How gender affects memory
Boys & Girls
I showed a board with ten traditional 'girl' items (doll, for example) and 'boy' items (football, for example) to 10 boys and 10 girls in each grade - grades 1 through 5 for ten seconds. After a 15 second waiting period, I asked them to tell me which items they remembered.
The results of my study proved that in some respect the gender of the individual did affect which type of items they remembered. How gender affects memory. Although I found this fascinating as a ten year old, I didn't really think about the further implications of the study. For example, I thought that the results showed something innate about the difference between the sexes, whereas the results were probably greatly affected by the role of society as well.
Our school did not give out prizes at the science fair, and unfortunately not many people visited my booth because differences in gender are not as exciting to first graders as vinegar volcanoes or cookies without sugar in them. I think that the experience did help me grow in my ability to apply the scientific process
to problems that I now face in academia and in life.
I think science fairs should continue in schools, but we should encourage children to pursue problems that really matter, and that really interest them. Although baking soda and vinegar volcanoes are exciting, they don't really serve any scientific purpose.
I'm not saying fifth graders need to create Nobel Prize winners,
a study on how different nutrients effect plant growth seems suitable for a ten year old. However, I do think they should be pushed to solve problems that have some relevance, and, more importantly, create in them a curiosity to research other questions they might have. Barry's Response
- The whole thing about science is pushing the limits of human knowledge
pushing the limits of human knowledge and understanding. We have a pretty good understanding of how baking soda reacts with vinegar and what fluid flowing down a slope looks like.
I vote for any project that demonstrates that the researcher is venturing out into a previously unexplored territory (at least for the individual) and learned something along the way. Thanks for your thoughts.Search
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