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The National Student Research Center

E-Journal of Student Research: Social Studies

Volume 6, Number 2, April, 1998


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. What Do Students Know And Feel About Drug Abuse?
  2. What Do Students Know And Feel About Extraterrestrial Life?
  3. What Do Students Know And Feel About Deforestation?
  4. What Do Students Know And Feel About Cloning And Genetic Engineering?
  5. What Students Know And Feel About Global Warming
  6. What Do Students Know And Feel About Nuclear Weapons?
  7. What Do Students Know And Feel About Over-population?

TITLE:  What Do Students Know And Feel About Drug Abuse?

STUDENT RESEARCHER:  Christine O'Rourke and Chris Chugden
SCHOOL:  Mandeville Middle School
         Mandeville, Louisiana
GRADE:  6
TEACHER:  John I. Swang, Ph.D.

I.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS:

We would like to do a survey research project on what students 
know and feel about drug abuse.  Our hypothesis states that the 
majority of students will think that stronger drug abuse laws 
should be passed.

II.  METHODOLOGY:

First, we identified our topic.  Next, we wrote a statement of 
purpose.  Then we conducted a review of literature about: 
cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, Alcoholics Anonymous, drug abuse, 
heroin, morphine, narcotics, hallucination, crack, cocaine, and 
tranquilizers.  Then we developed a hypothesis.

We then wrote a methodology and developed a questionnaire to 
test our hypothesis.  Our questionnaire contained twelve 
questions.  There are six multiple choice and six Likert 
questions.  Then we sent the questionnaire to 26 randomly chosen 
six grade students at Mandeville Middle School in Mandeville, 
Louisiana. Then we sent the questionnaire out over the Internet 
to students around the world.  After the completed 
questionnaires were returned, we scored and tallied the replies.  
Then we conducted an analysis of data, and wrote a summary and 
conclusion where we accepted or rejected our hypothesis.  
Finally, we applied our findings to the world outside our 
classroom.

III.  ANALYSIS OF DATA:

A majority of 84% of the surveyed students did not know that 
marijuana was used by 41.7% of Americans.  A large majority of 
96% did not know that 6% of Americans used cocaine.  A majority 
71% did not know that pain medicines are also known as 
narcotics.  A majority of 92% knew that drinking and smoking 
have a negative effect on pregnancy.  A majority of 80% did not 
know that Alcoholics Anonymous was started in 1935.  A majority 
of 76% did not know that cigarettes are smoked by 64% of 
Americans.  A small majority of 56% think that the government is 
doing all it can to prevent the use of illegal drugs.  A large 
majority of 96% knew that tobacco is addictive even though the 
presidents of the tobacco companies insist that it is not.  A 
majority of 79% think that tobacco should be classified as an 
illegal drug.  A majority of 68% did not think that marijuana 
should be classified as a legal drug.  A  majority of 62% did 
not think that marijuana should be used to relieve the pain and 
nausea of some medical treatments.  A majority of 70% did not 
think that drug abuse is a big problem in their community.  A 
majority of 64% did not know that nicotine and alcohol are the 
most abused drugs in the world.  A majority of 64% did not know 
that there are 20,000,000 alcoholics and problem drinkers in the 
U.S.A.. 

We found that a majority of 61% of the responses to the factual 
questions on our questionnaire were incorrect.

IV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

From this research, we have found that students do not know as 
much about drug abuse as we had originally thought.  We also 
found that a small majority of 56% agreed that the government 
was doing all it could to prevent drug abuse.  Therefore, we 
reject our hypothesis which states that the majority of students 
will think that stronger drug abuse laws should be passed.  
Another thing that we found in this research was that the large 
majority of the students knew that tobacco is addictive and a 
large majority of the students thought tobacco should be 
classified as an illegal drug.                                                                                         

V.  APPLICATION:

Our findings can be applied to the world outside our classroom 
by telling D.A.R.E. officers that they should teach students 
more about drug abuse and what it can do to them.  We recommend 
this because so many students answered the factual questions on 
our questionnaire incorrectly.  Hopefully we can develop new and 
better programs in the public and private schools that teach 
kids more about drug abuse.  This is only one step towards a 
better and drug free nation.



TITLE:  What Do Students Know And Feel About Extraterrestrial
        Life?    

STUDENT RESEARCHER:  Barrett Ainsworth & Amber French  
SCHOOL:  Mandeville Middle School
         Mandeville, Louisiana
GRADE:  6
TEACHER:  John I. Swang, Ph.D.

