.

For further research of my experiment, I recommend several things. I think that a more accurate system of measurement to determine the distance traveled by the ball would strengthen the experiment. Also, a method of removing the filling materials from the bat chamber when tightly packed is vital to the relevance of this experiment. The materials when not packed tightly, are of little to no use at all. Another option would be to fill synthetic bats so that every material has a separate bat but there are no flaws or imperfections in the bat itself that would affect the results.

 

 


Title: The Amount of Voltage Left in Different Batteries After Four Hours of Use Student Researcher: Rahul Guha School Address: Longfellow Middle School Falls Church, VA 22043 Grade: 7 Teacher: Mrs. Hankins

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

I wanted to find out what effect the brand of battery had on the amount of voltage left in the battery after 4 hours of use. I hypothesized that if the brand of battery was Energizer then the voltage would be the most after 4 hours of use.

II. Methodology:

I used 4 brands of AA batteries (Rayovac, a generic brand, Duracell, and Energizer), 1 Ampere Volt Ohms Meter, 1 piece of cardboard, 4 small light bulbs, 4 small light bulb holders, 4 battery holders, 8 strips of rubber insulated wire, 1 watch (with seconds, minutes, and hours), and an apparatus to hold the batteries. The apparatus consisted of the battery in the battery holder connected to the light bulb using rubber-insulated wire. The foundation of the connection was the 1 piece of cardboard.

The first step is to record the voltage of the 4 batteries using the Ampere Voltage Wire Meter and then put the batteries in the holders. Wait for 15 minutes, and after the 15 minutes take the batteries out and test the voltage. Continue this process for 4 hours. I used 3 trials, but the next experimenter may try more.

III. Analysis of Data:

My graphs and charts showed that there was not a significant difference between the amount of voltage in the different brands of batteries after 4 hours of use. The battery that had the largest average amount of voltage after 4 hours of use and three trials was the generic brand with 1.413 volts. In second place was the Duracell battery with 1.411 average volts, the Energizer battery came next 1.405 average volts, and the Rayovac battery did the worst with only 1.395 average volts left after 4 hours of use. In the last 3 hours of the experiment, the Rayovac battery performed poorly compared to the other batteries. After the first hour the batteries had about the same amount of voltage. In the second hour, Duracell was doing the best, followed by the generic brand, then Energizer, and finally Rayovac. After the third hour, the Rayovac and Energizer batteries were becoming slowly exhausted while the Duracell and generic batteries maintained a small and steady drop in voltage.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

I had predicted that the name brand (and more expensive) Energizer battery would have the most average voltage after 4 hours of use, but I was surprised that the generic (and more affordable) battery performed the best. One possible source of error was the time that I checked the voltage of the battery. The meter I was using did not allow me to check the voltage of each battery at the same time, so I had to take each one out separately. This took more time than it should have and could have tainted some of the information.

V. Application:

Hopefully, my research has solved the problem many American consumers face sooner or later in their lives. That problem is what kind of battery brand lasts the longest. There are so many different brands available that claim to be the best, so it can all get very confusing. I tested the more recognizable name brands and one generic name brand because I was curious to see if cost made a difference in performance. I suggest that, if this experiment is continued, that the next experimenter does more trials, try more battery brands, and wait until the batteries die out. The reason I only tested the batteries for 4 hours was because I had previously done a pilot test for the experiment and found that waiting for the battery to die was very time consuming.

 

 


Title: The Effect of Type of Stain Remover on the Ability to Remove Stain Student Researcher: Jeff Dixon School Address: Longfellow Middle School Falls Church, VA 22043 Grade: 7th Teacher: Mrs. Hankins

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The purpose of this experiment was to determine which type of stain remover could best remove a variety of stains from a handkerchief. The experimenter hypothesized that if Clorox stain remover was applied to the handkerchief, then the amount of stain remaining on the handkerchief would decrease by the greatest amount.

