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8th Grade Science

The 8th grade research project is an opportunity for students to understand the role and importance of research in our world and apply the scientific method to a topic of their choice.


Students work in small groups and started by developing a research question with the guidance of Honors Research Students. Groups then created a procedure of their own design, had it approved by an Institutional Review Board, and independently carried out data collection to help answer their question. 

Below you can explore project abstracts, pdf posters, and video introductions from each group.


Lara M.

Maya N-G.

Simone S.

How has the pandemic affected the eating and sleeping habits of teenagers?

We did research to determine how the pandemic has affected sleeping and eating habits of teenagers. From that data, we concluded that teenagers have gotten less sleep and eaten less nutritious food during the coronavirus. We sent out a survey to middle and high schoolers asking about their eating and sleeping habits from before the Covid-19 pandemic and during it to observe changes in habits. When we received the results back from the survey we found that many students talked about how there has been an increase in snacking and a decrease in full meals. We also saw a common theme of students going to bed later.

Victoria P.

Stella S.

Eloise S.

How does weather affect students’ mood and productivity?

We did research to determine how weather impacted students’ moods and productivity levels and if it had a significant impact on those two aspects of the student. By using a Google Form, we were able to determine if and how weather impacted students moods and productivity levels. From the data that we collected through a form, we were able to draw the conclusion that weather has a somewhat significant impact on students’ moods but not on their productivity levels. Students also felt that sunny weather made them feel more positive emotions and be more productive, while rain or clouds led them to feel neither positive or negative emotions and be less productive.

Georgia G.

Siena G.

Margalit S.

Effect of Elections on Eighth Grade Students’ Mental Health and Focus

We, as a group, were all affected greatly by the 2020-21 political climate in the United States, decreasing our focus, and increasing their stress. As a result, we were curious to see if our peers had a similar experience. This led us to survey eighth-graders about their stress and focus during the election compared to an average day, asking questions ranging from their levels of stress and focus to a student’s political involvement. Asking these deeper questions enabled us to look further into the correlation between political involvement and stress, even though we ended up focusing less on this aspect of our results. Our group predicted that the 2020 political circumstances would make the stress of students spike, and that prediction was correct.

Colette K.

Amelia R.

Ophelia S.

Talise S.

How have the shopping habits of teenage girls changed while in quarantine?

We were curious about the shopping habits of teenagers (specifically ones in the Marlborough community) and how they might have changed because of the pandemic. We made a survey available to the school that had questions pertaining to hours spent shopping, family income, and the type of shopping participants did/are doing. We discovered that the time spent shopping, on average, has increased and that there is a correlation between how much the pandemic impacted participants’ families’ incomes and how much time the participants spent shopping.

Fernie K.

Georgia M.

Libby P.

What is the most effective way to make connections during a pandemic?

We wanted to figure out how people are making connections when we cannot see each other in person. We sent out a google form asking questions that had to do with everything from apps people use, to their experiences seeing people in person. From the data we gathered, it is evident that the most popular ways to make connections are all apps that are made for having conversations or communicating with people. This would make sense since communication is the key to making connections, whether those are face-to-face or through a computer.

Anabel A.

Chloe L.

Ellie G.

How has Distanced Learning Affected Academic and Social 
Engagement among Marlborough 8th and 9th Grade Extroverts, Introverts, and Ambiverts?

We did research to determine how the pandemic has affected the sleeping habits of students in the 8th grade age range. The purpose of our project was to be able to analyze how teens sleeping habits have affected their school work due to the pandemic. In order to gain this data we drafted our research question, presented it to the IRB panel, revised our survey questions, sent our survey out to participants, and finally we analyzed the data that we collected from our two surveys. Our results told us that although motivation levels have decreased, the amount of sleep students are getting has not affected their academic performance. In conclusion, through our research process and data collection, we found that 8th and 9th graders academic execution has not been affected by the changes in sleep habits due to the pandemic.

India W

Jade C.

How has Distanced Learning Affected Academic and Social 
Engagement among Marlborough 8th and 9th Grade Extroverts, Introverts, and Ambiverts?

We distributed a survey to determine if extroversion, introversion, and ambiversion has affected academic and social success during online learning. We found that most people’s grades either slightly decreased or were not affected. We found that all personality types had mostly decreased in energy levels. Lastly we asked how connected students feel to their friends during lockdown and found that mostly all students felt less or no change in connection to friends. Our hypothesis mainly matched our data that all personality types would decrease or have no change in energy, connection, and grades except a few increases such as an introverts’ energy levels. 

