Thursday, February 19, 2015

Are the Police After You?

Robyn's turn for the Science Fair. Remember, two projects this year.

Robyn went a completely different route for her project. She experimented in the social sciences, checking out people's opinions and reactions to a survey.

Her idea partly came from me. We watch people run red lights (usually on a turn signal) and speed every day. Why do they break the law? Are they not worried about the fines? Do they think they won't get caught? Are there certain circumstances when they feel justified?

Robyn (with the help of Dad--he totally helped this time!!) put together an online survey with her questions. She had a lot of stuff on there, from what fine prices you would give certain infractions, to your favorite soda.

Her hypothesis was that people would be willing to pay higher fines for driving while intoxicated and texting while driving. She also figured people would break the law when they thought they had an emergency.

She worked really hard on her board. I was really proud of all her efforts. Looking good the day of the science fair.

Close up on my beautiful Robyn.

In case you are wondering what she found out, here are some of her findings:

* People think fines should be lower than what they are currently.
* People are willing to pay higher fines for drinking while intoxicated and texting while driving, but still not as high as the current fines.
* People are more likely to break the law if they feel it is an emergency.
* People are more willing to break the law if a family member is sick than when THEY are sick.
* Most people agree that fines should be higher in construction zones.
* Interestingly, people did classify texting while driving, speeding, and running red lights as higher offences, yet we still see that happen every day. We concluded that people believe they won't be caught, but they will be unpleasantly surprised by the fine costs.

Other interesting data:

* We had 180 people take the survey. (Thank you FB and all those that passed the survey along.)
* Most survey takers were from Utah, but we had other states as well, like CA, HI, ID, WA, NY, OR, AK, CO, IL, NV, and WV. (Pretty cool huh?)
* We did some fun correlations with soda. If you drink Orange soda, you are less likely to break the law, while Pepsi drinkers are the most likely to ignore those silly traffic rules.
* When asked about pricing fines, Dr. Pepper drinkers chose higher fine costs, while Mountain Dew drinkers were more frugal.
* Dr. Pepper was our most popular soda, but it came in second to NON-soda drinkers. (Myself included.)
* The highest fine median (awarded to driving while intoxicated) was $800. The actual fine is $1420!
* We had to use the median instead of the average because someone actually said the fine should be $10,000. (Probably a Dr. Pepper drinker.)

It was a very fun project and Robyn won at the school level. She was very excited.

That meant we got to go to district. I'm not sure if I ever finished up about June, but she did not advance this year, and that was just as well. It would have been awkward to have the girls competing at district. (Also, the night could be about Robyn.)

We went and set up again.

Although June wasn't there, I knew all the girls from her class, including Hannah, who carpooled with us. I took a picture of the gals together. (I know Robyn is shorter than everyone, but I promise she isn't a complete midget. She bent down to make sure she wasn't blocking anyone, which is ironic, since she wasn't blocking anyone, and it made her look immensely shorter.)

We sat with Hannah for the awards ceremony. Selfie time!

They went through the same process as last time. Honorable mentions first. Robyn was not one of them. Next up...all the people who would move on to the next level.
Hannah made it. (Good job Hannah!!)

Robyn, sadly, was not a finalist. Honestly, I was really surprised. Her project was very unique and I thought much better than some of the people who moved on. (Yes, I know I am biased.) But then I was really surprised that she didn't even get an Honorable Mention. Sometimes that is just how it goes. I know she was disappointed, but learning to lose gracefully is also an important life skill.

We came home and ate ice cream bars. Seemed like a good way to end the evening. I think she did an amazing job, and I am proud of her no matter how far she made it. Maybe a wise man I know said it best,

"Science is not about awards. Science is about having fun."    -Tyler Cazier

1 comment:

meganmushrat said...

Ah those science fair projects. I can remember trying to do one on planaria. I was told if I put a bit of meat in a pond, that planaria would come to eat it and I would be able to catch them. Obviously no planaria lived in that pond, or they weren't hungry, so all I had for the science fair was the placard I had made - with nothing to exhibit. Needless to say, I didn't do very well . . .