Statistical Enquiry Study on Virtual Islands

The Islands is a free, online, virtual human population that can be used for simulating scientific and social research and data investigations.  Students will be given the opportunity to understand and apply Statistics in meaningful way.

The Island & An Islander

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Throughout the continuous use of the Islands, it has been made evident that it is, in general, easier and more convenient than actually going out and testing people, as majority of the tests involve things that are hard for a high school student to do. It’s a great educational resource when it comes to collecting and analyzing data. Working on the Islands has not only furthered my comprehension of statistics, but made me develop a much deeper understanding of technology and different kinds of possible tests; it widened the scope of possibility that I saw. The projects developed my analytical and critical skills, and strengthened my understanding of how data is collected and observed by statistical means. One of the many projects in which the islands were used was our statistical study of human physicality; the study on whether age affects the white blood cell count in humans, and therefore their immunity. It was made simple for the group to collectively gather data and analyse it due to the fact that the Island’s infrastructure is made to do just that. One must simply select the individual they wish to test/record data on, and ask their consent. The data we collected was the white blood cell count per age group (all results in the proper format x10^9).  We theorized that the younger age groups would have more immunity and wbc count, based on other theories relating breast milk in giving children better immunity. Thanks to the specific nature of the results we gathered, and the usefulness of the islands itself, the study concluded with high standing results; we concluded that based on our results, our theory had some backing, and is a very valid possibility. However, there are always negatives; islanders seem to lie about their information or give sarcastic remarks when they are interviewed- this comes from the fact that it tries to be as realistic as possible. Once a few peers asked, “Do you have any deficiency?”, and the reply they received was, “Doesn’t everybody have a deficiency?”. So it was impossible to receive that small piece of information that was relevant to the study. Furthermore, it is difficult to grasp and understand the purpose of creating an Islander that declines consent. Based on our knowledge, the entire purpose of the islands is to obtain information from people that won’t decline consent because real people have the right to withhold information by saying no. Overall, I would like to conclude by saying that the Islands would be an extremely useful resource if- and only if- the issue of lying can be either turned on or off, and the consent was mandatory. Should this be the case, it could be used for a vast amount of research, on the field of Science , Physiology, and Psychology delving into the complex situations where something like this would be preferable.

We would like to express our gratitude towards Dr. James Baglin, BAppSc (Psych – Hons), PhD , Lecturer, Statistics, School of Science, Mathematical Sciences, RMIT University, Australia for providing us with the access to explore the Virtual Islands . Your continuous support and valuable feedback is greatly appreciated.

Sample Result:

  • Relation to scientific background +Conclusion

Over all, all our three graphs show that the younger a person is the higher his or her white blood cells count is and vice versa. Also, the highest results average was 10.82 x10^9L for the age group of 10-20 and the lowest was 6.76 x 10^9L for the age group 40-50 which again shows that younger people have higher WBC.

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Amaar (Grade 12) & Julia ( Grade 10)

Effect of video games on human body

Hey all of you gamers out there! Do you ever feel a rush of adrenaline and a sense of intensity whenever you play video games? Why do we feel so immersed and focused whenever we play video games. That is just the question we are yet to answer.

To find the truth behind this sensation, the High School Science Club set out and begun a research experiment on different age groups,  ranging from high schoolers (16-18 years old) and adults (50-55 years). Each volunteer was asked to play two different games which had varying genres meant to have different levels of focus and skill needed. Each volunteer had their heart rate, blood pressure and pain tolerance measured before, during, and after playing to see if playing video games really did have an effect on the human body. Blood pressure and heart rate were monitored using a digital monitor tied on the wrist. Pain tolerance was measured by pricking a pin several times on their arm and recording the counts they sensed. The measurements were compared to their resting state observations.

Line graphs were plotted for all the parameters to have a comparative insight of the variations. Some sample graphs have been shown herewith. The data evidently represented that all the tested parameters show higher variations during the test conditions as compared to the resting stage (control condition). Also, it was clearly noticed that volunteers in the teens group showed higher fluctuations in their heart rate and blood pressure while the older volunteers tend to have more stability in their basic parameters. This may also be attributed to the varying interest levels in people of different age groups.

Though the data was divergent for different volunteers, making it inappropriate to quantify the results as an average effect of video games. But overall trend in the data suggests, that there is a significant fluctuation in your heart rate and blood pressure along with a decrease in your pain sensitivity while playing video games.  Even though your body isn’t actually moving when you play video games, adrenal medulla gland releases hormones and adrenaline due to the amount of focus paid to the game. Some effects are also visible like dilation of pupils to enhance focus for the game.

It can be concluded that a prolonged use of such games, may result in severe complications. These blood pressure variations may be mild for the moment but may have a long term effect on the body. So, we must advise young generations to use these activities only for leisure rather than an addictive routine. 

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Study conducted by: Layan Salameh (Gr11), John Michael Magallanes (Gr10), Marcel Improta (Gr10) and Sobaan Basharat (Gr10)

Supervisor: Mrs. Neha Pachisia

Teeth Whitening Wonders – Part 2!

Revolutionary Science in the Palm of our Hands

Based on the results of the previous experiment conducted on seashells, the High School Science Club has decided to proceed and conduct its newest experiment. Thanks to the contributions of a few dentists however, we were able to conduct our experiment on real human teeth. The aim of this experiment, just like its precedent, is to discover which chemical is most effective in teeth whitening. Interestingly, these experiments supported the results obtained by the earlier experiment. Again, tea was found to be the strongest staining agent whose stains were most difficult to remove. Amongst the toothpastes, Signal again has proven to be the most powerful whitening agent, as the results were much better visibly compared to the other toothpastes (Colgate and Crest). Due to limited teeth samples however, we were not able to continue the study with natural remedies (banana peel and baking soda + lemon), which were found to be as equally effective as toothpaste. Nonetheless, we believe that these results would also have been replicated, like the remaining others. This experiment also supports and validates the use of seashells in teeth-related experiments since they produce the same results. In a nutshell, our experiment concluded in a huge success, since our expectations and theories were in fact reality.