II. Methodology:

The experimenter proceeded to apply stains (grass, chocolate pudding, grape juice, and ketchup) to four separate handkerchiefs. Each of the handkerchiefs was labeled by the name of a stain remover (Clorox, Shout, Spray'n'Wash, Zout) used on it. The experimenter then followed the directions listed on the bottle. After having done this, the experimenter compared the amount of stain on each handkerchief. The experimenter gave each stain remover a ranking (first place, second place, third place, and fourth place) on how well it removed each specific kind of stain. The experimenter then computed the average of the rankings and the results were then used to determine which stain remover worked best.

III. Analysis of Data:

The results placed Clorox in first place with an average ranking of 1.5, Shout in a tie for second place with Spray'n'Wash with an average ranking of 2.25, and Zout in fourth place with an average ranking of 4. The original hypothesis was supported by the data, as Clorox finished first in all of the trials except one, and its average ranking was the best among all of the stain removers. It should be noted, however, that all of the stain removers did an excellent job of getting rid of the stains, and only traces of the stain could be spotted.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

From experimenting with stain removers, the experimenter has been able to conclude that most stain removers do an excellent job of removing stains, but that Clorox specifically does the best job. In fact, the only stain remover tested that should be avoided is Zout, which failed to perform well on all of the tests.

V. Application:

The experimenter has discovered much about the purchase of stain removers. The experimenter recommends that the consumer purchase Clorox.

 

 


Title: The Effect of Light on Change in Lettuce Plant Height Student Researcher: Colleen Fang School Address: Longfellow Middle School Falls Church, VA 22043 Grade: 7th Teacher: Mrs. Hankins

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The experimenter wanted to know the effect of light on plant growth. The experimenter's hypothesis stated that, if the lettuce plants were placed under artificial (incandescent) light, then the height of the plant would decrease and the plant would die.

II. Methodology:

The materials used in the experiment were ten Styrofoam cups, 20 lettuce seeds, water, ten labels, one black permanent marker, two cardboard boxes, soil, one pencil, and one ruler. Variables in the experiment were natural and artificial light for the groups of independent variables and the change in height of the lettuce plant in cm as the dependent variable. The control of the experiment was natural light. The procedure for this experiment is to label each of the two groups of five labels A B C D E and one group N (natural) and the other A (artificial) also. Adhere the labels to ten Styrofoam cups. Measure seven cm from the bottom of each cup, make a mark, and fill each cup with soil up to the line. Drop two seeds into each 2.5cm hole in each cup and cover the hole. Leave the plant for eight hours and record its height each day.

III. Analysis of Data:

Both chart and graph created showed that both groups of plants' heights either increased or stayed the same in the first four days, but after a week and three days all plants in the artificial light group died. The plants in the natural light group still were alive.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

Data such as plant heights in the both light groups either stayed the same or increased and all plants in the artificial light group died, proves that the experimenter's hypothesis was partly true because all the plants in the artificial light group did die, but did not decrease in height. Also, data from research showed that incandescent light does not have all colors from the light spectrum needed for a plant to survive well. Shortcomings in the experiment were the weather and the distance away from the light source. This is because if the weather outside was cloudy then the natural light group would get less light than that of the artificial light group. Also, there was not an accurate way to measure the distance from the light source.

V. Application:

One way the experimenter could apply their research to the real world is by informing people that even though incandescent light is a constant dependable light source; it lacks properties that natural light has, causing natural light to be a better choice to grow plants. The experimenter's findings can help people solve a problem by making them understand why plants grown in artificial incandescent light tend to die or not grow healthily. Suggestions I have for further research are to introduce another group of independent variables such as fluorescent light, so that the experimenter can compare a wider variety of lights. Also, to use more trials.

 

 


Title: The Effects of Common Drinks on the Strength of Egg Shells Student Researcher: Ginger Slack School Address: Longfellow Middle School Falls Church, Virginia 22043 Grade: 7 Teacher: Mrs. Libby Hankins

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The purpose of this experiment was to study the effect of popular beverages on eggshell strength. I chose eggs to represent teeth as both are made from calcium. I hypothesized that if the beverage was apple juice, then the number of taps until fracture would be lowest. I was inspired to do this project to help my brother Jonathan who has weak tooth enamel. Dr. Ternisky, my brother's dentist, suggested that fruit juices were the cause of his tooth decay. I wondered what drinks were the most corrosive. For this project, I submerged eggs in drinks for a week, observed and recorded their strengths.

