Medical Science

One of the most exciting science fair topics is medical science. A project involving the human body will not only be unique and different from most other projects the judges are accustomed to, but it can also teach us important facts about how to stay healthy.

With that in mind, have a look at these two science project ideas in medicine and human biology.

 

Project #1:
Does Caffeine Affect Body Temperature?




Caffeine is probably the most pervasive legal drug in our society, and that makes it a fascinating science fair topic. These science fair topics will test the affect of caffeine on one of our major bodily functions: temperature regulation.

MATERIALS:

    • 10-20 participants
    • Coffee
    • Decaf coffee
    • Oral thermometer
    • 10-minute timer

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Come up with your hypothesis – do you think the caffeinated coffee will increase or decrease a person’s body temperature? Or no effect?

2. Perform the experiment on a weekend with relatives or close friends who will not mind you taking their temperature every 10 minutes or so.

3. Take the temperature of your first participant about 30 minutes before the drink the coffee. Re-check it every 10 minutes and write it down on your data sheet.

4. After 30 minutes, have them drink one cup of coffee. Write down whether it is decaf or not, but do not tell the subject.

5. Continue checking their temperature every 10 minutes for another hour and a half after they drink the coffee

6. Repeat with all of your subjects.

7. Once you have all the data, take the average for decaf and non-decaf at each 10-minute interval. Plot each of these on a graph with time on the x-axis (horizontal) and temperature on the y-axis (vertical)

8. You should now have a plot with two lines on it. Do the lines look the same, or different? Do the results match your hypothesis?

*TIP: For an added bonus, try to get a sample in which half the participants are regular caffeine drinkers, half are not. Then see if the effects of caffeine differ between one group or another. This will make your science fair projects especially interesting.

 

 

Project #2:
Age and Heart Rate




The heart is one of the most important organs in an animal’s body, and older people work very hard to keep their hearts healthy. In this science fair topic, we’ll examine whether older people have faster or slower hearts than younger people

MATERIALS:

    • 15-25 participants, different ages
    • stopwatch
    • stethoscope (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Come up with your hypothesis – do you think people’s hearts will be faster or slower as they age?

2. For each participant, write down his or her age.

3. Take the participant’s pulse either by listening with the stethoscope or by using your finger on their wrist or jugular vein (throat)

4. Count the number of beats that occur in 120 minutes and divide by two – this is done to ensure greater accuracy. Write down this number as “beats per minute”

5. Repeat for all participants

6. Plot your results on a graph with age on the x-axis and beats per minute on the y-axis. Is there a discernible slope to the line? Was your hypothesis confirmed?

*TIP: There are many ways that you can add to these science fair topics. You can test, for example, whether women and men are different in this respect. You can also compare people’s resting heart rate to their elevated heart rate by asking them to do jumping jacks and then taking their pulse again. Do older people’s hearts speed up more or less when they exercise?

 

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