A Science Fair Project on Mice and Music
Science Fair Project Idea
Most kids have to participate in the school's Science Fair, but it can be really hard to come up with a good project idea that is original, not too hard, and interesting. Many kids do the typical erupting volcano, but you may be interested in something a little more complicated than baking soda and vinegar.
In high school, I knew that I wanted to use mice for my science fair project. I knew that it was the only way that I was going to be allowed to have mice as pets. So I hunted and searched and decided that I wanted to test the effects of caffeine on mice. My project didn't go so well; I lost (and later found) 2 of my 3 mice, which really messed up my results. Also, I didn't wait long enough to let the caffeine to get into their systems before running them through the maze. Either way, I got a good grade, but that's not the point.
The point is that you want to find a good science fair project that you will be successful at.
If you want to test mice through a maze, consider testing the effects of music on mice. It's actually a great experiment that has been tested over and over again in labs. Scientist want to see the effects of different music genres on mice so that they can correlate the findings towards children.
REMEMBER that if you decide to you live animals in your science fair project that no harm is imposed on the animals!
- Mice (depending on the number of music genres you want to test, that's how many mice you should get plus one)
- Music (1 CD per genre)
- Rodent Maze
- Notebook (to record findings)
This science fair project is a little different. First you want to decide what music genres you want to test. The more logical genres include country music, rap, classic rock, heavy metal, and classical music, but you can, also, test folk music, R&B, and soul music.
- You're going to want to make sure that you have time for this project, as it will take over one hour per mouse. You may want to test one mouse a day, but depending on your time frame, I'd suggest multiple mice a day, at least 2 or 3.
Tip 1 : Make sure that you have one full CD per music genre.
Tip 2: Always remember to keep one music genre per one mouse. You don't want to mix it up and play country for Mouse #1 on day 3, rap on day 5, and rock on day 10. It will mess up your findings. So stick with one mouse per music genre.
- You're going to test one mouse at a time. Take mouse #1 into a separate room from the other mice. Play the CD for at least one hour (this is why you want to have a full CD).
Note: Playing the radio will not work because there are commercials and interruptions between songs. You want a full, straight through hour of music.
- Once the hour is up, take the mouse to the rodent maze, and start him at the beginning.
- As soon as you release him, start the stopwatch. When the mouse has made it to the other end of the maze (you may want to have a few treats to reward him that he's reached the end), stop the stop watch and record the times.
- You'll want to do this with each mouse. Remember to keep one mouse as your constant mouse; this mouse won't get to listen to any music before he runs the maze.
- How Music Affects Kids
You may want to read this study about music and kids to incorporate in your finds.
You want to make sure to make careful notes about each mouse. Keeping track of which mouse is listening to which music genre.
- Note what CD the mouse is listening to. If it's compilation CD, what songs and artists are on the CD.
- Compare the times between each genre. Which mouse is the fastest or slowest at the maze? Is there a correlation with the music?
- You will want to remember that rodents, especially mice and rats, are quick learners, so you may want to change up the maze if need be.