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Spreadsheet Inventions

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Updated on Feb 07, 2012

Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Computer Science

Objective:

Discover a new use for the standard spreadsheet format.

The goals of this project are:

  1. To demonstrate existing spreadsheet functions.
  2. To discover a new way to utilize spreadsheets.

Research Questions:

  • What are the capabilities of a spreadsheet?
  • What are the ways in which a spreadsheet can be used?

A spreadsheet is a computer platform displaying cells that make up a grid of rows and columns. It's like a paper accounting worksheet with a built in editor, filing system and calculator. Common uses for spreadsheets are financial management and list making. Other applications include maps, artwork and crossword puzzles. This project challenges you to devise a new or improved spreadsheet application.

Materials:

  • Computer with internet
  • Color printer
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
  • Typical home office software with a spreadsheet program.

Experimental Procedure

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Analyze a basic spreadsheet program to familiarize yourself with all of its capabilities.
  5. List the ways in which spreadsheets are currently used.
  6. Invent a new way to use spreadsheets.
  7. Create examples that illustrate your idea.
  8. Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
  9. Include photos, diagrams and demonstrations in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: Formula spreadsheet;Logical spreadsheet;Microsoft Excel; Web based spreadsheets

References:

Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials. Her recent writing credits include Top50States.com (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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