As a student, I have always been told that it is beneficial to play sports because they help you focus, learn time management, and overall make you a better student. So, for my project I decided to test if this is really true. I administered a test to students from chaminade high school. I created a timed multiplication quiz and administered it to two groups. One group consisted of twenty five student athletes and the other consisted of twenty five non athlete students.
The findings are mportant because if we find that sports do improve academic performance more kids might decide to play or increase physical activity. Schools may also look at increasing physical activity to improve academic performance. If there is no difference between the groups increased activity and sports participation would still be beneficial for overall health and well being, but athletes who struggle academically might benefit more from less time on the field. If there is no difference then those who are not athletically inclined would not be at an academic disadvantage.
Elite qthletes have been found to have a physiologic advantage in brain function. Sports require fast reactions qnd equally fast thinking. In lacrosse for example a player has to evade opposing players while maintaining mental awareness of all players around him to determine the best course of action. The decision to pass, shoot or run is made on the fly. The brain has been trained to respond quickly and is thong that this carries over into academic areas. If this is true an athlete should have an advantage on a timed academic task and may have a general academic advantage as well .
Hypothesis: I think students who play sports will have higher scores on the quiz due to their increased physical activity.. I believe that if there is a difference further study would be indicated to find out why. Differences might be related to several variables, such as; better time management , physiological differences in brain development or genetics of athletes vs non athletes.
independent: students - every person is different
dependent: grades - dependent on the students and the test.
1) 50 printed math multiplication sheets
2) 10 Pencils
3) Timer/IPad to time
1) Print out sheets or create a test
2) Get/Bring 10 pencils
3) Gather testing subjects consisting of twenty five athletes and twenty five non athletes.
4) Have them take one minute timed test
5) Gather data
6) Analyze data
7) Make a chart
8) Conclude your results
The average score for athletes was 79 and The average score for non athletes was a 75
Analysis: Analysis: Due to the average score for athletes 79 and the average non athlete score of 75 we cannot say that athletes have a definite advantage in this task. The four percent difference is not a wide enough margin. To make a true determination I would have to control testing conditions and have a larger sample size. The small sample size and variability of testing conditions limits this study.
No, my hypothesis was incorrect. I suggested that athletes have the advantage over non athlete students. The difference shown by my data was not large enough to prove my hypothesis. It is interesting how you can rationalize an outcome but then discover that the it is not supported by data.
There was no real evidence gathered to allow me to conclude that athletes have an inherent advantage over other students who choose not to play sports.
I learned that even though athletes may have scored slightly higher due to test conditions and sample size it was likely due to factors other than participation in sports.. This shows that there is no real way to get good grades unless you work hard. I thought that these athletes had an inherent advantage, but that may not be true.
The Final Conclusion is that there is no proof that athletes perform better on academic tasks then non athletes.
My experiment could be improved by making the changes outlined above. These changes include getting a significantly larger number of students as well as standardizing testing conditions. Another avenue I would consider would be to gather admissions data from large universities and compare admission test scores of athletes and non athletes across the country. This would provide a large sample size with all tests having been administered under controlled conditions.
Work Cited: The Brain: Why Athletes are Geniuses - April 10, 2010 - discovermagizene.com
How Does Physical Activity Affect Academic Performance? - April 19,2012 - sparkpe.org, Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment; Food and Nutrition Board; Institute of Medicine; Kohl HW III, Cook HD, editors. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2013 Oct 30. 2, Status and Trends of Physical Activity Behaviors and Related School Policies