II. Methodology:

I tested my hypothesis by following an easy procedure. First, I gathered all my materials: 20 8-oz. plastic cups, 20 eggs, 5 cups each of orange juice, apple juice, Coke, and tap water, and an Egg Tapper. I poured 1 cup of beverage into 1 plastic cup and repeated this step five times so that each beverage would have 5 trials. Water was used as the control. Next, I submerged an egg into each of the cups and refrigerated them for one week. During the waiting time, I created the Egg Tapper. After one week, I removed the eggs, observed them, and recorded my observations. Finally, I tested each egg by placing it onto the loading block of the Egg Tapper. I pulled back the handle until it reached the restraint bar and released it. I continued to tap the egg until a fracture was visible. On a data chart, I recorded the number of times it took to fracture the egg.

III. Analysis of Data:

Overall, apple juice weakened the eggshells the most, followed by Coke, orange juice, and then water. The average number of times the eggshell was tapped before it fractured was 2 for apple juice, 2.6 for Coke, 3 for orange juice, and 16.4 for water.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

Overall, my hypothesis was supported by the data. I guessed if the drink is apple juice, then the number of times the eggshell is tapped until it fractures will be lowest. My mother agreed that apple juice might be the problem because Jonathan chose it as his drink for every meal. During this experiment, I thought demineralization was taking place. Demineralization is the breaking down of minerals by acids. Apple juice, Coke, and orange juice are all acidic. Water is neutral so it wouldn't chemically weaken the eggshell. To improve this experiment, I noted one source of error that might have effected the experiment: detecting the fracture. For example, people with better eyesight would detect smaller fractures. To improve this experiment, I would record the number of taps until the eggshell is completely broken.

V. Application:

This information could help people take care of their teeth: brush, floss, avoid sugars and acidic beverages! One classmate has already thanked me for this information as his brother is also suffering with weakened tooth enamel. With my results, I am helping my brother save his teeth.

 

 


Title: The Speed of Dye Ascending to the Carnation's Petals Student Researcher: Alexander Weber School Address: Fox Lane Middle School Bedford, New York Grade: 7 Teacher : Dr. Carolyn R. Sears

1. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

I wanted to find out how fast it would take for three different colored dyes to travel up a carnation. My hypothesis states that the different colored dyes will travel up the carnation at the same rate because the dyes are simply water with color.

2. Methodology:

I planned to test my experiment by using nine different carnations and three dyes. I put three in red dye, three in blue dye and three in green dye. I used three carnations in each dye so that I had a bigger sample size. In the same type of glass, I placed a cup of water and twenty drops of dye. I placed three carnations in each glass. I recut the stems so it was a fresh cut and the stem length was 6 1/4 inches. I placed the glasses in the same place so they then had the same sunlight. These were all my control variables. My only independent variable was the different color of the dyes. The dependent variable was the time it took for the dye to ascend through the stem and enter the carnation's petals.

3. Analysis of Data:

The red dye traveled up the carnation in an average time of 1 hour 58 minutes. The blue dye went up the carnation in an average of 1 hour and 19 minutes. The green dye went up the carnation in an average of 2 hours 11 minutes.

4. Summary and Conclusion:

I found out that the blue dye went up the carnations the fastest, followed by the red dye and then the green dye. However, it was also interesting that not all the blue dyes were faster than the reds and not all the red dyes were faster than the greens. My hypothesis was incorrect. This is extremely surprising to me because I did not think the color would make a difference. A factor in my experiment that could have affected my hypothesis and the results of the experiment was the freshness of the flowers, for fresh flowers will take the color of the dye faster.

5. Application:

Like colored dyes in my experiment, some chemicals that pollute our waters can get into the soil and ground water and contaminate our vegetables and plants growing in the soil. Some chemicals and pollutants, just like the color dyes, may travel up into the plant and affect its health or growth.

