Video Games and Your Heart Rate

Cool Elementary and Middle School Science Fair Project
Photo ©2011 Microsoft Sweden, Flickr

Perfect for the upper elementary/early middle school crowd, specifically those who are infatuated with video games/gaming, this science fair project designed by Patrick Kiger of Discovery Science explores how video games affect the player's heart beat. Again, one thing we really like about this experiment - since "87 percent of young people between the ages of 8 and 18 [live] in a home with a game console" {as reported in a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation} - is that the materials needed are relatively few...

  • Video games of different genres
  • Participants with a pulse
  • Timer/stopwatch

[NOTE: The original supply list included only one video game for this study - we recommend various video games of different genres to add a bit of dimension to the project. You'll be able to see if the style of video game - action adventure, strategy, racing, sports, etc. - has any effect on participant heart rates.]

Of course there are many other considerations/extensions you might explore in your project. You might observe the participant's gaming style, consider the participant's fitness level/heart health, etc.

For the full project details, be sure to visit Kiger's full write-up at Discovery Science!

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