The National Student Research Center

E-Journal of Student Research: Science

Volume 6, Number 4, February, 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 Environments Do Hermit Crabs Likes?
  2. Which Type of String Will Stretch The Most?
  3. Flammability of Household Fabrics
  4. The Effects of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus on the Early Growth of Sunflowers
  5. Better Ways to Remember
  6. The Effect of Vitamins on Plants
  7. Should You Feed Your Plants Juice Instead Of Water?
  8. The Effect of Earthworms on the Growth of Radish Plants
  9. Does Temperature Affect the Flight of Hot-Air Balloons?
  10. The Temperature of Different Colors


Title:  What Environments Do Hermit Crabs Likes? 

Student Researcher:  Devon Catharine 
School Address:  Fox Lane Middle School 
                 Bedford, NY 10546 
Grade:  6 
Teacher:  Dr.  Sears


I.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The topic of my project is Tree Hermit crabs.  The crabs will be 
in their own little pens.  I will demonstrate with 3 Hermit crabs 
what kind of environment they like.  The 3 environments to choose 
are: light or dark, incline or level, and moist or dry.  My 
hypothesis is that the crabs would prefer going towards the 
incline, dry, and dark area.  

II.  Methodology: 

The items that I used for this experiment are: 10 gallon glass 
terrarium, 3 Hermit crabs, e one pound packages of colored 
gravel, cardboard, and a black background sheet.  I bought a 
large tank and divided it Into three sections to simulate the 
different environments.  I took the gravel and spread it on the 
bottom of the tank.  I bought black gravel for the dark section 
and yellow gravel for the light part of the pen.  I used 2 feet 
of black background to cover half of the dark and light pen.  On 
the next day, I sectioned the cage to make inclined and level.  I 
took a piece of cardboard, glued gravel on it, put It over a 
large shell (their molting shell) and leaned it on the glass, 
forming the incline.  The other section, I left it level.  On 
another day, I used the last part of the tank to develop the 
moist section.

III.  Analysis of Data:

The data show that my hypothesis was correct.  The Hermit crabs 
proved it by going to the dark side, the dry side and the 
inclined side.  Sometimes the crabs would not move at all, 
demonstrating no choice or preference.  I accepted my hypothesis 
because Tree Hermit crabs usually go to the higher place.  Any 
crab or creature likes to hide so they would like the dark.  The 
Tree crabs are also land crabs, so they don't live in water.  
They prefer dryness.  

IV.  Summary and Conclusion:

I have learned from my research that these invertebrates love 
darkness, they like dry land, and they like to be elevated off 
the ground.  

V.  Application:

My findings could be used to help save these creatures they are 
ever endangered.  Now we would know how to save them and take 
care of them.






Title:  Which Type of String Will Stretch The Most?

Student Researcher:  Priya O.  Kalyan-Masih
School Address:  Fox Lane Middle School 
                 Bedford, NY 10506
Grade:  8
Teacher:  Dr.  Sears


I.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

I wanted to know which type of string will stretch the most?  I 
want to find out which string is the strongest and the least 
elastic.   My hypothesis is that nylon thread will hold the most 
weight and stretch the least.

II.  Methodology:

In this experiment I will use different kinds of strings such as 
nylon thread, metallic silver floss, wax linen, silver thread, 
polyester, cotton embroidery floss, and yarn.  I will use nuts as 
weights.  Finally, I will use a ruler, paper clips, and a 
balance.

I will cut three pieces (thirty inches long) of each different 
type of string.  Next, I will get nuts and weight them to make 
sure that each group of nuts has the same mass.  Also, I will 
weigh paper clip hooks to make sure that they are the same 
weight.

I will then tie ten inches of each 30" string to a cabinet handle 
in my kitchen.  Next, I will tie another two inches to a weight.  
I will then let the weight hang from the string and time the test 
for a minute.  After a minute, I will see whether or not any of 
the strings broke or stretched.  I will record my results.  If 
the string breaks, then that type of string is "disqualified" 
from the rest of the experiment.

Next, I will attach another weight of the same mass to the first 
weight by a paper clip.  I will continue to add weights, and 
record the results every minute.  After ten minutes, I will see 
which strings stretched, how many weights they are holding, and I 
will record the results.  After testing for ten minutes, I will 
continue to test for ten hours and 19 minutes.  After ten hours 
and 19 minutes, I will record my results.  If the strings do not 
break, then the ones that are stretched the most will be 
disqualified.  The one that breaks last, doesn't stretch, or 
stretches the least will be declared the strongest string in the 
experiment.

In this experiment, I need to control certain things.  The 
controlled variables are equal amounts of string, weights of the 
same size, kind, and mass, and the same size paper clips.  I will 
tie an equal amount of string to the cabinets and the weights, 
and for the same amount of time.  The independent variable will 
be the different types of string.