 

 


Title: Do Celery Leaves, Daisy Petals, or Carnation Petals Obtain the Dye Fastest? Student Researcher: Alexander Weber School Address: Fox Lane Middle School Bedford, New York Grade: 7 Teacher : Dr. Carolyn R. Sears

1. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

It is a known fact that celery leaves, daisy petals, and carnation petals can be dyed. However, I have always wondered which becomes dyed the fastest. My hypothesis is that either the carnations or daisies will be dyed the fastest because their stem's are the thinnest. Since their stems are the most narrow, the color will not wander inside the stem, it will simply be forced up to the petals.

2. Methodology:

I planned to test my experiment by using three celery stalks, three carnations, and three daffodils. This was done in order to have a bigger sample size. I conducted my experiment, by recutting each stem/stalk to the same length. I then put the three celery stalks in one glass of blue dye, the three carnations in one glass of blue dye, and the three daisies in one glass of blue dye. All nine glasses were the same kind, filled with the same amount of water, the same amount of dye, the same temperature water, and placed in the same area where they would receive the same sunlight. These were all my controlled variables. My independent variable was the type of plant. My dependent variable was the time it took for the dye to ascend to the plant's leaves or petals.

3. Analysis of Data:

The carnation petals took the blue dye the fastest, with an average time of 1 hour, 12 minutes. The celery leaves took up the dye with an average time of 1 hour, 20 minutes. The daisies took up the dye slowest with an average time of 1 hour, 25 minutes.

4. Summary and Conclusion:

I discovered that the carnations took the dye the fastest, followed by the celery and then the daisies. However, it was very interesting that not all the carnations were faster than the celery and not all the celery were faster than the daisies. My hypothesis was partly correct. I am partly correct because the carnations took the dye on the average the fastest, but the daisies did not take the dye faster than the celery. A factor in my experiment that was out of my control was the freshness of the flowers and plants. This was a factor in the results of my experiments and affected my hypothesis because fresh flowers and plants will take the color of the dye faster.

5. Application:

My experiment demonstrates how quickly liquids travel in plants. I have learned how quickly flowers can be dyed. I surmise that you would have to water carnations more frequently than celery and celery more frequently than daisies. Also, with the regard to the environment, we must be careful not to pollute our ground water and our soil because that will enter the plant and harm the food that we eat. This is most important because what we eat will ultimately affect our health.

 

 


Title: The Effect of Acid Rain on the Growth of Radish, Tomato, and Squash Plants. Student Researcher: Amanda Russo School Address: Fox Lane Middle School Bedford, NY 10506 Grade: 7 Teacher: Dr. Carolyn R. Sears

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

I wanted to find out more about acid rain, and I am very interested in plants. So I decided to do an experiment using water mixed with different amounts of lemon juice. The four solutions had the following pH's: 7, 6, 5, and 4. I watered Radish, Tomato, and Squash plants with 25 ml of these solutions and made observations. My hypothesis states that plants watered with neutral water will grow taller and healthier than plants watered with acidic water.

II. Methodology:

Materials:

Radish Seeds
Tomato Seeds
Squash Seeds
1 planting flat with 24 sections
Redi-Earth Potting Soil
Lemon Juice
pH test paper
labels
Popsicle sticks

Procedure:

I started my experiment on Sunday, April 4, 1999. I used a flat with 24 sections for plants. I wrapped each section around the bottom with aluminum foil, so that the different water solutions would not mix. I then placed 4 tablespoons of Redi-Earth Potting Soil in each section. Then I moistened the soil in each section with 50 ml of water. I placed 4 Radish seeds in each of 8 sections, 4 Tomato seeds in each of 8 sections, and 4 Squash seeds in each of 8 sections. I placed the seeds in an indented part of the soil about 1 cm apart from each other. I then covered each with 2 tablespoons of soil and added 50 ml more water to each section. I covered the flat with a clear plastic cover and placed it at a sunny south window.

