Title


DUST ​C​OLLECTION EXPERIMENT


Broad Question


Why are some rooms dustier than others?

Specific Question


What is the dustiest room in my house?

Hypothesis


It is hypothesized that the basement will collect the most dust and the downstairs bedroom will collect the least.

Rationale


I think this because my basement is below the ground, and is cleaned the least often of any other rooms in my house. It also has a fireplace, and I know that rooms with fireplaces collect more dust than those without.The basement is also used as a rec room, so the heavy usage would also cause dust to accumulate. That is why it is hypothesized that it will collect the most dust. The downstairs bedroom is kept the cleanest, and is not used very much, which is why it is hypothesized that it will collect the least dust.

Graph of Hypothesis


dapi12-b-hypograph.jpg
Graph of Hypothesis


Variables

Independent Variable: the room in which each dust collector is located


Dependent Variable: the amount of dust collected in each room


Variables That Need To Be Controlled:

  • the amount of time between checks

  • the amount of Vaseline in each dust collector

  • the size of each dust collector

  • the area of the collection sample

  • the magnifying glass used to collect data

  • the height of each dust collector off the floor, all samples kept at floor level

  • all dust collectors kept inside

  • the location of the dust collector in each room --- all samples located in corners






General Plan


Potential Problems And Solutions


There are two big potential problems for this experiment. One is that a dust collector may be stepped on or disturbed in any other way. One way to prevent this is to warn people about the dust collectors and tell them to be careful of them. Another way to prevent this is to put up signs near the dust collectors so that people know to be careful. The second is that the Vaseline in the dust collectors may dry up. In the event of this, I would count the amount of dust in the square centimeter in the collector at that time, add new Vaseline, and do a cumulative count, adding the old amount of dust to the new count.

Safety Or Environmental Concerns


One environmental concern for this experiment is that the temperature in each room could suddenly change dramatically if the weather outside changed and heated up the room. One way to prevent this is to keep a careful watch on the room temperature so that it doesn't change dramatically, and if it does, the Vaseline should be checked, and if its consistency has been altered, it should be changed. Another concern is if animals get into the Vaseline and create a huge mess, ruin a dust collector, and possible hurt themselves if Vaseline happens to get in their eyes. This can be prevented by closing off the areas with the dust collectors when animals are in the house.

Experimental Design


This experiment was designed to see which room in my house is the dustiest. Dust collectors will be set up in each of the eight rooms of my house. The tops will be cut off of small orange juice cartons. After that, one square centimeter will be drawn on the bottom of the carton. Then, a teaspoon of Vaseline will be evenly spread around the bottom of each carton. The cartons will be set out for four weeks. Each week, the same time, the amount of dust in the square centimeter will be counted and recorded. At the end of the four weeks, the final data will be recorded. All data recording will happen at 5:35 pm with the same magnifying glass each week.


Resources and Budget Table

Item
Number needed
Where I will get this
Cost
small orange juice carton
eight
Jackson Grammar School
$0.00
Vaseline
one tub
Walmart
$2.50
thin sharpie
one
Walmart
$1.00
ruler
one
Walmart
$2.00
teaspoon
one
Walmart
$2.50
magnifying glass
one
Walmart
$3.00
scissors
one
Walmart
$2.00

Detailed Procedure


  1. First, get at least one tub of Vaseline to collect the dust. Take pictures of this.

  2. Get eight small orange juice cartons. Cut the tops off a centimeter up. Take pictures of this.

  3. Draw a square centimeter in the bottom of each orange juice carton. Take pictures of this.

  4. Spread one teaspoon of the Vaseline along the bottom of the orange juice cartons. Take pictures of this.

  5. Place an orange juice carton in each of the eight rooms in the house on February 8 at 5:35 pm in a small corner that has been pre-cleaned. Take pictures of this.

  6. Leave the cartons out for four weeks collecting dust.

  7. Take pictures of the dust collection process.

  8. Take the precautions needed to make sure that the dust collection areas remain as undisturbed as possible.
    Take pictures of this.


  9. Record data at the same time, 5:35 pm each week using magnifying glass or photographs and recording the amount of dust particles in the little square centimeter box. If possible, take microscopic photographs of the dust collection in the cartons to make data collection easier.