III.  Analysis of Data:

The data I collected indicate a lot of things.  The polyester 
string stretched the most.  It stretched a total of two 
centimeters.  The cotton embroidery floss stretched the least.  
It stretched a total of .9 cm.  The silver thread stretched a 
total of 1.5 cm and the nylon thread stretched a total of 1.7 cm.  
Both the yarn and the metallic silver floss stretched a total of 
one centimeter.  The strongest string and winner out of all seven 
strings was the wax linen, because it did not stretch at all.

I thought that nylon string would stretch the least and hold the 
most weights, but I was wrong.  The nylon thread was one of the 
strings that stretched the most.  Also, it held the same amount 
of weights, as all the other strings did.  It was the wax linen 
string that did not stretch at all and the cotton embroidery 
floss that stretched the least.  This really shows how hypothesis 
can be way off.

IV.  Summary and Conclusion:

I found out many things from this experiment.  Most importantly, 
I found out that after a certain amount of time, the polyester 
string stretched the most, which may mean the string is weak, and 
while it was stretching, there was a lot of tension in the 
string.  Secondly, I found out that after a certain amount of 
time, the cotton embroidery floss stretched the least.  Finally, 
I found out that after a certain amount of time, the wax linen 
did not stretch at all.

V.  Application:

I can apply my data from my project in two ways.  First, whenever 
I need a string to hold something, I will know to choose wax 
linen as my string, because it does not stretch and has less of a 
chance of breaking.  Second, whenever I make a necklace that 
involves a lot of beads, I will use wax linen, for strength.




Title:  Flammability of Household Fabrics

Student Researcher:  Michael Russo 
School Address:  Fox Lane Middle School 
                 Bedford, NY 10507
Grade:  7
Teacher:  Dr. Carolynn Sears


I.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis: 

I wanted to find out which household fabric is least flammable.  
My hypothesis is that cotton will burn fastest and the baby 
clothing will take the longest time to ignite.

II.  Methodology: 

First, I cut seven different fabrics into multiple 4"x4" squares.  
The fabrics used were fireproof baby clothes, 100% cotton, 50/50 
cotton polyester blend, 100% silk, 100% polyester, 100% denim, 
and 100% rayon.  Second, I put one square of each fabric directly 
onto the shelf of a propane barbecue, preheated to 500 degrees F.  
Finally, I timed how long it took, in minutes, for each piece to 
catch on fire.  I recorded the time using a stopwatch.  I 
repeated this process five times.  Next, I took the 4"x4" squares 
of each of the seven fabrics and held them, with tongs, directly 
in the flame.  I measured the time, in minutes, for each piece to 
catch on fire, and recorded it.  I repeated this process only 
three times, since the results for each repetition were almost 
identical.  The controlled variables were the temperature, the 
barbecue, and the size of the fabric.  The experimental variable 
was the kind of fabric and the responding variable was the time 
needed to catch on fire.

III.  Analysis of Data: 

My charts and graphs show that at 500 degrees F the Fire Proof 
Baby Clothing took an average of .108 minutes to burn, the Cotton 
took an average of 16.62 min. to burn, the 50/50 Cotton/Polyester 
Blend took an average of 4.748 min. to burn, the Silk took an 
average of 20 min. to burn, the Polyester took and average of .7 
min. to burn, the Denim took an average of 4.89 min. to burn, and 
the Rayon took an average of 1.97 min. to burn.  When held in 
direct contact with the flame the Fire Proof Baby Clothing took 
an average of .214 min. to catch on fire, the Cotton took an 
average of .04 min. to catch on fire, the 50/50 Cotton/Polyester 
blend took an average of .078 min. to catch on fire, the Silk 
took an average of .064 min. to catch on fire, the Polyester took 
an average of .083 min. to catch on fire, the Denim took an 
average of .043 min. to catch on fire, and Rayon took an average 
of .026 min. to catch on fire.

IV.  Summary and Conclusion: 

My hypothesis is completely wrong, because I found out that, in 
fact, cotton and silk actually take the longest times to burn, at 
20 minutes per square, and that the baby clothes melted as soon 
as they touched the heat.

V.  Application: 

My findings indicate that it would be safer for young children, 
and even adults, to wear cotton and silk, since they take the 
longest time to ignite.  This is especially true for babies.  
Since their "fire proof' pajamas melt on contact with extreme 
heat, it would be safer for them to wear cotton.  I spoke to the 
Mt.  Kisco fire chief about these "fire proof' baby clothes, and 
he said that he thinks the government should change the 
regulation that prevents child pajamas from being made with 
cotton.  He thinks this because hot molten fabric completely 
destroys the skin.  The Flammable Fabrics Act (1953) set 
standards for the garment industry in regard to baby pajamas.  
From the results of my study, I think this act needs to be 
updated.