I.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: 

We would like to do a survey research project on what students 
know and feel about extraterrestrial life.  Our hypothesis 
states that the majority of responses to the factual questions 
on our questionnaire about extraterrestrial life will be 
answered correctly.

II.  METHODOLOGY:

First, we chose our topic.  Next, we developed our statement of 
purpose.  Then we wrote a review of literature about galaxies, 
celestial bodies, extraterrestrial life, outer space, space 
stations, MIR, Skylab, space exploration, Mars exploration, moon 
exploration, and planets orbiting distant stars.  Then we 
developed a hypothesis.  

Then we wrote a methodology to test our hypothesis.  Next, we 
developed a questionnaire about extraterrestrial life.  Then we 
drew a random sample of 26 sixth grade students at Mandeville 
Middle School in Mandeville, LA and gave our questionnaire to 
them.  We also sent our questionnaire out over the NSRC's 
electronic school district on the Internet to a non-random 
sample of students from all over the world.  Next, when the 
completed questionnaires were returned, we scored them.

Then we analyzed our data with simple statistics, charts, and 
graphs.  Next, we wrote our summary and conclusion where we 
accepted/rejected our hypothesis.  Finally, we applied our 
findings to the world outside the classroom.

III.  ANALYSIS OF DATA:

From our survey, we have found that a majority of 82% of the 
students knew that extraterrestrial life is all life forms that 
do not live on Earth.  A majority of 82% of the students 
surveyed did know that exobiology is the search for 
extraterrestrial life.  A majority of 73% did not that Skylab 
was sent in space in 1973.  A majority of 73% did not know that 
humans first started exploring space in the 1960's.  A majority 
of 55% did not know that SETI stands for the search for 
extraterrestrial intelligence.  A majority of 82% did not the 
first flight into space was made by Yuri Gagarin in 1961.  A 
majority of 73% did not know that the estimated cost of the 
International Space Station is 29.4 billion dollars.  A majority 
of 73% did not know that the International Space Station will 
accommodate 7 people.  A majority of 54% knew that there will 
not be 32 launches of the space shuttle to assemble the 
International Space Station.  A majority of 91% did not know 
that MIR is the only space station being used currently.  A 
majority of 73% knew that scientists have found possible signs 
of extraterrestrial life on Mars.  A majority of 55% did not 
know that scientists have found planets orbiting other stars in 
outer space which might support life.  A majority of 73% thought 
that there are life forms in the universe other than those on 
Earth.  A majority of 82% thought that space exploration is very 
important.  A majority of 54% thought that the government should 
spend more money to search for extraterrestrial life.  A 
majority of 72% thought that we should colonize the moon and 
other planets.  A majority of 54% did not think that 
extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth.  A majority of 91% 
said that they would not like to be a space colonist and live on 
another planet.  

A majority of 68% of the responses to the factual questions on 
our questionnaire were answered incorrectly. 

IV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

From our data, we can conclude that a majority of the students 
surveyed knew little about space exploration and 
extraterrestrial life.  From the information we have gathered, 
we have found that a majority of 73% agreed that the government 
should spend more money to search for extraterrestrial life.  We 
also found that 68% of the responses to the factual questions 
were incorrect.  Therefore, we reject our hypothesis which 
states that the majority of responses to the factual questions 
on our questionnaire about extraterrestrial life will be 
answered correctly.  

V.  APPLICATION:

We can apply our findings to the world outside the classroom by 
letting others know, such as governmental and school officials, 
what students know and feel about extraterrestrial life.



TITLE:  What Do Students Know And Feel About Deforestation?

STUDENT RESEARCHERS:  Whitney Stoppel and Barrett Ainsworth
SCHOOL:  Mandeville Middle School
         Mandeville, Louisiana
GRADE:  6
TEACHER:  John I. Swang, Ph.D.

I.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: 

We would like to do a survey research project on what students 
know and feel about deforestation?  Our hypothesis states that 
the majority of responses to the factual questions about 
deforestation on our questionnaire will be correct.

II.  METHODOLOGY:

First, we chose our topic.  Next, we developed our statement of 
purpose.  Then we wrote review of literature about rain forests, 
deforestation, endangered species, human recreation, habitats, 
oxygen, greenhouse gases, and logging.  Then we developed a 
hypothesis.  Next, we wrote a methodology to test our 
hypothesis.  Then we developed a questionnaire about 
deforestation.  Then we drew a random sample of 26 sixth grade 
students at Mandeville Middle School and gave our questionnaire 
to them.  We also sent our questionnaire out over the NSRC's 
electronic school district on the Internet to a non-random 
sample of students from all over the world.  Next, when the 
completed questionnaires were returned, we scored them.
Then we analyzed our data with simple statistics, charts, and 
graphs.  Next, we wrote our summary and conclusion where we 
accepted/rejected our hypothesis.  Finally, we applied our 
findings to the world outside the classroom.

