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E-Database of Science, June, 1999
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:
The National Student Research Center
E-Journal of Student Research: Science
Volume 7, Number 5, June, 1999
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.
- National Student Research Center
- 2024 Livingston Street
- Mandeville, Louisiana 70448
- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Heating Water With Solar Energy
- Building Better Concrete Blocks With Plastic
- Does Music Help Plants Grow?
- Will Spaghetti Cook Faster With or Without Salt?
- Which Does Pacey Like Better - Plain Seed Or A Berry Mixture?
- Does The Size Of The Lemon Affect The Number of Seeds It Has?
- Which Chocolate Bar Melts Fastest In The Sun
- Does Pop Lose Its Fizz Faster In A Fridge Or In Room Temperature?
- Which Candy Bar Melts Faster I?
- Which Candy Bar Melts Faster II?
TITLE: Heating Water With Solar Energy STUDENT RESEARCHER: Stephanie Burnley SCHOOL: Franklin-Simpson Middle School P. O. Box 637 Franklin, KY 42135 GRADE: 7th TEACHER: Mary Rachel Cothern I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: My purpose was to discover if, by using solar energy, I could efficiently heat water and keep it warm. I wanted to do this project because my family wanted to get a hot tub, but we did not want to pay for the monthly hot water heater bills. I thought that the solar hot water heater would work properly if built accurately and to a scale. II. METHODOLOGY: I tested my hypothesis by actually building a replica solar hot tub. Everyday I sat it out in the sun and observed the effects of solar energy. I controlled the variables in my project by checking the water temperature at the same time every day, using the same water every day, setting the hot water heater in the same spot every day. The weather was the variable that did not remain the same from day to day. When I began my experiment I went to Homestead and bought all of my supplies; insulation, copper tubing, black metal, glass, and a pump. (I already had a plastic tub.) I constructed my solar panel by nailing together four pieces of wood to make a box. I slid a sheet of black metal and two sheets of glass into grooves that had previously been cut in the sides of the box. I added a layer of insulation under the metal to hold heat in the solar panel. Copper tubing was placed inside of it to hold the water and it ran down into my tub. My tub was covered in styrofoam to insulate it. A small pump was sat in the tub at the bottom of the tubes to circulate water through them. Cold water was then poured into my tub and the temperature of it checked. I also checked the water temperature everyday for one week at designated times to see how it was working. Then I recorded my results. III. ANALYSIS OF DATA: I gathered from this project that on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday my water got hotter than on the other days. On all of these days the water temperature reached 120° F. or above. The temperatures for the other days were 92°, 94°, and 104°. On most days, the time that the water reached the highest temperature was at 2:30 PM. Two out of the eight days that I conducted my experiment, the thermometer read 125+ °. This was because the numbers on my thermometer only went up to 125°, but the mercury inside was up above that point. I had three different charts and graphs. My chart showed the temperatures for every day at each of the five times I checked the temperature of the water. It also showed the high temperature for each day. My line graph showed the temperatures of a typical day at each of the designated times. The bar graph showed the high temperature for each of the eight days. My data adequately showed that my hypothesis was right and that solar energy did work. IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: I found that the temperature of the water in my solar hot tub reached the highest on days that the sun was shining the brightest. It really doesn't matter if it is warm or cool outside when dealing with solar energy, but how brightly the sun is shining. Some of the days that the water reached the highest temperature, it was very cold outside. This is how solar energy can work in the winter as well as the summer. Of course, in the winter the temperature outside will have some effect on the temperature of the water, but not enough to make a drastic change in it. I also concluded that since I used a scale to build my model, solar energy could also be used to heat an actual size hot tub. V. APPLICATION: By using the knowledge I learned from this project, I now know that solar energy can be used for almost anything in real-life. Whether you want to use it for the same reason that I did, to heat a hot tub and to save money, or for your own reason, solar energy can be used. Not only can solar energy be used to heat water; it can also be used to heat air. There are lots of very good informative books out there that can teach you everything you need to know about, if you have never dealt with solar energy. One more plus to solar energy is that it is a resource that can be used for almost anything and it has an unlimited supply. TITLE: Building Better Concrete Blocks With Plastic STUDENT RESEARCHER: Steven Lopez SCHOOL: Franklin-Simpson Middle P.O. BOX 637 Franklin, Ky. 42135 GRADE: 7 TEACHER: Mary Rachel Cothern