Title:  The Effects of Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus on the 
        Early Growth of Sunflowers
 
Student Researcher:  John Levene 
School Address:  Fox Lane Middle School 
                 Bedford, NY 10506 
Grade:  6 
Teacher:  Dr.  Sears


1.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis: 

I wanted to learn about the effects of nitrogen (N), phosphorus 
(P) and potassium (K) on plant growth.  Plants cannot live 
without these primary nutrients.  Plants also require small 
amounts of other minerals called micronutrients.  My experiment 
looked at the effect of the primary nutrients on sunflowers 
during their first 2 weeks of growth.

II.  Methodology: 

I prepared 10 stock solutions from a plant mineral requirement 
set originally bought from the Carolina Biological Supply 
Company.  I used these stock solutions to make 3 feeding 
solutions which were identical to each other except that each 
lacked one of the primary nutrients (N, P, or K).  I also 
prepared a complete fertilizer from the stock solutions which 
contained all of the necessary nutrients.  In addition, a control 
solution of deionized water which lacked all nutrients was used.  
All solutions were made using deionized water which was free of 
all minerals.

I soaked 180 Burpee Sunflower seeds for 30 hours in deionized 
water.  I then planted each seed in 27 cubic cm of Pearlite, a 
mineral-free medium, in individual cells of a seed tray.  To 
prevent contamination from the overflow of water or nutrients, I 
placed strips of wood between the seed cells and the bottom tray.  
After planting the seeds on the first night (Day 1), all plants 
received 10 ml of deionized water.  On Day 2, all plants received 
5 ml of their given solution.  One solution was missing nitrogen 
(N-), one was missing phosphorus (P-), another was missing 
potassium (K-), one contained all three nutrients, and one was 
just deionized water.  In total, there were 5 solutions.  This 
schedule continued, alternating 10 ml of deionized water one 
night with 5 ml of a given solution the next.  Beginning on day 
7, plants were grown under constant fluorescent light and plant 
height was measured daily before watering or feeding.  The 
experimental variables were the absence of one of the three 
primary nutrients: nitrogen, potassium or phosphorus.  The 
responding variable was the plant height in each condition.

III.  Analysis of Data: 

Plant growth was first seen on day 6, but the sprouts were too 
small to be measured.  On day 6, 4 plants had sprouted in the  
control group, 5 plants had sprouted in the P- group, and 10 
plants had sprouted in each of the K-, N-, and complete nutrient 
groups.  Beginning on day 7, plant height was measured each night 
before feeding or watering.  The absence of all nutrients (the  
control group) produced the least growth of sunflowers.  In the 
experimental groups, the removal of K from the nutrient solutions 
had the greatest effect on reducing plant height, the removal of 
P had the second greatest effect, and the removal of N had the 
least effect on sunflower growth.  Plants in the N- group 
appeared to grow taller than the plants fed with the complete 
nutrient solution.  To try to understand this result, I looked at 
the number of seeds which had germinated in each group.  More 
plants germinated and grew in the N- group than in the group fed 
with the complete nutrient solution.  Furthermore, when I looked 
at the average height of germinated seeds, I clearly saw that the 
complete group had more height than the N- group, but less seeds 
had germinated.

IV.  Summary and Conclusion: 

My results showed that the removal of potassium had the greatest 
effect on reducing the early growth of sunflowers and that it may 
be the most important of the 3 primary nutrients for growth at 
this stage.  This result was surprising because nitrogen is 
considered to be the most important nutrient to look for when 
choosing a fertilizer.  Nitrogen is necessary for above-ground 
growth, phosphorus is important for seedling development and root 
growth, and potassium helps plants make starch and protein.  
However, my experiment was limited to a two-week time period only 
and results at later stages may be different.

V.  Application: 

The results of my experiments provide information only about the 
early growth of sunflowers.  However, the approach that I used to 
understand which primary nutrients have the greatest effect on 
growth could be used to design fertilizers to increase the growth 
of any plant under different conditions.





Title:  Better Ways to Remember

Student Researcher:  Bharat Kumar
School Address:  Edgemont Jr/Sr. High School
                 White Oak Lane
                 Scarsdale, NY 10583
Grade: 7
Teacher: Ms. Russo


I.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The purpose of this experiment is to examine what types of 
objects can be remembered easier by 7th Graders.  Its aims are 
also to see if one gender remembers some items better than the 
other and to see whether the data for short term memory will be 
different than the long-term memory.  My first hypothesis is that 
sentences and clauses written in rhymes can be remembered easier.  
My second hypothesis is that there may be differences between the 
two genders in memorizing the same objects.  My third hypothesis 
states that objects seen will be remembered much easier in the 
short-term as compared to long term.