Lauren V.

Logan D.

Caitlyn O.

“How has quarantine affected teenagers’ social satisfaction”

Changes in friendships, amount of interaction, and the general happiness of teens were all topics that we wanted to discuss in our research project, so we crafted the question “How has quarantine affect teenagers' social satisfaction?” We sent out a survey that asked a series of questions to help us find out more about how teens lives were before and during the pandemic. The prediction was that overall, happiness levels would drop, and the need for interaction would go up. After comparing the results, we realized how incorrect our original hypothesis was. We came to the conclusion that we were correct in assuming that the happiness of teens would drop, but we overestimated the effect quarantine would have.

Riley R.

Kaila E.

Sophie M.

How does race affect a person’s political views in the lower school at Marlborough School?

We released a survey to the entire lower school at Marlborough, which included grades 7-9. The politically charged atmosphere of 2020 and 2021 provided a solid motivator for our research question. This survey asked people to outline their stance on relevant political issues as well as disclosing their race. From there, we correlated certain races with repeating answers and observed patterns throughout the survey. Our results mostly lined up with our original hypothesis that most participants would respond democratically considering our demographic and geography. Out of our 27 respondents, 23 identified as a Democrat while 2 responded as an Independent and 2 responded as a Republican. Out of all 15 respondents who were White, 12 were Democrats, one was an Independent, and two were Republicans. There was also one Independent out of the three Asian participants we had.

Eden F.

Miranda HJ.

Taryn A.

Mia C.

How Marlborough Middle Schoolers’ Perception of What Self Care Is Has Changed Over the Course of Quarantine?

When conducting public background research on our research question, we discovered the effects of online schooling on students’ mental health. Websites suggested that self-care becomes more important as anxiety-inducing events over quarantine unfold. The same results appeared after gaining data from Marlborough middle schoolers. For example, the majority of our participants experienced an increase in stress levels since the start of the pandemic and found an increase in the need to practice self-care. This supports how the variables of “before” and “after quarantine” shifted students’ perception of self-care.

Lily R.

Penelope P.

Ava B.

How has the Covid-19 Pandemic Affected Shopping?

We focused on how the pandemic affected shopping. On the google form, we first asked middle schoolers, high schoolers and adults specific questions about their shopping habits. These questions included frequency of shopping before and after the pandemic, online vs in person shopping, and background information questions. We asked 6 short answer questions, 4 multiple choice, and 8 select all that apply types of questions. We collected data from it and made pie charts to make our information clear. We then compared the before and during for each age group online and in-person to write our results. In the end, our hypothesis was correct, and we found that online shopping has become more popular.

Audrey P.

Julia G.

Sports during the Covid-19 Pandemic: How has the pandemic  impacted middle school team sports vs. individual sports in LA?

We focused on middle school sports in the LA area and how they have been impacted by the pandemic as well as diving deeper into how teams/players have been adapting and how sports differ in their response. We created two surveys, one for pre-pandemic responses, and one for pandemic responses. We later compared the data from each group in order to directly see the impact of the pandemic in terms of practices and the enjoyment of playing sports. Despite only having around 5 responses for individual sports, we were still able to come up with a response. We saw that the average number of practices for team sports increased during the pandemic while individual practices did not. Similarly, team sports were playing games as well as tournaments while none of our individual sports had continued playing. However, team sports had much more restrictions during practices than our small sample of individual sports.

Millie R.

Charlie Z.

Bella O.

How has remote learning due to the pandemic affected the sleep habits of students?

We did research to determine if the hours of sleep that students received changed during the pandemic due to being online. That data provided a wide range of results and that varied from grade to grade. We created a 14 question survey recording the hours of sleep gotten pre and post-pandemic, the number of hours spent on devices pre and post-pandemic, and other questions about transportation that would affect the hours of sleep a student got. We received 30 responses from students at Marlborough. Although the data was different from grade to grade the hours of sleep decreased for grades 7 & 10 and increased for grades 8,9,11,12 and the hours of screen time increased for every grade.

Zoë R.

Isabel W.

Phoebe L.

Sasha B.

How does social media influence middle school girls’ self-esteem?