I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: Can plastics be recycled into concrete blocks to help the environment? My hypothesis is that we can recycle plastics into concrete blocks and therefore help the concrete not weather as quickly. My reasoning behind my hypothesis is that plastics do not weather as quickly as concrete. My second hypothesis is that the 50-50 concrete block will last longer than the other two concrete blocks that I am preparing. II. METHODOLOGY: Here's a look at the materials I used for my experiment: Quikrete (concrete mix), 7 plastic pellets, forms, weather, and water. I controlled my variables by doing the same exact thing to each concrete block. I made them all on the same day, let them cure for the same amount of time, and placed them outside at the same time. I also took pictures of each block regularly. Lastly, I brought each block in at the same time and ran water over them for a week. Here is how I tested my hypothesis. First, I purchased Quikrete to make concrete blocks. Next, I got plastic pellets from Southern Recycling. The third thing I did was to get forms in which to pour the cement. I added water to the Quikrete to make a solid concrete block. After this, I poured the cement into a form. This made up the plain concrete block. I added water to some more Quikrete and also added several plastic pellets. Then I poured the mixture into the form. This made up the 50-50 concrete block. This time, I added water to the Quikrete and added half the amount of plastic pellets as in the 50-50 concrete block. Afterward, I poured this mixture into its form. This made up the 25-75 concrete block. Finally, I set the blocks outside against the wall of my house, on a screened-in porch in order for them to dry and cure. When the concrete blocks dried and cured I took them out of their individual forms and set them outside in the rain. In the end, I recorded the results. III. ANALYSIS OF DATA: For my data I took pictures of the concrete blocks every two weeks. I took these pictures over a ten weeks period. First week: I observed that the plain concrete block was showing no signs of erosion The 25-75 concrete block was showing no signs of erosion either. The 50-50 concrete block was cracked slightly through the middle. Second week: The plain concrete block was still showing no signs of erosion. The 25-75 concrete block was also showing no sign of erosion. The 50-50 block was still slightly cracked through the middle. 3rd week: The plain concrete block was now starting to show slight signs of erosion. Next, the 25-75 concrete block was still showing no signs whatsoever of erosion, besides the occasional loss of a single plastic pellet The crack in the 50-50 concrete block was beginning to enlarge. 4th week: The plain concrete block was now beginning to show more signs of weathering. The 25-75 concrete block was still managing to keep its form. Finally, what I have been waiting for to happen to the 50-50 concrete block happened It cracked all the way through the middle. 5th week: The plain concrete block is still showing signs of erosion. Although the 25-75 concrete block is still going strong. The 50- 50 concrete block, has completely cracked through the middle The two separate pieces have also moved apart from each other slightly. IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: I began my project on September 2, 1998. It was three months and a week when the project was completed in its entirety. Here's some extra information. October 4, 1998 The 50-5Q concrete block cracked through the middle. October 4, 1998 The solid concrete block began its slight erosion. Three month period The 25-75 block showed no signs of erosion. I thought that the 50-50 concrete block would not erode as quickly. My hypothesis proved to be false. Surprisingly to me, the 25- 75 concrete block was the most resistant to the weather. I learned that using concrete blocks made of 25% plastic pellets and 75% concrete retards erosion better than the standard concrete block. This will now be a way to recycle plastics if the construction industry considered this type of concrete block. I feel, from what I have observed throughout the project, that too much plastic in concrete blocks will cause them to separate. Solid concrete does erode, bit by bit over a period months. This amount of erosion over three months is not that much, but if it were the outside wall of a building and the building was up for several years the block's erosion could be extensive. V. APPLICATION: The main way to use the information that I have collected from my experiment in real life is in the field of construction. If contractors looked into my type of concrete block, construction with this type of block would be more durable. Contractors would have a concrete block that is weather resistant, improving their buildings. Using this type of concrete block would also reduce the amount of plastics going into landfills. Plastics do not decompose as quickly as other materials. Plastics also makes up a major part of the wastes that are thrown away daily. So hopefully my experiment will greatly improve the conditions of the environment and the quality of concrete blocks. TITLE: Does Music Help Plants Grow? STUDENT RESEARCHER: Elizabeth Marie Chin SCHOOL ADDRESS: Shell Creek Elementary 1205 98th Street Columbus, NE 68601 GRADE: 8 TEACHER: Anita Long I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis My hypothesis is that classical music will help the plants to grow. I also believe that the plants that listen to country will have their growth stunted. II. Methodology Materials: Nine small plastic yogurt containers Twenty-seven bush bean seeds Potting soil Measuring cup Water Country music CD or cassette Classical CD or cassette Plant three seeds in each yogurt container after filling them almost up to the top with potting soil. Place the seeds just a little bit below the surface. Water the plants with 1/4 cup of water. Put all nine containers in a spot by a window. Take the plants away from the window at 4:00 P.M. everyday. Place the controls in a room where the music that the other six plants are listening to can not be heard. The three plants that listened to country music listened to Garth Brooks or Faith Hill and the Classical plants listened to Lorie Line and Mendelssohn for an hour each day. Record the growth of each plant each night around 9:00. Since there had three of each kind of plant, this fulfills the minimum number of trials: three. Let each plant grow for two whole weeks. Then find out the total growth of the plants. III. Analysis of Data My charts showed that, after two weeks of growth, two of the country music plants were doing the best by far. The other plant did not come up until the last day. My hypothesis was half right. The classical plants, on average, did better than the country music plants, but the control did the best on average than any of them. IV. Summary and Conclusion I found out that the control did the best, then the classical, and last of all the country. This led me to reject my hypothesis. It wasn't an entirely controlled experiment because a few times I forgot to play the music, but had to make it up the next day. V. Application My research could apply to the real world, because it could help farmers produce crops faster. For further research, instead of plants, use your brain. Does music help it to learn? Some studies have already been started on the effects of classical music on the brain. It regenerates brain cells. TITLE: Will Spaghetti Cook Faster With or Without Salt? STUDENT RESEARCHER: Jenna Lehman SCHOOL ADDRESS: Shell Creek Elementary 1205 98th Street Columbus, NE 68601 GRADE: 8 TEACHER: Anita Long I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis After completing this experiment, I would like to have found out whether spaghetti cooks faster with or without salt. My hypothesis is that adding salt will not make a difference in the amount of time it takes to cook spaghetti. II. Methodology Materials: 1. two three quart sauce pans (one for the experimental and another for the control) 2. one ten ounce package of spaghetti noodles 3. three teaspoons of salt 4. one knife 5. two plates Procedure: 1. fill each pan with two quarts of water 2. bring the water to a boil 3. turn both burners on the stove to medium 4. break the noodles in half 5. place twenty noodle halves in each pan 6. allow the noodles seven minutes to cook before starting to check them 7. using thirty second intervals, check the noodles by removing one noodle from each pan and cutting it in half 8. record the time and whether or not the noodle was done 9. repeat steps one through eight for the following trials of the experiment III. Analysis of Data After conducting this experiment three times I have concluded that it takes spaghetti eleven minutes to cook, with or without salt. My hypothesis was right because it stated basically that the salt would not make a difference. IV. Summary and Conclusion Through this experiment, I found out that the amount of salt added to the water that spaghetti is cooking in does not make a difference in the spaghetti's cooking time. This data led me to accept my hypothesis because it told me that both pans of spaghetti took the same amount of time to cook. V. Application This data and information could help you if you wanted to cook a meal and you think if you add a lot of salt the spaghetti will be done faster. For further research, you could find out if the amount of salt you put in affects the spaghetti's flavor. TITLE: Which Does Pacey Like Better - Plain Seed Or A Berry Mixture? STUDENT RESEARCHER: Melissa Sempek SCHOOL ADDRESS: Shell Creek Elementary 1205 98th Street Columbus, NE 68601 GRADE: 8 TEACHER: Anita Long I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis I'm going to see which seed my pet parakeet, Pacey, prefers most - plain seed or a more expensive berry mixture. I'm hypothesizing that he will prefer the berry mixture. II. Methodology Fill two cups that are the same size with seed. Fill one with the berry mixture and the other with the plain seed. Leave the seed in the cage for exactly 12 hours. When the time is up compare the amounts from the time you put it in to the time you took it out. Do this on five different days to ensure that you come to the right conclusion. III. Analysis of Data My data and charts showed that Pacey preferred the plain seed on each of the 5 days I tested him. He ate half of the plain seed and only 25% of the berry mixture. IV. Summary and Conclusion Pacey preferred the plain mixture more. I had hypothesized wrong. V. Application You could use this if you found a bird and didn't know what it liked best. My bird appears healthy, so I suppose that the plain seed is a good diet for him to be on. TITLE: Does The Size