II.  Methodology:

The dependent and controlled variables in this experiment were 
gender, and all volunteers are 7th graders.  The independent, 
responding and manipulated variables are the time between when I 
asked them to remember the items and when they told me what they 
remembered.  To achieve my goal, I have devised three 
experiments:

Experiment A: In this procedure, my aims were to see if one 
gender remembers a certain type of object better than another in 
the short term.  I asked 15 boys and 15 girls to remember a 
certain number (97), a series of words (yellow, angry, sofa, 
shovel), a rhyme (twinkle twinkle little star variation), and I 
showed them an object (a pencil).  After 5 minutes, I asked the 
volunteers to recite what I had told them separately.

Experiment B: In this experiment, I tested 10 boys and 10 girls.  
It was designed to see if gender and types of objects affect the 
long term memory.  For this, I extended the duration (of how long 
they have to remember) to 24 hours.  I, again, used a number 
(66), words such as gym, bleachers, glasses, and sweatshirt, a 
rhyme (a variation of Jack and Jill went up the hill...), and an 
object seen (a pamphlet on dental basics).

Procedure for Experiment C: I modeled this after the experiments 
listed above.  I told the subjects the same items as described 
above.  The only difference was that they had to remember the 
items for a longer time (72 hours).  There were still 10 boys and 
10 girls.

III.   Analysis of Data:

Experiment A (5 Minutes): In one part of this experiment, to see 
if a rhyme would be better to remember, I found that all of the 
male volunteers (100%) and 80% of the girls had remembered the 
rhymes correctly.  A better item to remember would be a number.  
The number was remembered by more than 90%, equally in both 
genders.  About 86% of the boys and 100% of the girls remembered 
the object shown to them correctly.  The 4th item tested were the 
words .  Approximately a 73% of boys and 86% of the girls 
remembered all of the 4 words correctly.

The arithmetic mean for the boys was 88% and for the girls was 
90%.  The median for the boys, and the girls was 89.5%.  The 
range of the boys was from 73%-100%, and the girls: 80%-100%.

Experiment B (24 hours): In this experiment, 80% of the boys and 
80% of the girls remembered the numbers correctly.  80% of the 
boys and 90% of the girls remembered the words.  90% of the boys 
and girls tested, remembered the rhymes.  Lastly, 80% of the 
girls and 90% of boys remembered the object that was shown.   The 
mean of the girls was 85% and the boys was 82.5%.  The median of 
the girls was 80%, and boys was 85%.  The range of the girls was 
80%-90% and the boys was 70%-90%.  The mode of the girls was 80%, 
and the boys was 90%.

Experiment C (48 hours): In this experiment, 80% of males and 90% 
of females remembered the number.  The percent of people who 
remembered the words were 60% in males and 80% in females.  The 
percent of people who remembered the rhyme were 90% in males and 
80% in females.  The percent of people who remembered the object 
were 90% in males and 80% in females.   The mean for boys was 
80%, and for girls, it was 82.5%.  The median in boys was 85%; 
and in girls, it was 80%.  The range of the boys was 60%-90%; and 
the range of the girls was 80%-90%.  The mode in boys was 90% and 
in girls, 80%.

IV.   Summary and Conclusion: 

Experiment A: After examining the data, l have concluded that the 
best way to remember something for the short-term is to either 
use numbers or make what you want to remember into a sentence or 
clause which rhymes and is related to previous experiences.  

Experiment B: After analyzing my data, it became evident that 
among a group; any gender, the easiest way to remember something 
is by using a visual item.  

Experiment C: To remember an object for more than 24 hours, a 7th 
grader could choose any of the ways to present the item except in 
the form of words.  

All Experiments: In these experiments, l have proved that gender, 
the type of item (familiar or unfamiliar), the presentation of an 
item, and the amount of time affects memory.  Because of these 
statements, l accept all of my hypotheses.  One shortcoming of my 
study was the lack of volunteers and time.  

V.  Application

This data can be used to help people remember better.  It can 
tell teachers that they should use numbers to help their students 
remember in the short term, such as reviewing directly before a 
test.  In the long term, it can help students to raise their 
grades by using a visual item, making a rhyme, or using numbers 
to study better.




Title:  The Effect of Vitamins on Plants

Student Researcher:  Vijay Karia 
School Address:  Edgemont Jr/Sr. High School
                 White Oak Lane 
                 Scarsdale N.Y.  10583
Grade:  7
Teacher:  Ms.  Russo


I.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

The purpose of this project is to see if plants would grow faster 
when you not only feed them water and provide sunlight, but also 
feed them vitamins.  I hypothesize that the plant which were not 
fed the vitamins were not going to grow as extensively as the 
plants which were fed the vitamins.