III.  ANALYSIS OF DATA:

From our survey, we have found that a majority of 69% of the 
students knew that deforestation is taking place at a current 
rate of 150,000 square kilometers per year.  A majority of 58% 
of the students surveyed did not know that fuel, lumber, and 
habitats are the forest's top three resources.  A majority of 
82% knew that tropical and temperate are the two types of Rain 
Forests.  A majority of 80% knew that some environmental 
consequences of deforestation are erosion, floods and droughts, 
and loss of biodiversity.  A majority of 58% did not know that 
the Rain Forest will disappear in 10 to 15 years if the current 
rate of deforestation continues.  A majority of 85% knew that 
the Rain Forests provide us with new medicines.  A majority of 
65% knew that more than an acre of trees are being cut down 
every second.  A majority of 69% knew that 48% of the Earth's 
plant species live in and around forest areas.  A majority of 
65% thought that we should tell peasants in South America to 
stop cutting down the trees in the Rain Forest, even though they 
need the cleared land to grow food and the timber for fuel and 
housing.  A majority of 92% thought that we should conserve our 
forests.  A majority of 92% thought that we should make new and 
stronger laws to stop deforestation.  A majority of 88% thought 
that trees have just as much of a right to live as people.

A majority of 67% of the responses to the factual questions on 
our questionnaire were answered correctly.  

IV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

From our data, we can conclude that a majority of the students 
surveyed knew much about deforestation.  From the information we 
have gathered, we have found that 67% of the responses to the 
factual questions were correct.  Therefore we accept our 
hypothesis which stated that the majority of responses to the 
factual questions about deforestation on our questionnaire will 
be correct.

V.  APPLICATION:

We can apply our findings to the world outside the classroom by 
letting others know, such as governmental officials, about what 
students think we should be doing about deforestation.  In 
general, students feel that more should be done to stop 
deforestation. 



TITLE:   What Do Students Know And Feel About Cloning And
         Genetic Engineering?

STUDENT RESEARCHER:  Matt Kubicek and Jane Bordelon 
SCHOOL:  Mandeville Middle School
         Mandeville, Louisiana
GRADE:  6
TEACHER:  John I. Swang, Ph.D.

I.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: 

We would like to do a survey research project on what students 
know and feel about cloning and generic engineering.  Our 
hypothesis states that the majority of students will that think 
cloning humans is a good idea.

II.  METHODOLOGY:

First, we chose our topic.  Next, we wrote our statement of 
purpose.  Then we composed our review of literature about 
cloning, genetic engineering, genes, DNA, chromosomes, and 
related ethical issues.  Next, we developed our hypothesis and 
wrote our methodology.  After that we developed our 
questionnaire.  We then sent out our questionnaire about cloning 
over the Internet and to 26 randomly chosen students at 
Mandeville Middle School in Mandeville,  Louisiana.  After the 
questionnaire were returned and scored, we recorded our findings 
on our data collection sheet.  Then we wrote our analysis of 
data using statistics, charts, and graphs.  Next, we wrote our 
summary and conclusion.  Finally, we applied our findings to the 
world outside our classroom.   

III.  ANALYSIS OF DATA:

A majority of 67% of the students we surveyed knew that a sheep 
was the first mammal to be cloned.  A majority of 73% of the 
students did not know that Ian Wilmut cloned the first mammal.  
A majority of 70% did not know a frog was the first animal to be 
cloned.  A majority of 68% did not know that the Scottish 
scientist used 300 embryos to clone Dolly.  A majority of 60% 
did not know that Gene the cow was cloned in Wisconsin.  A 
majority of 84% did not feel that human beings should be cloned.  
A majority of 57% thought that animals should be cloned in order 
to provide higher quality and more plentiful food, medicines, 
and donor organs for human transplants.  A majority of 60% did 
not think that married couples who are unable to have children 
should be able to clone themselves in order to have children.  A 
majority of 77% thought that we should clone endangered species.  
A majority of 61% did not feel that geniuses should be cloned to 
advance science and technology.  A majority of 95% did not feel 
that great world leader should be cloned to make the world a 
better place.  A majority of 96% did not feel that superstar 
athletes should be cloned to improve professional sports.  A 
majority of 81% knew that a clone is a genetically identical 
duplicate of an organism.  A majority of 71% did not know that a 
gene is a unit of inheritance that determines the inheritance of 
a trait or group of traits that one has.  A majority of 67% did 
not know that DNA is a strand of genes.  A majority of 67% did 
not know that a chromosome is a part of DNA and has a tiny, 
thread-like structure.  