Of The Lemon Affect The Number of Seeds It Has? STUDENT RESEARCHER: Kaitlin O'Connor SCHOOL ADDRESS: Shell Creek Elementary 1205 98th Street Columbus, NE 68601 GRADE: 8 TEACHER: Anita Long I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: I wanted to find out if the size of the lemon affects the number of seeds it had. From the information I gathered, I hypothesized that the larger the lemon, the more seeds it has. II. METHODOLOGY: Materials: 1 cutting board, 1 sharp knife, 1 citrus juicer, 1 pad of paper, 1 pen or pencil, 1 juice strainer, 1 drinking glass, 3 different kinds of lemons (in this case I used a Lisbon for my small lemon, a Butwal for my medium lemon, and a Ponderosa for my large lemon). You need 3 lemons of each kind to run the experiment more than once. The control in this experiment was that every fruit was a lemon, not another citrus fruit. Procedure: 1. Cut a lemon into halves using the sharp knife on the cutting board. 2. Juice each half of the lemon making sure each seed stays within the juicer. 3. Strain the juice over the drinking glass making sure each seed stays in the strainer. 4. Count each seed. If there are halves of seeds still uncounted, put two halves together and only count as one seed. Also, be sure to count every seed, no matter how deformed or misshapen, because nature doesn't make each seed perfect. 5. Mark the number of seeds for each lemon on a chart using your pencil and pad of paper. 6. Repeat steps one through five with each lemon until all nine lemons have been cut and their seeds counted and marked. III. ANALYSIS OF DATA: At the end of my experiment, I had discovered that Lisbon lemons (the small lemons) had an average of 14 seeds, but can range anywhere from 11 - 18 seeds as the three trials proved. Also, Butwal (the medium lemons) had O seeds. In all three trials, no seeds could be found. Ponderosa (the large lemons) have about 16 seeds on average, but they range from 12 to 20 seeds and are much the same in seed count as the Lisbons. I also measured the thickness of the skins in all the lemons just to give an idea of their sizes and how they vary from lemon to lemon. The average thickness of the skin in the Lisbon lemons is 4 mm, but ranges anywhere from 1-5 mm. The Butwal lemons are about 7.5 mm thick, but can range from 6 mm to 10 mm as I discovered in my three trials. Finally, the Ponderosa lemons or the larger lemons have a very thick skin averaging at around 10 mm or 1 cm thick. The Ponderosa lemons have such a thick skin that cutting into them is difficult at times. IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: From my experiment, I found out that the size of the lemon does, in some way, affect the number of seeds it has. The small and large lemons may have the same amount of seeds on average, but the medium lemons have little or no seeds at all. This tells me that my hypothesis of 'the bigger the lemon, the more seeds it has' is wrong because the Butwal lemon, which is larger than the Lisbon lemon, had less seeds than the Lisbon. And the Lisbon lemon had the about the same amount of seeds as the Ponderosa even though it is much smaller. V. APPLICATION: I think that growing more Butwal lemons could help struggling citrus plantations improve their lemon sales, because people would buy more lemons to make lemonade if they had less seeds. Also, many juicing companies would buy more of the plantation's lemons to make lemon-ace to sell to the public, increasing the sales even more if the lemons had less seeds. TITLE: Which Chocolate Bar Melts Fastest In The Sun STUDENT RESEARCHER: Ryan Widhalm SCHOOL ADDRESS: Shell Creek Elementary 1205 98th Street Columbus, NE 68601 GRADE: 8 TEACHER: Anita Long I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis I want to find out which chocolate bar melts fastest in the sun. I am using Hersheys, Twix, and Snickers. I hypothesize that Hersheys will melt faster than Twix or Snickers because it is pure chocolate. Then Twix because they are the smallest. Last, I think Snickers will melt the slowest of all because it is bigger than Twix and has peanuts. II. Methodology I tested my hypothesis by putting each chocolate bar in the sun on a windowsill and timing how long it took to melt. I used Snickers, Twix, and Hersheys. III. Analysis of Data My hypothesis was entirely correct. The Hersheys melted in 4:53, 8:57, and 11:48. Twix melted in 13:29, 14:06, and 15:43. The Snickers melted in 18:15, 19:52, and 21:43. IV. Sumary and Conclusion My hypothesis was exactly and entirely right. V. Application This experiment could help mankind because it could tell stores which candy bars they can leave outside the longest. If you do this with different candy they could make candy that doesn't melt very fast at all. TITLE: Does Pop Lose Its Fizz Faster In A Fridge Or In Room Temperature? STUDENT RESEARCHER: Megan Marie Burlingame SCHOOL ADDRESS: St. Theresa's School 5815 Carpenter Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311 GRADE: 7 TEACHER: Mrs. Considine I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: I want to know if pop loses its fizz faster in a fridge or in room temperature? My hypothesis is that the one in the room temperature will probably lose its fizz faster. I think this because the pop in the fridge will probably keep fresher than the one at room temperature because of the heat in the room. II. METHODOLOGY: The glasses I