II.  Methodology:

The materials I used were: 1) three Fennel Sweet plants, 2) Tap 
water, 3) Vitamin C, and 4) Vitamin E.

I took three fennel plants that were already partially grown to 
the same height and fed them different vitamins.  I also gave 
them one fourth of a cup of water each day.  I kept them indoors 
at the same temperature and in the same amount of sunlight each 
day.  I fed one of the plants vitamin C and the other vitamin E; 
the third plant was my control, which I just fed water and gave 
it sunlight and kept the plant in the same climate as the others.  

The controlled variables in this experiment were that the same 
plants were used, as well as the same amount of water and 
sunlight.  The manipulated variable were the different vitamins 
used in each plant except the control.  The responding variable 
was the growth of the plants.

III.  Analysis of Data

The results of the experiment very clearly show that the plant 
fed vitamin C grew the tallest.  It grew 20 cm.  The plant that 
was fed vitamin E grew a little taller than the control.  It grew 
18 cm.  The control plant grew the shortest.  It grew 17 cm.  
From this data you can see that the vitamins helped both plants 
grow taller and faster than the control.

IV.  Summary and Conclusion:

After growing the fennel plants with the different vitamins and 
growing the control, the results clearly show that the presence 
of vitamins has a direct effect on the plant growth.  It is seen 
that in addition to water and sunlight, vitamin C and E also are 
very beneficial in the growth of plants.  Since this data only 
applies to the fennel plant, further experiments are necessary 
for the general effect of vitamins on all plants.

V.  Application:

This information will be useful to farmers, gardeners, plant 
industries, and any plant owners who want to grow plants faster 
and larger.  In addition, this discovery could provide a new 
market for vitamin companies

.



Title:  Should You Feed Your Plants Juice Instead Of Water?

Student Researcher:  Matthew Roseman
School Address:  Edgemont Junior/Senior High School
                 White Oak Lane
                 Scarsdale, New York 10583
Grade:  7th
Teacher:  Ms.  Russo


1.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

Several weeks ago, I set my mind on finding a science experiment 
which was by far the most crazy idea that I could think of.  After 
pondering for about a week, I made up my mind.  I had decided to 
experiment with juice.  Now, we all know that different juices 
have tons of vitamins which our parents say make us healthy.  
Well, what about plants?  Do vitamins make plants healthy, too? 
I'll bet that maybe one person out of a thousand would know the 
answer and I wanted that person to be me.  So, I planned an 
experiment on the effect of different juices on plants.  I used a 
plant called Morning Glories - Heavenly Blue.  My hypothesis was 
that after a couple days my plants would all just die off if 
watered with juices.

II.  Methodology:

I bought fifteen Morning Glories which were all in their own 
separate plastic pots and were all bought from the same place.  I 
then split all the plants into three groups containing five 
Morning Glories each.  I would feed four of them with a specific 
juice and the fifth plant would be fed plain old tap water.  

The controlled variables were as follows: each of the plants were 
stationed at the same window in the same room.  They each got the 
same amount of sunlight and I tried to feed them the same amount 
every day.  

Next, I decided on three different juices that I found suitable 
for my experiment.  These three juices were Newman's Own Old 
Fashioned Virgin Lemonade, Tropicana Premium 100% Pure Florida 
Squeezed Grapefruit Juice and, last but not least, Tropicana  
Premium 100% Pure Florida Squeezed Orange Juice.  These were my 
manipulated variables.  

I took one picture, every other day, of each group of plants.  I 
also thought that it would be interesting to compare the heights 
between each plants as the responding variable.  I always measured 
from the top of the pot to the highest part of the plant.  I 
measured these plants every other day.

III.  Analysis of Data:

After about a week and a half of observing, I found some very 
interesting information.  Lets start with Lemonade.  In the group 
of Morning Glories which were fed with lemonade, the results were 
probably the most typical.  The one plant which was fed with water 
grew to be a height of 7.4 inches.  This specific plant started at
the height of 5.2 inches which gave it an advantage in starting 
height compared with the lemonade fed plants.  The plants fed with 
lemonade started at an average height of 4.7 inches and actually 
started dying right away.  Therefore, their height decreased.  
But, amazingly enough, it spontaneously started growing again and 
that is why its height ended at 4.5 inches.

The findings of the Grapefruit juice fed plants probably had the 
worst results.  For some reason, the control, which was fed with 
water died four days in to the experiment.  This specific plant 
started at a low height of 3.1 inches.  On the other hand, the 
plant, which was fed with grapefruit juice, started at a height of 
3.8 inches, grew to five inches, and went back down to 4.8 inches.  
This decrease in height happened because the plants were starting 
to die.

