Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ending with Science

And with a big sigh of relief, I think that all of the most difficult tasks may be done. At least for a short respite, I hope.

After the domination of last week by birthday and wedding preparations, only one last assignment remained. The anticipated... the dreaded... Science Fair Project.

For one more year, I have dutifully and lovingly sat by the side of my child and spent hours together creating, researching, enacting and analyzing an experiment that utilizes the scientific method. This is my eighth year in a row of completing this painstaking process, and, I so dearly hope, my last one for a while!! Hopefully this wraps up the need to help create a three-section project board until I get grandchildren. If the girls want to keep pursuing scientific study in their future years, they are on their own.

I wasn't pleased that B's teacher dropped this all in our laps. They did zero work towards this at school, and she only sent home the assignment and info two days before Christmas vacation started. That meant that literally all our time was spoken for until Sunday. Sunday, we spent four hours on it and got all the experimental data. I still can't believe that we convinced 20 total strangers at Starbucks to sample different cups of chocolate pudding! Ah, desperation...

Then yesterday, B had a small cold so she stayed home and we did the rest of the write ups and analysis. We put in almost 10 more hours!!!

The results are kind of cool. The question was "Does the color of the food container affect the taste of the food?"  Short answer is YES. Subjects ate identical pudding out of different colored cups, but thought they were tasting something different each time. They rated each sample 1-5 for bitterness, sourness, sweetness, saltiness, and umami. And every person perceived differences between the sample. It's a cool bit of research, and we have a lot of data that could be analyzed in even more ways than we did yesterday.

But we did enough to get the assignment done, and that was the goal.

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