On May 2, 1999, the majority of seedlings had grown to about 3 cm in height, I removed the plastic cover, and I began to water two of each type with 25 ml of the different solutions prepared as follows:

- tap water pH 7
- 500ml tap water mixed with 20 drops of lemon juice pH 6
- 500ml tap water mixed with 40 drops of lemon juice pH 5
- 500ml tap water mixed with 60 drops of lemon juice pH 4

I observed the plants, watered with the appropriate solution, and measured the height in centimeters about twice a week.

III. Analysis of Data:

The data that I collected indicate that the plants grew to a different average height based on the pH of the water that it was watered with. The radish plants watered with solutions having pH's of 4 and 5 were 0.5cm tall when I was finished collecting my data. The radish plants watered with a solution having a pH of 6 finished at a height of 12.5cm. The radish plants watered with a solution having a pH of 7 grew to a height of 9cm.

The tomato plants watered with a solution having a pH of 4 grew to an average height of 12cm. The tomato plants watered with a solution having pH of 5 grew to an average height of 14cm. The average height of the tomato plants watered with a solution having a pH of 6 was 17cm. The average height of the tomato plants watered with neutral water was 15cm.

The squash plants watered with a solution having a pH of 4 were 0.5cm tall when I finished collecting my data. The squash plants watered with a solution having a pH of 5 were 10cm tall when I finished collecting my data. The average height of the squash plants watered with a solution having a pH of 6 was 9cm. The average height of the squash plants watered with neutral water was 16cm.

These data indicate that plants watered with neutral water grew taller and stronger than plants watered with acidic water. The radish and tomato plants grew better when watered with a solution having a pH of 6.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

By doing this experiment I learned that acid rain has a negative effect on radish, tomato, and squash plants. The final heights of all my plants indicate that as pH decreased, the growth rate and general health of the plants also decreased. Therefore, I accept my hypothesis that plants watered with neutral water will grow taller and healthier than plants watered with acidic water. One exception to my hypothesis is the data I collected at pH 6 for radish and tomato plants. This data shows that in some cases, slightly acidic water can be beneficial.

One limitation of my experiment is the sample size. For better replication, I could have used more samples of each plant. Another limitation is the length of time that I was given to collect data. If data were collected over a longer period of time, the results could be more reliable.

V. Application:

Acid rain is not only a classroom problem. It is a serious threat to our environment. The data from my experiment is a small piece of evidence that helps to prove this point. According to Kathryn Gay in her book titled "Acid Rain," it is harming wildlife and many types of plants and trees. Scientists in Canada, Germany, Scandinavia, and the U.S. have reported decreasing growth rates of specific types of trees. Acid rain is considered a type of air pollution and comes in the form of snow, sleet, hail, dew, fog and frost. It is common in urban areas, which are surrounded by cities. 

Unfortunately, the amount of acid rain has increased greatly. Many people are working hard to prevent acid rain from getting even more widespread. Researchers such as the U.S. National Clean Air Coalition are educating the public about the effects of acid rain. They also monitor the acid rain, and analyze and map the data, looking for patterns. Efforts to make better use of our energy resources can also help protect our environment from the dangerous impacts of acid rain.

 

 


Title: Backpack Weight, Posture, and Back Pain in Fox Lane Students Student Researchers: Matt Bronstein and Brett Joseph School Address: Fox Lane Middle School Bedford, New York 10506 Grade: 7 Teacher: Dr. Carolyn R. Sears

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

Due to insufficient time to pass from class to class, many Fox Lane Middle School students carry heavy backpacks all day because they are unable to utilize their lockers. Many of these backpacks weigh over fifteen pounds, and some up to twenty-five pounds. These heavy bags are carried between houses several times a day. We decided to study this problem and how it is affecting students when our parents started complaining about our posture. I (M. Bronstein) realized that I was getting used to walking in a hunched over position because I had to walk this way during the school day. By leaning forward, I was compensating for the weight of the backpack which would pull me over if I was standing straight. We wanted to see if other students were having similar problems with their posture, and also to see if they were experiencing back, neck or shoulder pain as we sometimes do. Our hypothesis is that students who carry heavy backpacks experience poor posture and/or back problems.