Lastly, I thought that the results for the orange juice fed plants 
was just incredible.  They were by far my best and most exciting 
results.  The control started at a height of 5.1 inches and grew 
to be 7.2 inches.  Here comes the incredible part.  The plants 
given orange juice started at 4.8 inches and actually caught up to 
the control, ending off at a height of 7.1 INCHES.  Despite the 
fact of its amazing growth spurt, I thought that the most 
interesting detail about these specific plant's growth was that 
shortly after feeding the plants with orange juice a yellow 
coating covered the soil making it look like orange soil.

IV.  Summary and Conclusion:

Overall, the results of my experiment turned out to be nothing 
like I thought it would be.  I went in to this experiment thinking 
they were all going to die.  As I said before, I was wrong and my 
results have proved that I was wrong.  My experiment was the 
complete opposite of what I expected it would be.

My findings in this experiment was that different juices can cause 
different effects in growing plants.  For instance, if you feed 
your plants Orange Juice they will grow extremely fast and will be 
very healthy.  On the other hand, if you wanted your plants to 
grow slowly and then eventually die off you would feed your plants 
Grapefruit juice.  Lastly, if you wanted to let your plants grow a 
little and then die, which I do not recommend, you would feed your 
plants Lemonade.

Of course, after receiving these data I would definitely reject my 
hypothesis because it was just WRONG.  Instead of just dying off, 
my plants grew and told me useful information which I will be able 
to use in the future.

To be honest, I don't think my experiment had any limitations.  I 
did everything in a precise way.  I think that maybe next time I 
could have taken data every day instead of every other day, but 
that's basically it.

V.  Application

I think that we as a community could use this information to help 
make our world a better place to live in.  By feeding your plants 
orange juice on a regular basis, it would benefit many things.  
Agriculture and farming are just some examples.  Best of all, our 
world would be full of tall, healthy, growing plants.




Title:  The Effect of Earthworms on the Growth of Radish Plants

Student Researcher:  Jessica Feldman
School Address:  Edgemont JuniorlSenior High School
                 White Oak Lane
                 Scarsdale. New York 10583
Grade:  7
Teacher:  Mrs. Russo

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

Do earthworms, which provide fertilization and aeration, really 
help to increase the overall health of a plant?  If so, does the 
number of worms have an effect on this?  I wanted to find out the 
answers to these two questions and therefore they became the basis 
for my experiment.  My hypothesis states that the radish plant 
with the greatest number of earthworms in the soil will grow to be 
the tallest and, overall, be the healthiest plant.  

II. Methodology:

To test my hypothes I used the following materials: BURPEE Cherry 
Bomb radish seeds, planting soil of the same type. 12 medium size 
planting pots, a light source, water, and 32 earthworms of similar 
size.  First, I planted the radish seeds in each of the 12 medium 
size pots, all filled with the same amount of soil.  The amount 
and type of the soil and the size of the pots were 2 of the 
controlled variables in my experiment.  Another of the controlled 
variables was the amount of sunlight and water each plant 
received.  After the seeds had germinated, I set up 3 samples of 4 
pots each.  The manipulated variable was the number of earthworms 
in soil the plant grows in.  The first plant in each sample served 
as a control, with no worms in its soil.  In the second, I put 1 
earthworm.  I placed 3 in the soil of the third plant.  Lastly, 5 
earthworms were placed in the fourth plant of every sample.  The 
size of these worms also was a controlled variable.  Every day. I 
observed the appearance and height of each of the 12 radish 
plants.  Therefore. the height of each became the responding 
variable.

III. ANALYSIS OF DATA:

I found that my data was very hard to analyze, for the individual 
samples and averaged results were scattered.  The results of the 
controls in each sample were far off.  In sample 1, the plant had 
a height of 6.7 cm and wasn't very healthy.  The control in sample 
2 ended up being 6.4 cm tall and unhealthy as well.  In the third 
sample, the control reached 9.2 cm and was actually pretty 
healthy, having many leaves and a very thick stem.

The tallest that any plant grew to be was 9.9 cm and was a plant 
with 1 earthworm in its soil.  That plant also turned out to be 
the overall healthiest plant in terms of appearance in sample 3 
and in the others, too.  As I compared this information to that of 
the other 2 plants which had 1 worm, I saw no similarities.  In 
sample 1, the plant with 1 earthworm was actually the shortest at 
6.3 cm and the most unhealthy plant.  In sample 2, the plant with 
the same number of worms, 1, was tallest in that replication of 
the experiment, at 8.6 cm, which still really isn't at all close 
to the great height of 9.9 cm.  Also, that plant was not very 
healthy for it had on it many yellow leaves.  I decided to reject 
the data from the plant in sample 1 because it was so much 
different than the other two and would make the average 
inaccurate.  As you can see so far, my data was pretty scattered 
because the results of the plants with the same number of worms in 
their soil should have been at least fairly close.