A majority of 59% of the responses to the factual questions on 
our questionnaire were incorrect.  

IV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

Our summary and conclusion states that out of all the students 
we surveyed, 84% thought that we should definitely not clone 
humans.  The students thought it was a good idea to clone 
animals in order to provide higher and more plentiful food, 
medicine, and donor organs for human transplants.  Therefore, we 
reject our hypothesis which stated that the majority of the 
students would think that cloning humans is a good idea.  A 
majority of 59% of the responses to the factual questions on our 
questionnaire were incorrect which indicates that students don't 
know a great deal about cloning and genetic engineering.    

V.  APPLICATION:

We can apply our findings to the world outside our classroom by 
telling teachers to teach their students about cloning because 
it is a big issue and students need to know more about it.  We 
can also write to the legislative part of the government and 
tell them to make sure that they know what will happen if they 
do clone humans.  We can let them know what we found out in our 
survey about how students feel about cloning and genetic 
engineering.



TITLE:  What Students Know And Feel About Global Warming 

STUDENT RESEARCHER:  Rick Dupont and Brant Linde
SCHOOL:  Mandeville Middle School
         Mandeville, Louisiana
GRADE:  6
TEACHER:  John I. Swang, Ph.D.

I.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS:

We want to do this project about global warming because it is an 
important global issue and we care about our planet.  Our 
hypothesis states that the majority of the factual questions on 
our global warming questionnaire will be answered correctly.

II.  METHODOLOGY:

First, we chose our topic.  Next, we wrote our statement of 
purpose.  Then we did a review of literature on greenhouse 
gases, global warming, the causes of global warming, the 
consequences of global warming, the sources of greenhouse gases, 
and the recent international conference on global warming.  
Next, we wrote our hypothesis.  Then we developed a methodology 
to test our hypothesis.  Then we developed a questionnaire on 
global warming and randomly gave it out to 26 students at 
Mandeville Middle School in Mandeville, LA.  We also sent it out 
of the Internet to students around the world.  When we got all 
the surveys back we scored them, analyzed our data, and wrote 
our summary and conclusion.  Then we accepted or rejected our 
hypothesis.  Finally, we applied our findings to the world.

III.  ANALYSIS OF DATA:

A majority of 77% of the students surveyed didn't know that 
global warming is an increase of temperature due to the burning 
of fossil fuels.  A majority of 68% didn't know that global 
warming is the same thing as the greenhouse effect.  A majority 
of 96% didn't know that the last international conference on 
global warming was in Japan.  A majority of 91% knew that the 
agreement at the last conference on global warming was to cut 
the percent of greenhouse gases produced in each country.  A 
small majority of 52% didn't believe that global warming was one 
of the most important issues to deal with.  A majority 82% 
didn't know that the main cause of global warming is the burning 
of fossil fuels and deforestation.  A majority of 57% didn't 
know that the results of global warming are a rise in sea level, 
altered climates throughout the world, the melting of polar 
caps, and global flooding of low level coastal levels.  A 
majority of 95% didn't know that the  amount of carbon dioxide 
increases in the atmosphere .4 percent per year.  A majority of 
71% didn't know that global temperature started rising in 1860.  
A majority of 82% knew that Global Warming and the depletion of 
the ozone layer are related.

IV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

A majority of 63% of the responses to the factual questions on 
our survey were answered incorrectly.  Therefore we reject our 
hypothesis which stated that the majority of the factual 
questions will be answered correctly.  This tells us that 
students do not know a great deal about nor do they have a 
understanding of global warming.

V.  APPLICATION:

We can apply our findings by informing teachers that global 
warming needs to be taught more in the classroom.



TITLE:   What Do Students Know And Feel About Nuclear Weapons?

STUDENT RESEARCHER:  Adam Osborn and Lalita Mondkar
SCHOOL:  Mandeville Middle School
         Mandeville, Louisiana
GRADE:  6
TEACHER:  John I. Swang, Ph.D.

I.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: 

We want to do a survey research project on what students know 
and feel about nuclear weapons.  Our hypothesis states that the 
majority of the students surveyed will want the government to 
destroy nuclear weapons.