II. Methodology:

We decided to write a survey asking students about problems with their posture and with back pain. We also decided to weigh each student's backpack to see if there was a relationship between the weight of the backpack and the way a student stood. We photographed each person who completed the survey, and measured the angle at which they are leaning forward when they are standing in a relaxed pose. We compared these angles to a picture of an average healthy spine that we found on the internet. A total of 25 students were interviewed. We asked 19 middle school students to participate in the study. Before we explained the topic, we photographed each person standing naturally. We didn't want to have the topic influence the way that people were standing. Then we explained the study, asked the students the questions on the survey, and weighed their backpack or bag. We also decided to have a few Fox Lane High School students complete the survey. Since the high school has a longer time for passing, and students might have time to use their lockers, we wondered whether they had similar problems to the middle school students we spoke to. Six high school students completed the survey.

III. Analysis of Data :

The survey showed that 44% of the students' parents complained about their posture. 66% of the students surveyed found it difficult to stand with their back straight. 64% of the students that we interviewed complained of some sort of back, neck or shoulder pain. Most of the people who experienced back pain also complained of neck and/or shoulder pain. 76% of the students surveyed felt that they did not have enough time in between classes to use their lockers. 12% have been told by a doctor that they have back problems. 76% of the students we interviewed carried their books in a backpack. When we examined the photographs of the students and measured the angle at which they were leaning forward, we found many students with poor posture. The angle of a healthy spine measures approximately 15 degrees, but most of the students we studied were leaning forward more than 25 degrees. The graph demonstrates that as the weight of the backpack increases, the posture of the students gets worse. The data tend to support our hypothesis.

IV. Summary and Conclusion:

The survey indicates that middle school and high school students have some problems with posture and/or back pain. Students who tend to carry heavy backpacks seem to have more problems with posture than students who carried smaller, lighter bags. The survey also indicates that students at Fox Lane Middle School feel that they need more time in between classes to use their lockers. There seems to be very little difference between the posture of the high school and middle school students, however, it is possible that the poor posture of the high school students may have originated when they had the same problem of inadequate passing time when they were in the middle school. Our study does have certain limitations. The number of students we interviewed was not that large. It would certainly be a more accurate survey if the entire house(s) could fill out the questionnaire. It would also be interesting to have a control group by interviewing students from another school where they have time to use their lockers. We could then compare the posture of both groups. Another limitation of the study is that some people we interviewed might have poor posture or back pain because of other medical problems, or because of their anatomy. Despite these limitations, we accept our original hypothesis that students are experiencing problems with posture and pain because of the heavy backpacks that they carry.

V. Application:

Students need to express their concern about the lack of passing time to parents and faculty so that the problem can be addressed in the Fox Lane Middle School. This study, however, also can be applied to students who carry heavy bags in other communities, and to adults as well who carry heavy bags or backpacks during their daily activities. If carrying heavy backpacks can effect posture and cause pain, there may be possible health risks which could be prevented if people were made aware of the problem. It would also be interesting to invent a bag which could carry a large load of books without causing back pain or affecting posture.

 

 


Title: How Does Location and Weather Effect a Cell Phone's Signal? Student Researcher: Chris Kulawik School Address: Fox Lane Middle School Bedford, New York Grade: 7 Teacher : Dr. Carolyn R. Sears

I. Hypothesis

I chose to do research on the cellular phone. I chose it because it is now becoming very popular. More and more people in this decade are turning to technology and computers. So learning about the phone of the future will help me.

I want to find out about where the signals are strong and weak. I think that this data would be very helpful for several reasons. Lets say our car broke down, and the nearest town is 50 miles away, and the signal by the car is so weak a call cannot be placed. I'd rather know where I can find a strong signal, to call for help, instead of walking 50 miles, to the nearest town.

My hypothesis is that the signal would be stronger in open areas, and in cloudy weather. I thought cloudy weather would make the signal stronger, because I thought the waves would bounce off the clouds until it reaches a cell tower.

II. Methodology 

The most important thing in this experiment is the testing itself. One mistake can ruin everything. Therefore my methodology is very precise and I followed it very carefully to minimize any room for mistakes. 

