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Sandburg students psyched by the 36th annual Psych Fair

Kristen Garcia, Perspectives Editor

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On December 28th, Mr. Vuillaume and Mr. Geiger’s AP Psychology classes hosted the annual Psych Fair. There were 53 groups conducting a variety of experiments that ranged from studying social Psychology to brain and memory function. A great deal of hard work was done by the Psychology students and teachers to prepare the Psych Fair. Behind the scenes, the Psychology students had extensively prepared for it for three weeks before the day of the Fair. They had to do background research on the topic of their experiments, and from that formulate a hypothesis as well as a procedure for how their experiments would be conducted. After a trial run the night before with their parents, the Psychology students fixed their experiments in order to get ready for the 876 students attending.

“The parents trial gave us insight on how the actual Psych Fair would be. We fixed the little mistakes that we had within our experiment and made it more interesting for participants. I think it was a very essential step in preparing our group for the next day,” said senior Jennifer Corona, who conducted an experiment on the correlation between Gender and Short term memory.

The PAC upstairs and downstairs foyers were filled with the 53 groups eager to test their hypotheses. Each group had a poster board as a visual to explain their topic and what they were testing. Some booths were more likely to attract many students than others, so many used goods and candy to entice people to participate.

“I baked 110 cookies and also had an assortment of brownies and pumpkin bread to attract participants,” said senior Liz Kang whose group anticipated less traffic because their experiment tested students on how fast they could read sentences with jumbled words.

Other experiments had crowds of students eager to participants surrounding their booths. The Darkroom booth ran by Fariha Newaz’s group, which tested the emotional reaction students would have if in a pitch black room, had students lining up on the stairs and waiting for several minutes. Students were eager to see if they would get scared. The What’s in the Box booth also attracted the attention of most students who went to the Fair. The participants were blinded then had to put their hand in four different boxes that had mystery substances.

“People were hesitant to put their hand in the box while others were not. Some people were hesitant at first because their fear got the best of them. Others were not fear driven because of their hesitancy was dependent on their stress level before the experiment,” said senior Michaela Morales, one of the members in the What’s in the Box booth.

The Psychology students blogged their experiences from the very beginning of their journey until the day of the fair. Every day they detailed what work they got done and updated on how their experiment was coming together. Many groups choose a creative approach to blogging by including jokes and memes. Some standout blogs were from Group 8 with their Psych Puns of the day and Group 13 with their Psychology jokes of the day. All the Psych Fair blogs can be found on https://appsychologyfair2017.blogspot.com.

While the Fair primarily functions for Psychology students to study different branches of psychology by conducting their own experiments, it also brings a sense of community among students who participate and conduct experiments.

Exposure to the experiments can inspire students to pursue a career in psychology. “[Psych Fair is] an experience that the Psych kids look forward to each year.” From the community standpoint, I think t’s a great way to just get exposure for the field of Psychology and what it’s about really show it’s a fun subject,” said Mr. Vuillaume.

Hundreds of students are drawn together in the name of science and upholding a yearly tradition for Sandburg. The 37th annual Psych Fair can be anticipated November 2018.

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Sandburg students psyched by the 36th annual Psych Fair