Roba El-Zibaoui, Ahd Abdelhadi, Yara Sami.

Edited and Reviewed by Noor Ra’fat (Layout Editor)

J’aime La France!

The French department is proud to declare the 12th of March as a very special day to all ISG-Dammam Global language devotees.  Such a day was only wonderful by the help of Mrs. Rasha Chaarawi, Mrs. Diana Breich and I, Mrs. Nadine Ghanem, as well as the support of our wonderful coordinator Mrs. Safaa Ibrahim.

In the words of the french-speaking Leopards: “Je suis petit c’est vrai mais je sais parler francais , j’aime maman – papa ma famille et mon ecole ISG aussi , ecoutez notre chanson”

“I am young, that’s true, but I can speak French. I love Mom, Dad, my family, and my school ISG as well. Listen to our song.”

We started our program by the song “Enfant de Tous Pays” – “Children from All Countries”, presented by the elementary students. This song portrayed a little message, telling everyone how it is a beautiful thing to love others.
Four groups of students in the French day exist: Music, Dance, and Games. These students compete through riddles (educational games) in French regarding the French language and culture. Students from various countries and ethnicities participated in this event solely for the purpose of learning a new yet beautiful language, “French”. It is a marvelous thing to encourage students to learn a new language such as French and we, the Global Language department, promise you with a new surprise very soon.

DAS Speech Contest Winners

When the Leopards Speak, They Roar

Suddenly, everything went quite. I could see faces of excitement and joy, I could see bliss shining through, I could see happiness in its purest form. Yet, it was as if the whole world had been set to mute. I bounced out of my chair and darted towards the stage, grinning from ear to ear. They had just announced my name as the 3rd place winner, and it was my time to claim the prize. Standing on that stage and looking around at all the excitement that upheld the room, with my classmates and teachers out of their seats clapping, I began to wonder how it was all worth it. The hard work, the stress, the practicing, the memorization, they all melted away as I took one glance at my certificate, and almost instantly I knew, I could never be happier. But the thrill hadn’t ended just yet, for as I descended from the stage, they announced the 2nd place winner, another leopard, Noor Hazem! Several went around telling us how we’ve made the leopards proud, but truth be told, we were the ones who were proud to represent our first home. So to Nada Ibrahim, Bana Salim, Imy Shenouda, Yara Khalil, and Noor Hazem, thank you guys for making this day, one of the greatest days of my existence. With their powerful delivery of speeches, I couldn’t help but shiver. And yet again with their help, the leopards have soared so high. For as long as the leopards shall live, they will conquer, master, prosper. “Congratulations on winning!” they said, to which I smiled and replied: “we are all winners today.”

-Noor Ra’fat (3rd Place Winner) 

GE Innovation Center Field Trip

This past week, two different trips of potential Leopard Engineers and Designers left home base to visit the General Electric Innovation Center located on the campus of KFUPM. Ms. Mashael and Mr. Abdulrahman met our group and proceeded to give us a very informative tour of the history of GE in KSA and also a glimpse of the future of GE here in Saudi.
The center is the home of many planning engineers and training simulators. We talked to an engineer working on new materials to be introduced into turbines that can withstand even higher temperatures so that GE can squeeze out even more efficiency from the fuels that are used. KSA has lots of energy resources, but these resources must be preserved as KSA uses ever more for their growing population.

It also houses a laboratory that students can “check out” to actually create projects that they are working on in school or at home. The lab is equipped with 3D printers and AutoCad in order to produce the projects that were created by the students themselves. This idea really caught the attention of our budding engineers and designers!
We really enjoyed the visit and hope to bring more students to the center in the coming days.

Leopards in Thailand

It is Dreams, not Distance, That Define How Far We Explore

A group of students from ISG-Dammam set off on a trip miles away from home, not knowing that they were about to undergo one of the greatest experiences of their lives; Thailand. While other students on different trips were taken to 5 star hotels and fancy, expensive restaurants, us, the Thai-Leopards, have seen it all. Scratches, bruises, bites, cuts, sickness, tears of fear, and most importantly, tears of hope.  Quotes such as “pushing through our limits” and “leaving our comfort zones” fail to describe how far we’ve gotten.

We battled raw nature face-to-face. Walking deep into the forest for hours, we saw different aspects of the wild life. Animals, plants, trees, fish, insects, you name it! We even did things such as crawling, swimming, and sliding into caves of different sizes and shapes. Each cave had a distinguishable aspect. Wet, slippery caves, caves that have long died, caves with bats, caves with rivers flowing in them. A cave that was so narrow, it triggered phobias inside some of us. Some of bursting in tears, others itching with curiosity. We were taught how to care for one another and how to help each other to overcome all obstacles, literally climbing mountains. We left nothing behind. Kayaking, Crazy Horse rock climbing, trekking, zip-lining, even riding elephants and pickup trucks!  Everything about it was as perfect as a mural in a museum.

When I was in Thailand, I learned so many great things. I learned that not all people are fortunate enough to have a sidewalk to walk on, or a wall to protect them. I learned how much of a pleasure it is to help others. I learned about different cultures, traditions, and morals. But most importantly, I only just discovered the value of the word “thank you”. On our way back from that beautiful place, the only thing my mind kept wondering was how much I was going to miss this green paradise once I’m back in Saudi.

-Mihad Abdulrahman

Edited and Reviewed by Noor Ra’fat (Layout Editor)