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Mindset study: scientists become subjects

November 4, 2010

Today I took a break from the joys of being a new parent to go into school to keep our Mindset Study Project moving along. This was our third official meeting with the researchers, and we had a huge turnout again (30 students!).

In today’s meeting, my colleague A, began by describing the purpose of a grant proposal to the kids, and we outlined how we envision the actual process of writing the grant during the next month to work. We’ve set up a survey in google doc to match students up according to their free periods, and then will have them work on the document collaboratively via gdocs.

For the second part of the meeting, we had our students actually serve as research subjects, but administering an experiment designed to see how material versus experiential purchases affect happiness. The experiment was super easy to carry out via a survey on google docs, I was able to turn the data around in hours for kids to analyze, and the results confirmed what we’d read in the published study.

You can see more details of the study here.

More and more, I am thinking that this is going to be one of the most valuable things I’ve done as a science teacher for getting kids to experience science first-hand.

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