put the pop in were both the same size and same kind. I filled them so they were the same amount. I used Pepsi. I tested my hypothesis by putting one glass of pop in room temperature and one in the fridge. I checked them every 10 minuets for an hour by taking a sip. The control variables are the size of the glasses, the kind of pop, and the amount of pop in each glass. The manipulated variable is the temperature that I put the glasses of pop in. The responding variable is the amount of fizz lost. III. ANALYSIS OF DATA: I took a sip of pop from the fridge and from the room temperature pop every ten minuets for an hour. I wrote down my observations. After ten minuets, there was a lot of fizz in both. After twenty minuets, it was the same. After thirty minuets, the fridge pop went down a little bit. After forty minuets, they both went down a little. After fifty minuets, the room temperature pop stayed the same and fridge pop went down to little fizz. After sixty minuets, the fridge pop went between little fizz and no fizz while the room temperature pop went to no fizz. IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: I found out that after sixty minuets the room temperature pop lost its fizz faster than the fridge pop. This supports my hypothesis. This was only for an hour, so if you did it longer it would most likely be different. V. APPLICATION: If you put something out side in the winter and put the same thing inside the heated house, it would probably stay fresher outside. It can help people have fizz in their pop if they keep it in the fridge and not in room temperature. It would also keep it fresher. TITLE: Which Candy Bar Melts Faster I? STUDENT RESEARCHER: Kristyna Solawetz SCHOOL ADDRESS: St. Theresa's School 5815 Carpenter Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311 GRADE: 7 TEACHER: Mrs. Considine I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: I wanted to find out which candy bar melts the fastest. My hypothesis states that Hershey's Milk Chocolate candy bar will melt before other candy bars because it has the most fat and it seems to melt a lot in your hand when you are eating it. II. METHODOLOGY: The four types of candy bars to be tested were York Peppermint Pattie, Pay Day, Hershey's Cookies 'N' Cream, and Hershey's Milk Chocolate. For my experiment, I will put all four next to each other. They will be under a heat lamp so the direction of heat will stay the same and consistent. I will check them to see the progress they have made every five minutes and after 15 minutes I'll check every two. Then I will repeat these steps to see if the time for melting was about the same. III. ANALYSIS OF DATA: After I got through the first 15 minutes, I saw that the Cookies 'N' Cream was about melted so I decided to watch every minute. It ended up in the first trial that Cookies 'N' Cream melted fastest with a time of 16 minutes. The slowest was the Pay Day (only the caramel melted while the peanuts held the candy bar together). The time for the Pay Day was 49 minutes. The York Peppermint Patties melted in 41 minutes. The Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar melted in 48 minutes. The second trial was basically the same, but slightly varied. I think this might have been because of the second group of candy bars was sitting in room temperature during the first trial. (I had kept them in the refrigerator so they wouldn't melt before I started the first trial.) IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: Overall Cookies 'N' Cream melted the fastest. I rejected my hypothesis. TITLE: Which Candy Bar Melts Faster II? STUDENT RESEARCHER: Jessie Burlingame SCHOOL ADDRESS: St. Theresa's School 5815 Carpenter Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311 GRADE: 7 TEACHER: Mrs. Considine I. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND HYPOTHESIS: I wanted to know which candy bar melts the fastest. I used some miniature candy bars such as a Butterfinger, Snicker, Rolo, and a Hershey's chocolate bar. My first hypothesis was that the Snicker would melt the fastest. My second hypothesis was that the Rolo would melt next because of it's shape. II. METHODOLOGY: I tested my hypothesis by first collecting the candy, then putting them on a paper plate in the sun. The total items I used were a Butterfinger, Snicker, Rolo, Hershey's chocolate bar, a paper plate, and the sun. The temperature was 86 degrees outside. My control variables were the size and weight of the different candies. I used four bite size chocolate candies to see which one would melt fastest. III. ANALYSIS OF DATA: The Hershey's Chocolate melted the fastest. It melted in 15 minutes. I was unable to record the Chocolate Rolo candy because I went inside to get a piece of paper and when I came back out it was missing! The Snickers melted in 18 minutes. The Butterfinger melted in 20 minutes. The reason I think the Butterfinger melted last was because it has a solid filling. IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION: I rejected my first hypothesis because the Hershey's Chocolate bar melted first. I could not accept or reject my second hypothesis because the Rolo candy was missing. V. APPLICATION: This information can help in the real world today. Let's say needed some candy for an up-coming event. You need to know how long you can have the candy in a certain temperature before it melts. My research can help you.