We researched how social media affects middle school girls self esteem, and how it plays a role in how they see themselves. We asked our participants specific questions that helped us gauge how high their self esteem is, their views on themselves, and their mental health. After getting our results we identified the difference between the responses of people with and without social media, which led us to see that the people without social media had more positive responses than people with social media. Our results also helped us identify that people with social media have a lower self esteem than people without social media. We came to the conclusion that social media has a negative effect on middle school girl’s self esteem and mental health. 

Gabi A.

Riley Y.

Nola R.

Mia W.

Influences of Media on the Teenage Political Perspective

We researched to see how impactful outside sources were on the political minds of teenagers. There was a severe lack of initial research on our exact question with the majority talking about political involvement in general and not mentioning the effects of social media. We created a survey after gathering data from articles, the survey was sent to all ages. Mainly focusing on the impacts of Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, and Snapchat, we urged fellow Marlborough attendees to rate their agreement to questions on a scale of 1-10, then to explain their choices. 22 students responded to the 13 questions. Our research concluded that rather than social media housing the largest influence, family views carried the largest weight.

Sabrina G.

Mattie E.

Elle R.

What is the effect of distance learning on 7th and 8th grade student academic performance?

We wanted to see if the online learning format had a positive, negative or neutral impact on student performance on tests. For our research, we created two surveys, one for teachers and one for students in the 7th and 8th grades at Marlborough School. The teacher survey collected data based on how the teachers were teaching the material and grading the assessments. The student survey collected data based on how students were learning and understanding the material that was being taught in class, and how that impacted their performance on assessments. We then took that data and looked at the results to see what difficulties students faced, as well as how the teachers were adjusting their lesson plans and tests based on those difficulties. After looking at the data, we found that distance learning had a positive effect on student performance, but the test formats had been changed, such as having the tests be open note and no time limit, so the tests were not at the same level of difficulty as the assessments prior to online learning.

Georgia Z.

Dinah Y.

Zoe G.

The Effects of Mass Shootings on Voter Decisions

We did research to determine if people’s voting habits correlated to gun violence in specific counties. From that data we hypothesized that voters would become supportive of stricter gun laws if they experienced gun violence, and, therefore, they would be more likely to vote democratic. Then we looked at voting maps by counties to see the specific percent change from one party to another that the counties we researched had in 2016 to 2020. After we put the data into graphs we found that our data did support our hypothesis; places that experienced gun violence did indeed become more democratic from 2016 to 2020 than places that did not experience the shootings.

Rachel R.

Francesca L.

Shaye L.

How has COVID-19 impacted Marlborough students’ and teachers' shopping purchases and habits?

We researched to find out more information about Marlborough students and teachers’ purchases and shopping habits before and during the lockdown due to Covid-19. We found our data through a Google Form, in which we asked a multitude of questions to the Marlborough community (of different grades and ages). We divided our survey into sections including Basic Information, Prior to Covid-19, During Covid-19, and Close Proximity Shopping to make our survey more organized. After gathering the results of the survey, we determined that Marlborough community members’ personal spending had decreased since Lockdown began. We attributed this drop in purchases to lack of going to restaurants or malls, saving money, and following the CDC’s guidelines of staying home and staying safe, as not to spread the virus. Although people's personal spending has decreased extremely, the percent of our participants making large purchases has only decreased by 3.57% from before Covid to during Covid.

Jada R.

Olivia P.

Ivy S.

How has the pandemic affected the amount of sleep you get each night, and energy levels during the day?

We started our project with the goal of answering this question, did they closure of schools during the pandemic affect the amount of sleep students get at night, and their energy levels during the day. In order to answer this question we first cultivated questions that were relevant to our topic, and decided on our control. Pre VS Post pandemic. We then created a google form which included our question, and sent it out to Marlborough students. Based on our research, we came to the conclusion that students’ amount of sleep has decreased, and their energy levels during the day have stayed relatively the same.

Lilly S.

Jaci K.

Emma Z.

Eating Habits During the Pandemic/Quarantine

Our research project was based on eating habits during the pandemic. Before covid started, many students had set times for their meals and had a snack at break and after school. Our goal was to find out more about how our participant’s eating habits have changed because food is much more attainable. We found this information out by asking a series of questions on a survey that was sent out. Our research proved that the amount people eat has increased and the regularity in which they eat has also changed. What we learned overall is that the eating habits of students have been affected by this change in our daily life, quarantine.

Caroline C.

Iara N.

Libby D.

How Does the Usage of Social Media Affect Teenager’s Moods?