The final results of the plants in samples 1, 2, and 3 which had 3 
earth worms were closer together.  In sample 1, that plant had a 
height of 7.4 cm, which was quite close to the height of the plant 
in sample 3, at 7.7 cm.  In sample 2, the plant died when it 
reached a height of 3.8 cm, so I disregarded these results. 
Despite the fact that 1 plant with 3 worms died, the other 2 
appeared to be relatively healthy except that they were very 
flimsy.

The 3 plants that had 5 earthworms in their soil had heights which 
were totally different from each other.  One was 8.7 cm tall, 
another was 7.7 cm, and the last was 6.6 cm.  Everyone of them had 
tiny discolored leaves and were EXTREMELY flimsy.  Two of them 
eventually 'flopped over' onto the soil!

To get more accurate data, I averaged the heights of the plants, 
with the exceptions of those I disregarded that had the same 
number of worms.  The averaged results weren't as scattered 
though, because of the fewer heights that were "off" and 
inaccurate I had already rejected.  The average height of the 
controls turned out to be 7.4 cm.  The average height of the 
plants which had 1 earthworm in their soil was 9.3 cm. The average 
height of the plants with 3 earthworms ended up being 7.6 cm. 
Lastly, the averaged heights of the plants that had 5 earthworms 
was 7.7 cm.  I see a pattern in these results, which goes up, then 
down, and up again, which doesn't seem logical.

I noticed that, as the number of earthworms put into the soil of a 
plants increased, so did the flimsiness of the plant.  No plant 
ever produced a radish.  Another observation I made about the 
appearance of the 12 plants was that the greater number of 
earthworms in the pot was associated with more worm droppings 
which was very logical and made much sense.  In general though. my 
data was very hard to analyze.

IV.  Summary and Conclusion:

My experiment showed that 1 is the ideal number of worms for the 
type of environment I used, which was a plant in a medium size 
pot.  3 and 5 worms also help to increase the height of a radish 
plant, but not nearly as much.  I found that a plant is overall 
healthier with a small amount of earthworms in a medium size 
planting pot.  As I said, the flimsiness of the plants increased 
with a greater number of worms.  I conclude this is because the 
earthworms, especially if there were 5, were in such a confined 
area that they destroyed the root systems, causing the radish 
plant to become flimsy as well as unhealthy because of lack of 
nutrition (the roots are the part of a plant that take in water 
and nutrients).  There actually were not many other "faults" or 
shortcomings in my experiment.  I believe my results were fairly 
accurate.  Even so, I reject my hypothesis because the plant with 
the greatest number of earthworms did not grow to be the tallest 
or the overall healthiest.  The radish plant with 1 earthworms in 
its soil did.

V. Application:

The results of my experiment can be applied to gardening, farming, 
and the depletion of nutrients in soil.  Most of the time, there 
are not enough nutrients or natural fertilizers in soil. 
Earthworms help to replenish these lost nutrients and provide a 
fertilizer (organic of course} and aeration, which all help to 
increase the health of a plant.  Just be sure to add earthworms to 
the soil your plants are growing in.  The amount you put in should 
be limited because too many may destroy the root systems and kill 
the plants or at least decrease the overall health by a great 
deal.



  
Title:  Does Temperature Affect the Flight of Hot-Air Balloons?

Student Researcher:  Eve Glazer
School Address:  Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School
                 White Oak Lane
                 Scarsdale, New York 10583
Grade:  7
Teacher:  Ms. Russo


I.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis: 

The purpose of this hot air balloon experiment is to find out the 
best temperature to fly a hot air balloon.  To do this, I am 
testing how long model hot air balloons stay in the air at 
different temperatures.  The temperatures tested will be 65 
degrees, 70 degrees, and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

I expected that the balloons would fly best at 65 degrees.  The 
reason for this is that balloons rise because of hot air filling 
the balloon.  The air may not be considered as hot if there is not 
as big a difference in the outside air and the air being used to 
heat the balloon.  My hypothesis is that the bigger the contrast 
in outside and inside air, the longer the balloon will stay in the 
air.

II.  Methodology

The materials I used to conduct my research included: garbage bags 
for balloons, hair dryer, and stop watch.

My controlled variables included sunlight, wind, balloon size and 
shape, and amount of heat used to heat balloon.  My manipulated 
valuables was temperature.  My responding variable was time in 
air.
My sample size was six trials for each of three temperatures.

Procedure: a) Take three large garbage bags, equal in size, and 
tie off the open end so that there is only a small hole.  b) Fill 
the bag with air until it opens up completely.  c) Put a hair 
dryer into the hole on the bottom.  d) Turn on the hair dryer and 
heat the balloon.  e) When the balloon is filled with heated air 
it will rise into the atmosphere.

