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)

New Year, New Me?

We are all guilty of coming up with resolutions but never fulfilling them. It seems so easy for us to come up with them every year but it is an overpowering challenge to actually keep them up. You know some of us have the  “I’m going to join the gym” or “I will study more often this year” type of aims but spare a moment and think about those whose resolutions might be “I will work more to earn enough money for my family” or most importantly those who have “I will try my best  to get my family to safety”. 2016 was a year filled with mixed emotions: happiness, liveliness, love, pain, sorrow and anger. From Donald Trump winning the elections to David Bowie’s death to Leonardo Dicaprio winning an Oscar, this year was anything but uneventful. Though it was saddening to see all those wonderful stars pass away, we often forget about those in Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan and a lot of other countries suffering from war and poverty. It’s, even more, saddening that the world is well aware of those things but does so little to make a better life for those suffering. 16,000 Syrians were killed in 2016 but did the world care? No. We were too concerned about Kim Kardashian being robbed.

About 21,000 people die everyday, because of hunger but did we do anything about it? No. We were busy trashing the half-eaten McDonalds burger. Around 62 million girls were out of school in 2016, while we were busy complaining about waking up early in the morning.

Instead of coming up with resolutions that are hard to fulfill, how about we come up with plans for donating enough money, food and clothes to countries that are in agony and taking care of refugees that are present in your countries so they could live a better life and their children could have a better future. Come up with plans to reduce the amount of racism, sexism and bullying that happens every single day. No one deserves to die, starve to death or get beaten up without a reason. I say we should take this opportunity and use it to make our world a better place. Make it better for not only you, but for everyone else around you. Leopards, it’s in our hands to make 2017 an even better year not just for ourselves, but for everyone around us. Happy New Year!

Safia Mouzzam. Grade 9, Media Tech club Member

Teeth-Whitening Wonder

Revolutionary Science in the Palm of our Hands

   The food and drinks we consume everyday have a very harsh effect on the appearance of our teeth. Most, if not all, of us must have noticed that they are staining them. Recently, white teeth have become more and more favorable among the masses.  People are looking at the quickest teeth-whitening methods to achieve these results. The High-School Science Club  decided to perform an experiment by staining shells, because they have the same composition of our teeth; with different staining agents such as coffee, tea, and soda. After a week of staining, we tested some of the most common teeth-whitening techniques, both natural and chemical, to see which ones have the most effective impact on removing these stains. Studies of previous whitening experiments led to the conclusion that using bleach or products that contain hydrogen peroxide were the most effective methods. We took some of the most popular toothpastes (Signal, Closeup, Colgate) containing small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, and some of the most prevalent natural remedies (bananas, baking soda and lemon).

   We experimented to find the strongest stainer and the overall best mechanism to remove those stains. In our results, we were able to conclude that tea was the strongest stainer, unless washed directly after consuming. Natural remedies also removed almost all the stains. However, Signal was the toothpaste that made the greatest change. With the cumulative data we acquired, the same experiment will be conducted on human teeth to see if they yield the same result.

Written By : Roba El-Zibaoui
Contributions : Ahd Abdelhadi, Yara Sami