We did research to determine whether or not social media impacts the mood of teenagers. We sent out a form to students who do and do not have social media that had a variety of questions about our topic. Eventually, we decided to zone in specifically on social media’s effect on self-esteem. We found a few differences between students who had social media, and those who didn’t. For example, one of these differences includes higher or equal self-esteem in those without social media in comparison to those with social media. This was enough to make a claim in support of our research question, however not enough to solidify our hypothesis-- that social media lowers a person's self-esteem, specifically in middle and high school girls.

Kailyn S.

Scarlett H.

Tatum Z.

How the Pandemic Affects Students’ Motivation

Our research project was made to see if the pandemic had affected young minds’ motivation. To see if this statement is true, we gathered as many participants as we could from the Marlborough community to ask them a few questions about their habits in day-to-day life in the pandemic.

Tatum L.

Victoria B.

Bea W.

How does the option of having cameras off affect the class participation levels of students?

We studied how whether student cameras on or off affect the number of times students speak in class. We created a survey for teachers to conduct during classes. We asked them about the number of students with their cameras on and off, the number of times students with cameras on or off spoke, and the engagement level of classes. We also asked teachers whether or not they asked students to keep their cameras on or off. Our responses did not provide an adequate amount of data, however our experiment provides a baseline for further research from which a conclusion may be drawn.

Kate K.

Isabel M.

Luna M.

How does Boredom Affect Eating Habits during the Pandemic?

We researched how boredom in the Covid pandemic can affect students' eating habits by asking the question, “How does boredom affect eating habits during the pandemic?” To gather responses, we sent out a survey to each grade asking the same questions to see if boredom can change throughout grade or per person. After analyzing the data that we collected from our survey, we gathered that on average, most people strongly agreed that they were more bored during the pandemic and that they used food to cope with boredom. With all of the responses, we can conclude that boredom does correlate to people snacking more in the pandemic.

Audrey L.

Nirel D.

Channing B.

How has the extra screen time from online classes affected 8th graders’ sleep schedules?

We researched to determine if screen time could negatively affect the number of sleep students get. We predicted that due to extra online activities, students would get less sleep than they did before the pandemic. We made a google form for 8th graders that asked about how long students are on electronics and if they go to sleep at a different time than before quarantine. We collected 22 responses and averaged the quantitative data for graphs that compare life before and during quarantine. After collecting data, we found that students are not losing a noticeable amount of sleep.

Mischa P.

Tate C.

Elizabeth L.

How do girls’ confidence and view of themselves correlate with the amount of time they spend on social media per week?

We did research to determine how girls' confidence and their view of themselves correlates with the amount of time they spend on social media. We did research and found that women can compare themselves to friends and get negative comments that can harm their body image, and posting selfies can lead to being sexualized. We used our research to come up with a collection of survey questions, then we sent out the survey to the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. From the survey responses, we analyzed that overall, more people were on Instagram (which had the most amount of people on it) were more confident rather than less.

Eva F.

Dolores Y.

Tessa M.

How do personal happiness or contentment levels compare between people with differing levels of social interaction outside of the people you live with?

We directed our research towards learning ways to measure mood and happiness for our study. Then, we took our knowledge from said research to create a survey that determined mood and how many people one sees outside of their household. Next, we administered the survey to students, ages 13-18. We took their responses and transferred them to numerical values to determine the happiness levels of each participant. Then, we created visual representations that led to the conclusion that there is no correlation between happiness levels and the number of people one sees outside of their household.

Isabelle F.

Emma M.

Maya CV.

How does having a household member who is highly susceptible to COVID-19 affect the type of grocery shopping that people do?

We researched to learn more about possible motives for shopping in-person or online during the pandemic. From those articles, we analyzed that different motives could affect shopping during the pandemic. We created and sent out a survey that asked about people’s shopping habits, and if they had a household member with high susceptibility to COVID, to the Marlborough staculty, later sending out surveys to parents we knew, as we did not have enough data then. We ended up with 40 responses and found that our data didn't support our hypothesis, and actually showed the opposite of what we expected.

Emma W.

Lily S.

Hana B.

How COVID Influenced Shopping Habits

We know that Covid sparked a “small business revolution”, but we wanted to see if data actually supported that claim. So we asked the Marlborough community to answer a series of questions that gave us data ranging from how often they shopped to where they shopped and why. There were then two very specific questions that detailed the exact reasons why people would shop more at large corporations than small businesses or vice versa. Through this process, we were able to determine that more people began shopping at smaller businesses to both support them through the pandemic and to find unique items that aren’t mass-produced.

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