Sometimes it is difficult to motivate middle and high school students to complete science fair projects, even when the school may require it. Most students at this age, however, are somewhat fascinated by psychology or human behavior, and there are some easy and impressive science fair projects which will fit the bill. Here is one suggestion:
Mood and Color
The question to be answered is, “Do colors affect an person’s mood and/or blood pressure?” This one of the easiest science fair project to get teens activated
- Conduct some research on the topic, so that you can define blood pressure, state how blood pressure is measured, and the relationship between blood pressure and mood. Refine the research to colors and their affect on blood pressure or pulse rate. Your research should be summarized in a written report. At this point, the hypothesis should be developed.
- The next step is to pick colors to use in the experiment – typically, one would use the three primary colors, black, white, and perhaps a few secondary colors as well.
- Next, gather the equipment and materials needed – flashing light cubes, a blood pressure and pulse monitor, and participant questionnaires. The most efficient form for the questionnaire is a chart, upon which the participant can record his mood following exposure to each color. One side of the chart will include all colors used; the other side will have a listing of various moods, such as happy, sad, calm, agitated, angry, etc. You will also need your own chart for recording blood pressure and pulse rates during and at the end of each color exposure. DISCOUNT LINK FOR SUPPLIES
- Enlist the help of as many participants as possible for your cool science fair project! The participant should sit in a comfortable chair in front of the table upon which you have a glass of water for immersion of the light cubes. The room should be appropriately dimmed. Each color should be transmitted for a minimum of three minutes. During this time, the blood pressure and pulse rate should be monitored and recorded. This monitoring is probably best accomplished by taking a reading after each of the three minutes and then using the average rate of the three readings. (Note: If the experiment will include white and black as colors, you will need to cover the glass with white or black paper and set the color cubes on clear)
- At the conclusion of each color exposure, the participant should complete his/her chart for that color, indicating the most dominant emotion or feeling during the exposure. If the participant cannot find an appropriate match on the chart, he/she can identify one and write it in.
- Once the experiment is completed, the data must be organized and reported in an scientific manner. Look for patterns on the participant questionnaires and on your recordings of blood pressure and pulse rates. Are there colors that generally increase or reduce blood pressure or pulse rates? Do some colors appear to be more agitating or calming? If your participant group is large, and includes enough participants from different age brackets and genders, the data can be organized along those lines, particularly if you are seeing patterns. The possibilities here are multiple, and you should choose those factors which appear to be significant. Once you have analyzed your data, graphs and charts probably make the best method of reporting.
- A thorough summary of the results of your experimentation must be written, of course. Was your hypothesis supported? If not, you need to explain why. As well, a summary needs to be included with suggestions that you have developed either for additional study or improvement.
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You will have a super interesting science fair presentation that will engage others to think about colors in their physical environments and how exposure to those colors might affect them.