III.  Analysis of Data: 

The average number of seconds the hot air balloon stayed in the 
air when the outside air temperature was 65 degree temperature is 
4.00 seconds.  The maximum time is 5.54 and the minimum time is 
3.20.  The range is 2.34.

4.75 seconds is the average time in the air for hot air balloons 
in 70 degree weather.  The range is 3.56, making the maximum time 
in the air 6.41 seconds and the minimum time 2.85 seconds.

The average time in the air with an outside temperature of 75 
degrees is 4.60 seconds.  7.36 seconds is the maximum time and 
2.42 seconds is the minimum time.  The range is 4.94.

IV. Summary and Conclusion: 

My data shows that the outside air temperature does not matter in 
flying hot air balloons.  This data means that my hypothesis is 
incorrect.  The average time in the air for the hot air balloon 
with an outside air temperature of 65 degrees is the least, and I 
predicted it would be the highest.  My results may be the way they 
are because there was not enough difference in the temperatures. 
In conclusion, my results were inconclusive because of the slight 
differences in temperature.

V. Application: 

Learning the best temperature to fly hot air balloons is important 
to recreational life, so the most enjoyable hot air balloon rides 
may be given.  It also proves that hot-air rises and shows the 
relationship between the temperature of the outside air and the 
temperature of the air inside the balloon. 




Title:  The Temperature of Different Colors

Student Researcher:  Ken Hironaka
School Address:  Edgemont Junior/Senior High School
                 White Oak Lane
                 Scarsdale, NY
Grade:  7th grade
Teacher:  Mrs. Russo


I.  Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

I wanted to find out which colors absorb heat better.  My first 
hypothesis stated that the color that absorbs heat most will be 
black.  My second hypothesis stated that some of the colors' 
temperatures will be lower than the air temperature.

II.  Methodology

First, I chose 5 colored plastic bags: white, green, blue, black, 
and silver.  Next, I used 5 boxes and 5 clear coverings to make 
containers for each color.  I cut out the top and the front and 
attached the clear covering to each box.  I also chose a sunny day 
for the experiment. I placed the colored bag and a thermometer in 
each of the containers. I placed the thermometers inside the bags 
to protect it from direct sunlight and covered it with cardboard. 
Finally, I placed the containers and the thermometer for the air 
temperature in direct sunlight, and recorded the temperature 
inside each bag at 10 minutes intervals.  I tried this 2 times 
then averaged my findings.  

The controlled variables are the materials of the bags, amount of 
time in the sunlight, the temperature of the thermometers and the 
bags at the beginning, and the containers.  The manipulated 
variables are the colors of the bags.  The responding variable is 
the temperature inside the different color bags.

III.  Analvsis of Data

White's lowest average temperature was 24.0 degrees C which was 
after 60 minutes and the highest was 32.0 degrees C which was 
after 20 and 30 minutes.  Green's lowest temperature was 32.0 
degrees C after 10 minutes and the highest was 42.0 degrees C 
after 30 minutes.  Blue's lowest temperature was 28.5 degrees C 
and the highest was 33.0 degrees C after 30 minutes.  Black's 
lowest temperature was 30.5 degrees C and the highest was 40.5 
degrees C after 30 minutes.  Silver's lowest temperature was 28.5 
degrees C and the highest was 40.0 degrees C after 10 minutes.  
The air temperature's lowest temperature was 28.5 degrees C and 
the highest was 34.0 degrees C after 30 minutes.  

The results were silver 28.5 degrees C, blue 29.5 degrees C, green 
33.0 degrees C, white 24.0 degrees C, black 36.5 degrees C. The 
air temperature was 31.8 degrees C and the highest temperature was 
in the black covered box.

IV.  Summary and Conclusion

The data showed that green absorbed heat the best.  Most of the 
colors caused the temperature to drop below the air temperature. 
Therefore, I accept both hypotheses. I also found out that dark 
colors absorb heat better than light colors. I also thought it 
will be a good idea if I report the same experiment, but with 
different shades of the same colors.  For example, light blue and 
dark blue.

V.  Application

As I said above, dark colors absorbed heat better than light 
colors.  I also learned that this is because light colors really 
reflect sunlight.  From this result, you could wear light colored 
clothes in summer and wear dark colored clothes in winter and 
spend the seasons more comfortably.  When you chose cars, the 
color of the car is also very important.  Most cars manufactured 
during the last 5 years are controlled by microprocessors.  The 
microprocessors are extremely sensitive to high temperature and 
may malfunction when temperatures are very high.  Even the 
temperature in a white cars can climb up to 100 degrees C under 
direct sunlight!  What would happen if the color of the car was; 
for an example, black?  It could ruin the microprocessor.  You 
see, colors are just not for design and looks, but also very 
important for reasons including comfort and proper operation of 
automobiles.

© 1998 John I. Swang, Ph.D.