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MATH ANXIETY

 

It's easy to create your own science fair topics.

The questioning strategy can help you create your own science fair topics. Let's see how.

One day one of my student “Mark" came to me and said, “I can't find any good science fair topics.”

So I asked, “What have you liked the most in science this year.”

“I liked when we talked about placebos."

“What did you like about placebos?”

“It's pretty cool how some people get cured just because they believe they are taking medicine, even if they are taking fake pills.”

Mark couldn't do a science project where he gives people real and fake medicine. So I asked, “What else did you like about it.”

“You shouldn't have told us that you use the placebo effect to help us do better on tests. Now, no one believes you when you tell us we're going to do well...

"...Does telling kids they will do well on a test really help them do better?”


Free Science Fair Topics--Placebo Effect


Do confident students do better on tests?




Or are good students just more confident?




This gave me a great idea, “You know Mark, I’ve always believed that teachers can help students do well just by boosting their confidence. But I don’t really know for sure....

"...Do you want to do a science project to find out?”

“Yeah, that would be great.”

So Mark and I talked for about five minutes, and came up with a great science project.

He created two memory tests for kids.

  • 20 Numbers.
  • 20 Words.

He visited each homeroom in his grade during study hall. All of the classes took both tests.

Then Mark went home and scored the tests.

A week later, he went back to each homeroom, and said:

"Thank you for helping me with my science fair project, but...

"...You did great-- amazingly well-- on the word (or number) test, but you did horribly on the number (or word) test. So I need you to take the test again, to check my results."

Then he graded the tests again. His hypothesis was that the kids who were told they did well on the word test would see their word grade improve while their number grade would fall, and vice versa.

This was a great science fair project idea. (His results were amazing; Mark created one of the best experimental models of math anxiety I've ever seen.) You can do it yourself if you want to, but...

...there are lots of free science project ideas hiding in your brain right now.

They want to come out and play.

They will, if you know how to ask.

Talk with a parent or a teacher, or just talk to yourself. You CAN come up with your own science fair topics.

Return from Science fair topics -- Placebo Effect to Science Fair Project Ideas.


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