  10. At the end of the four weeks, on March 8 at 5:35 pm, collect each glue trap. Take pictures of this.

  11. Count the amount of particles in the square centimeter box in the cartons. Take pictures of this.

  12. Record the data on a spreadsheet, and then see which room collected the most dust. Take pictures of this.



Data Table

Rooms
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4 (Final)
1. Outer Basement
7
43
56
116
2. Basement
13
72
103
148
3. Downstairs Bedroom
19
41
77
108
4. Office
21
59
89
172
5. Living Room
45
75
329
376
6 Kitchen
3
15
56
88
7. Guest Room
6
13
33
56
8. Upstairs Bedroom
7
14
23
48





Data Analysis


Graphs


dapi12-b-4weekdatagraph.jpg
Four Week Data Bar Graph


dapi12-b-4weeklinegraph.jpg
dapi12-b-oneweekgraph.jpg
Total Data Bar Graph


Photos


dapi12-b-dustcollectors.JPG
Data Table and Dust Collectors


dapi12-b-guestroom.JPG
Guest Room Dust Collector


Results


The dustiest room in my house was the living room with 376 dust particles per square centimeter. The least dusty room in my house was the upstairs bedroom with 48 dust particles per square centimeter. The living room had almost eight times as many dust particles per square centimeter as the upstairs bedroom.

Conclusion

This experiment was designed to find out which room in my house was the dustiest. The results show that the most used rooms and rooms with fireplaces accumulate more dust than other rooms. The living room, the most used room in the house, has a fireplace as well, and was by far the dustiest with 376 dust particles per square centimeter. The least used room was the upstairs bedroom, and it was the least dusty, 48 particles per square centimeter.

Discussion


This experiment was designed to see which room in my house was the dustiest. The experiment results did give an answer to the question. The answer to the question was that the living room was the dustiest, with 376 dust particles per square centimeter. It had been hypothesized that the basement would have the most dust, with 56 dust particles per square centimeter. Looking at the results, it is very clear that the hypothesis was not accurate to the actual results. The living room was, without a doubt, the dustiest room in my house.
There do seem to be some trends in the data. Every single week, the living room had the most dust. As it was winter during the experiment, the wood stove in the living room was constantly burning, which certainly added to the high amounts of dust in the living room. The least used rooms in the house were the guest room and the upstairs bedroom, and they are farthest from the wood stove. The guest room had 56 dust particles per square centimeter, and the upstairs bedroom had 48 dust particles per square centimeter, and was the least dusty room. Another interesting thing to note is the downstairs bedroom. Nearly all the dust collected in the downstairs bedroom was fibers, and there were very few actual bits of dirt or other dust except the fibers. At the end of the experiment, the downstairs bedroom had 108 dust particles per square centimeter, nearly 100 of which were fibers.
The only real challenge in the design of the experiment was the fact that there was no way to keep conditions in the rooms exactly the same around the clock. Thus, amounts of dust collected weekly in each room generally varied quite a bit. I don’t really know how to improve or change this experiment, because it would be very challenging to keep the conditions in each room exactly the same for four weeks, but one way to do this would be to get a high quality microscope to use to count the dust. This experiment could help people with allergies, because it shows that if they want to sleep in a room with little dust, they should sleep in a room that is otherwise very little used and is far from a wood stove or fireplace of any kind. One new question I have from this experiment is if temperature affects the amount of dust in a room.

Background Research


1. Rooms with lots of carpeting collect lots of dust.

2. Rooms with fireplaces collect more dust than rooms without.

3. The specific dust mix in any household differs according to climate, age of the house and the number of people who live in it — not to mention the occupants' cooking, cleaning and smoking habits.

4. Nearly everywhere, dust consists of some combination of shed bits of human skin, animal fur, decomposing insects, food debris, lint and organic fibers from clothes, bedding and other fabrics, tracked-in soil, soot, particulate matter from smoking and cooking, and, disturbingly, lead, arsenic and even DDT.

5. Keeping doors or windows open a lot in a room allows a lot of dust to build up.

6. If there is a fan of some kind in a room that runs a lot, it will cause the dust already in the room to spread, and also can bring in more dust.

References


"How does dust collect on a running fan? - Yahoo! Answers." Yahoo! Answers - Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.
<http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070120215730AA6JLUb>.

Mackenzie, Corey M.. "How to Prevent Dust Build Up | eHow.com." eHow | How to Videos, Articles & More - Discover the expert in you. | eHow.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/how_5200357_prevent-dust-build-up.html>.

"Study: Household Dust Contains Poisons, Allergens, DDT - TIME."Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. <http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1966870,00.html>.

Trulove, Rex. "What causes dust in your house? - by Rex Trulove - Helium."Helium - Where Knowledge Rules. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. <http://www.helium.com/items/1038325-what-causes-dust-in-your-house>.


Abstract


This experiment was designed to see which room in my house was the dustiest. It was hypothesized that the basement would be the dustiest. The independent variable was the room and the dependent variable was the amount of dust particles. Vaseline was spread in open orange juice cartons with a square centimeter drawn in the bottom of them. The only dust counted was the dust in that square centimeter in the cartons. The dustiest room was the living room, with 376 dust particles per square centimeter. The basement, which had been hypothesized to have the most dust, was the third dustiest with 148 dust particles per square centimeter. The upstairs bedroom was the least dusty, with 48 dust particles per square centimeter.