In this project, I used several materials. My dad's cell phone, a clipboard to record the results on the spot, data sheet, my computer, the school computer, and Claris Works Spreadsheet.

My first step was to draw a map with my route on it. For this experiment, I drew a map of my housing complex. Then I would get a data sheet ready, with a place to put the date, weather, location, and signal strength.

Once that was completed, I started to test the cellular phone and record the results. I used the same route every time; I started on the road and ended with the tennis court ever time. Keeping things the same was a very important part of my research. After five days I had all my information needed and could start putting data on the spreadsheet, in the school computer lab. Once the spreadsheet was filled out, I made 2 graphs for each location. A line graph and a bar graph, showing the date, location, and signal strength were created for each location. 1 was the lowest signal and 5 was the highest signal. Then I placed all of the information and data on a poster. 

III. Data Analysis 

The data collected shows a certain trend. Locations in open area, such as the parking lot and the road had a high signal. I believe this occurred because there was no interference. Places with large objects block the waves and lower the signal. This part of my hypothesis was correct, that open area increase the signal strength. I was surprised when I found out that the signal was not as strong in cloudy weather, but was better in sunny weather. My theory about the waves bouncing off the clouds was wrong.

IV. Summary

I found out that the top two locations were the road and the parking lot{open area}. Behind the house and the side of the house have the lowest signals because they are obstructed by an object. In short, any place in a open areas will have a better signal then one obstructed by a big object. Sunny weather has a better signal then fog or cloudy weather. This proves that half of my hypothesis is correct. The one thing I am upset about is that the second part of my hypothesis was wrong.

V. Application 

I feel my research on the subject of cellular phones will have many applications in the world outside the classroom. As I mentioned before, if my dad's car breaks down I can place a call from the cellular phone. If the signal is weak I can move my location to an open area. I know where I should go to make a call instead of leaving the car and walking to the nearest city. This information could be used by many people, such as a business man or the President of the United States.

 

 


Title: The Treats Which a Horse Likes Best Student Researcher: Hanna McKean School Address: Fox Lane Middle School Bedford, NY 10506 Grade: 6 Teacher: Dr. Carolyn Sears

1. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

Horse treats have different tastes and shapes to make them different. Some horses have different tastes than others. I wanted to find what type of treats my horse likes best. My hypothesis is that Mrs. Pastures will be most liked by the horse.

2. Methodology:

I tested my hypothesis by first gathering all my different materials. I gathered four different types of treats with sixteen samples for each. The four different types were Mrs. Pastures, Sweet Lumps, Horse Nibbles, and NHT. I took my horse out of its stall. I also had my data table to record the results and observations. To start the experiment, give the horse each type of treat to have it get a sense for the treat's taste. Then give the horse all four of the treats laid out and watch it decide which treat it wants. Then remove all the rest of the treats. And record your results and observations. Repeat these steps 16 times on different days. Remember to do one treat for each type and switch around the places of the treats. Then your results will depend on your horse's taste! There are many different variables involved. The controlled variables were the same horse testing the treat and the same amount of treats for each type. My independent variable is the different types of treats are switched different places. And my dependent variable was what treats the horse liked.

3. Analysis of Data:

The data I collected show that Mrs. Pastures was favored over the other brands of horse treats. Out of the 16 times the experiment was run, Mrs. Pastures treat was chosen 6 times. Sweet Lumps were chosen 5 times. Horse Nibbles treat was chosen three times. The NHT treat was liked the least, which was only chosen two times. My hypothesis was correct; Mrs. Pastures was the most liked treat.

4. Summary and Conclusion:

I found out that Mrs. Pasture's brand of horse treats was the most chosen by the horse out of 16 runs. I accepted my hypothesis.

5. Application:

I learned that Mrs. Pastures was the most liked treat by my horse. My research findings can help people in the outside world who buy treats for their horses. They can save money by buying Mrs. Pastures treat first rather than all different types. If their horse enjoys Mrs. Pastures then they will have avoided wasting money.




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