Grade Level: 6th - 8th; Type: Cognitive Science
Test and compare the memorization skills of kids and adults. The goals of this project are:
- To conduct a valid memory test that is suitable for most age groups.
- To determine the differences in memory skills between kids and adults.
- To discover how this information might improve instructional techniques.
- How many items on a list can the average person recall?
- Do kids memorize better than adults do?
- How and why is this important?
Which demographic group has the better memory – kids or adults? This project aims to determine whether or not there is a difference between kids and adults in memorization skills. This simple experiment will provide clear evidence.
- Computer with Internet access
- Color printer
- Digital camera
- Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.)
- Store-bought samples of preserved foods (pickles, jerky, jams & jellies, vacuum-packed products, etc.)
- 20 volunteers age 30 years or older.
- 20 volunteers age 17 years or younger.
All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.
- Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
- Address all of the above terms and research questions.
- Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
- Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
- Devise a list of 25 randomly chosen words, listed in random order.
- Give each volunteer 30 minutes to study the list.
- Collect the lists and give each volunteer up to 15 minutes to write down every word he/she can remember from the list.
- Compare the results from both groups of volunteers.
- Carefully record all observations.
- Analyze your data.
- Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
- Include interesting photos, diagrams and memory tricks in your science fair display.
Terms/Concepts: Crystallized intelligence; Fluid intelligence; Mnemonic
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorization (General wikipedia article)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mnemonic (Memory tricks, tips and techniques)
- Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!