I need suggestions for a research project

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j.bells
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I need suggestions for a research project

Postby j.bells » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:56 pm UTC

In order to be in the math/science honors program at my school (it doesn't really change anything about my classes, it's basically just something to have to look nice on my transcript), I need to do "rigorous" research project.
I'm a sophomore currently, and going to be a junior. The only branch of science I'm really familiar with is biology (I took earth/space science last year, but it was a complete joke.) so I was looking to do something in that field, because it would be easier than something in chem or physics considering I'd know what I'm doing.
Particularly botany, seeing as growing plants seems easier than working with animals and requires the least amount of equipment.
I was reading stuff on plant cloning, grafting, etc, and it sounds pretty cool, but I can't think of any actual experiments to conduct.
Does anyone have any suggestions?

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hintss
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby hintss » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:12 am UTC

my mom says that back when she worked in a lab that handled plants, her team grafted tomatoes to potatoes, and both tasted terrible. try that...

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Omegaton
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby Omegaton » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:35 am UTC

So this research project involves having to do an experiment?

A classical experiment on plants is "How does ______ affect the growth rate of ______ plants?" Graph and analyze data accordingly.

As far as plant cloning, I'll admit I don't culture plants but I think you have to watch out to make sure the plants don't get infected. I am aware of someone who uses plant cloning techniques scientifically and she has to make her systems sterile to prevent infection. Of course, YMMV, especially depending on species you use and cloning technique.

Grafts are another thing where you may run into problems. The plant could get infected or you could simply graft the plant poorly or incorrectly due to inexperience. Again, I don't know anything about grafting, but there's the possibility of everything from human error to unforeseen difficulties.

And remember, to be rigorous you're probably going to need to hit sample sizes of about 30. If you have a lot of failed plants that'll cut down your sample size.

I would pick a topic that is fairly easy, will allow you to have high sample sizes, and has the least room for error. Why? Because experiments can fail, and they can do so for various reasons. Not having the time or resources to do a pilot study to work out the kinks in your procedure and learn what issues can arise can make or break experiments.

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tastelikecoke
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby tastelikecoke » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:32 pm UTC

I will never share my ideas never! (bad person pouting)

but I'm serious about that. Our science school includes puking 3 research proposals with level up points if any of them are worthy. The problem is it needs to be a freshly baked new idea, which is hard to come by on people without rigorous knowledge. But this probably don't require freshly baked new ideas, I think? If that's the case I will galdly help too.

EDIT: fill in the blanks!! "How does softdrinks affect the growth rate of mongo plants?"

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the tree
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby the tree » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

Omegaton wrote:I would pick a topic that is fairly easy, will allow you to have high sample sizes, and has the least room for error. Why? Because experiments can fail, and they can do so for various reasons. Not having the time or resources to do a pilot study to work out the kinks in your procedure and learn what issues can arise can make or break experiments.
Coping well with the odd failure can be a good demonstration of your data handling abilities. Whether or not you can justify ommitting outliers is a good one, and discussing whether your results are statisically significant.

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hintss
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby hintss » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:22 pm UTC

jhoemiller wrote:Hi! You may try branching flowers... Just cut a flower stem and attach it to a cut branch/stem of a flower... Then the result would be a combination of both flowers. You'll be amazed, as well as your teacher. :)

isn't that grafting?

anyway, just test the ability of different plant branches to be cloned.

PossibleSloth
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby PossibleSloth » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:54 am UTC

hintss wrote:my mom says that back when she worked in a lab that handled plants, her team grafted tomatoes to potatoes, and both tasted terrible. try that...

One word: Tomacco.

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Omegaton
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby Omegaton » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:32 am UTC

the tree wrote:
Omegaton wrote:I would pick a topic that is fairly easy, will allow you to have high sample sizes, and has the least room for error. Why? Because experiments can fail, and they can do so for various reasons. Not having the time or resources to do a pilot study to work out the kinks in your procedure and learn what issues can arise can make or break experiments.
Coping well with the odd failure can be a good demonstration of your data handling abilities. Whether or not you can justify ommitting outliers is a good one, and discussing whether your results are statisically significant.

I'm not talking about omitting outliers, I'm talking about potentially failed experiments.

magriayan
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Re: I need suggestions for a research project

Postby magriayan » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:13 pm UTC

Just one more idea.. You may try to turn to an institute or any establishment engaging in biology researches. If you want your work to be really serious cooperation with them may be useful and they may give you some ideas.


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