Science Fair Project:

How Much Time Does Technology Take?

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  • Which age group has the most accurate perception of how much time they spend using technology?
  • Which age groups interact with technology most?

In this experiment, surveys will be used to evaluate which age groups have the most accurate perception of the amount of time spent interacting with domestic technology like televisions, cell phones and computers. Students will also discover which age groups spend the most time using these various forms of technology.

  • Test subjects in a variety of age groups
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Notebooks

  1. Create a survey to give to your test subjects that asks them to estimate the amount of time they spend using domestic technology. Example questions could include:
    • How many hours do you spend watching television each week?
    • How much personal time (not working) do you spend online each day?
    • How many personal text messages do you send each week?
    • How many hours do you spend on your personal cell phone each week?
  2. Distribute the survey to an equal number of males and females in a variety of age groups (teens, college age, young adult, middle-age adults, and older adults). Include approximately 20 test subjects in each age group.
  3. Distribute notebooks and ask your test subjects to keep track of the amount of personal time they spend using cell phones, televisions and computers each day for one week. Each time they use one of these items, ask participants to record the type of technology used, duration of usage, and purpose of usage.
  4. After one week, compare the surveys and notebooks from each participant. Tally the actual technology usage for each test subject and compare this number to the estimated usage recorded in their survey. Calculate the percent error of each test subject’s overall estimate. Calculate the percent error of each test subject’s usage estimate for each individual form of technology. Average the results for each age group. Which group had the most accurate perception of time spent using technology? Which group spends the most time using each form of technology? Which group spends the most personal time using technology overall?

Terms/Concepts: technology; domestic technology; percent error

Author: Megan Doyle
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