Research Projects in Statistics
Here are some generic project ideas that you can use to jump start the students brainstorming process. In each case, several factors are given that might affect the dependent variable. Students could use one or more of the factors depending on the type of statistical analysis you want them to do.
- How does gas mileage depend on the [blank] of the vehicle? [Blank] could be make, model, year, number of people in the car, etc.
- How does the gender distribution of grocery store customers depend on [blank]? Here, [blank] could be the day of the week, the time of day, the location of the store, etc.
- Does the weight of an M&M candy depend on its color? Note: I would not use type of candy (i.e., plain, peanut, etc) as an explanatory variable here because the results are too obvious. If the students are ambitious, they could research whether the variability of an M&M candy depends on its type.
- Is the distribution of [quality] in [snacks] the same for various types of [snacks]? The [quality] could be colors for M&Ms, animal shapes for animal crackers, etc.
- Is there a relationship between [physical measurement] and [sports performance] . The [physical measurement] could be hand span, length of inseam, length of foot, etc. The [sports performance] could be free throw percentage, time for 50m sprint, etc.
- Which candy bar brand has the highest percentage of [ingredient]? The [ingredient] could be peanuts, chocolate, etc. This type of question presents challenges for the measuring process, but the subjects, i.e. the candy bars, would be readily available and nearly homogeneous reducing the need for extensive randomization.
- Does [measurement] depend on the area of town? The [measurement] could be the average street width, the distance between fire hydrants, the width of the yard between the curb and the sidewalk, etc.
- Which [food or drug] would dissolve quicker in the human body? This type of project has an interesting twist in that the environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, acidity) within the human body would need to be simulated by the students.
- Which brand of sidewalk chalk would last the longest?
- Which of two brands of chicken noodle soup contains the most chicken?
- What is the average age at death for [people] buried in [place] during [time]. The [place] could be a particular cemetery or a particular town. The [time] could be a span of years or no restriction at all. The [people] could be children, adults, males, females, military personnel, etc. Using children or adults will naturally require a definition. Identifying males or females in a cemetery might be difficult due to missing first names or ambiguous first names.