II.  METHODOLOGY:

First, we chose a topic.  Then we wrote our statement of 
purpose.  Then we wrote a review of the literature about nuclear 
weapons, radiation, fission, fusion, electrons, protons, energy, 
the nucleus, atoms, and the Manhattan Project.  Next, we wrote 
our hypothesis.  After that we developed our methodology to test 
our hypothesis.  Then we developed our questionnaire and sent it 
out to twenty-six randomly selected sixth grade students at 
Mandeville Middle School in Mandeville, La.  We then recorded 
our data on our data collection sheet.  Last, we wrote our 
analysis of data, summary and conclusion, and application.

III.  ANALYSIS OF DATA:

A majority of 83%  of the students surveyed knew that there are 
enough nuclear weapons today to destroy the world.  A small 
majority of 57% did not know that the hydrogen bomb has a more 
powerful explosion than the atomic bomb.  A majority of 65% did 
not know that the only country to use nuclear weapons against 
civilian targets during war was the United States of America.  A 
small majority of 52% did not know that the first successful 
nuclear weapon was created in 1945.  A large majority of 90% did 
not know that the Manhattan Project, the two-billion dollar 
wartime effort to design and build the first nuclear weapons 
took place in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Hanford, Washington.  A 
majority of 57% knew that Switzerland is one country that does 
not own nuclear weapons.  A majority of 58% did not think that 
nuclear weapons should be abolished.  A large majority of 71% 
did not think that nuclear weapons keep the world safe.  A large 
majority of 74% did not think that we should pursue the 
development of newer and more powerful nuclear weapons in the 
future.  A large majority of 84% believe that there is a good 
chance of nuclear war accidentally starting today. A small 
majority of 54% of the responses to the factual questions on our 
questionnaire were answered incorrectly.

IV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

Our data show that, while students don't know much about nuclear 
weapons and don't think that nuclear weapons keep the world 
safe, they do not want to the government to destroy them. 
Therefore, we reject our hypothesis which states the majority of 
students surveyed will want the government to destroy nuclear 
weapons. 

V.  APPLICATION:

We can apply our findings to the world outside the classroom by 
telling people who would like to destroy nuclear weapons that 
the majority of sixth graders at our school want to keep nuclear 
weapons and not destroy them.



TITLE:   What Do Students Know And Feel About Over-Population?

STUDENT RESEARCHER:  Rick Dupont
SCHOOL:  Mandeville Middle School
         Mandeville, Louisiana
GRADE:  6
TEACHER:  John I. Swang, Ph.D.

I.  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: 

I want to do a survey research project on what students know and 
feel about global over population.  My hypothesis states that 
the majority of the factual questions will be answered 
correctly.

II.  METHODOLOGY:

First, I chose my topic.  Next, I wrote my statement of purpose.  
Then I did a review of literature on population, over-
population, the causes of over-population, the consequences of 
over-population, sources of over-population, and the most and 
least populated countries.  Next, I wrote my hypothesis.  Then I 
developed a methodology to test my hypothesis.  Then I developed 
a questionnaire on over-population and randomly gave it out to 
13 randomly chosen students at Mandeville Middle School in 
Mandeville, LA.  I also sent it out of the Internet to students 
around the world.  When I got all the surveys back I scored 
them, analyzed my data, and wrote my summary and conclusion.  
Then I accepted or rejected my hypothesis.  Finally, I applied 
my findings to the world.

III.  ANALYSIS OF DATA:

A majority of 80% knew that over-population was too many people 
in a given area.  A majority of 60% knew that the most populated 
country was China.  A majority of 80% didn't know that the 
number of babies born each second throughout the world is four.  
A majority of 60% didn't know that the world population began to 
rapidly grow during the Industrial Revolution.  50% of the 
students knew that Vatican City and Niue were the least 
populated countries.  50% of the students felt that over-
population was the most important global issue.  A majority of 
90% didn't know that there were about 27 people per kilometer in 
the USA.  A majority of 80% knew that birth control, education, 
and governmental policy were some of the ways we use to  combat 
over-population.  A majority of 80% didn't know that the 
population of China was 1,284,000,000.   A majority of 60% 
didn't know that the world population could fit on the island of 
Bali, Indonesia.  50% knew that Singapore was the most densely 
populated country.  A majority of 80% didn't know that Malta was 
the least densely populated country.

IV.  SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION:

Only thirty-three percent of the factual questions were answered 
correctly.   Therefore, I reject my hypothesis that states that 
the majority of the factual questions will be answered 
correctly.  Students think that global over-population is an 
important problem, but do not know a great deal about it.

V.  APPLICATION:

I can apply this to the world by telling schools that we need to 
teach more about over-population in schools.

© 1998 John I. Swang, Ph.D.



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