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We all recall and still deal with the dreaded test days. From the smallest math test to standardized test we all may be able to recognize that feeling of anxiety or nervousness of taking a test. We all recall at least one time where we were all prepared to take a test and the teacher would reach in their drawer and pull out the classic box of peppermints.  As your teacher would walk past each desk passing out a #2 pencil, along would come a mint in clear plastic wrapping. You probably would look in awe as you tried to figure out why your teacher was doing this. After googling the answer after your test, you probably came across the idea of chewing a peppermint helping improve your test performance. It is believed that mints help improve our memory and reaction time, but what’s the difference between the two? As our science fair project, we would like to test this hypothesis of how peppermint affects reaction time in individuals.Peppermint is known to be one of the most popular herbs used today. It grows in the summer throughout  the moist regions in North America and Europe. Whoever who has really studied the taste of peppermint, knows that its taste can be described as a cooling sensation. This is because the oil found in the peppermint plant itself, contains menthol. Peppermint oil is extracted through steam. It produces a liquid that is clear with a slight shade that looks to be yellow. Peppermint oil contains iron, copper, calcium, vitamins A and C, and magnesium. All of which helps that body in different ways. There currently is a steady increase in the demand for peppermint because of its many uses.More than 4000 tons of peppermint are produced every year. The United States creates almost 90% of that. Because of this high demand, the United States harvests it twice every year. There is one problem with this though. Double harvesting and growing number of pests being found in these plants can diminish the quality of the oil that is produced through the plant. Peppermint has had many uses since it was first discovered in about 1700. Peppermint can be used as or in medicine for coughs and colds. It also works just as well in foods and drinks such as chocolate, jellies, and teas. The most common known use of mint, is its use in the peppermint candy (mints), and mint-flavored chewing gum. Since peppermint has a unique fragrance, it can often be found in detergents, soaps, and creams. Studies have found peppermints potential effects on various things health-wise. Neurological conditions such as indigestion and headaches could potentially be affected by the use of peppermint. In 2007, “The Washington Post” posted an article entitled “The Power of Peppermint Is Put to the Test”. This article talks about how before a school of 800 students took their Maryland School Assessment in reading and math, their teacher reached out to a local restaurant supply company and ordered 3,600 peppermint candies. Why? You may ask. It  is because it’s believed that peppermint candies are said to help improve how students perform on test. Although the principal found many sites that claimed this to be true, almost none of them were able to provide information that backed up this belief. The article then talks about how in the 1900’s, researchers at the University of Cincinnati found the scent of peppermint helped their test subject concentrate and even do better on task that required them to concentrate. The article then gives about 5 other examples of researchers who did the same thing, and one even would use athletes. All of which, reported that the tet subject who were exposed to the scent of mint, did better than those who didn’t. These similar test even made variations, one being a principal who put orange slices in air conditioners at school to help keep students alert, another painting the school wall pink to calm students. The article then goes on about students that they interviewed after they took the test. 1 student said that she felt the only reason the peppermint helped, was because the teachers told the students it would. Another student believed that the peppermint didn’t help test performance itself, but made the students more comfortable. As a side-note, I would like to promote that this idea could be helpful for people who suffer from testing anxiety. An article entitled “Does Peppermint Candy Stimulate the Brain?”, by Livestrong focuses on the main beliefs of Bryan Raudenbush. Raudenbush is a researcher who found that drivers exposed to the scent of peppermint experienced little to no road-rage. Raudenbush, in contrast to other researchers, was able to provide an explanation. He explains that the scent of peppermint significantly increase the oxygen saturation and blood pressure. This results in physiological arousal. Physiological arousal is the sense of organs being stimulated to a point of perception. Blood brings oxygen to your brain. Since peppermint increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, then the more oxygen in your brain, the better your concentration and focus will be when consuming peppermint. There is believed to be a difference between smelling and consuming peppermint. Tasting peppermint has been found to improve memory and help you work faster. Smelling peppermint has been found to only slightly improve memory, but it does help to make you feel less fatigue. So if you are doing something like taking a test (like we do in our experiment), you may want to chew on mint flavored candy.  On the contrary, if you are doing something important and trying to stay awake, you might want to stick to only smelling peppermint. Peppermint candy is also known for the amount of sugar it contains. Sugar is the primary source of fuel for your brain. Peppermint candy provides a source of sugar that goes to your brain. It is still important that while it is very likely that peppermint candy helps your brain, it also contains sugar that can cause tooth decay or worse. Memory is defined as the mind storing and remembering information. Memory test would be  used to test and verify memory molecules in the brain. Reaction is defined as an expression or action performed in response to something else that is happening. A reaction test would be used to test and verify how long it takes for us to have a certain reaction to a presented event. For our experiment, we will  put the test of the effects of peppermint candies when it comes to reaction time. We will have 3 female and 3 male volunteers who are aged 15-16. We will have volunteers who will take 2 trials so that we can test this theory. We will then compare the 2 trials from each volunteer to see if there really is a visible increase in the reaction time by chewing on peppermint. Our experiment will take about 1-2 days to collect the data from all volunteers. We all recall and still deal with the dreaded test days. From the smallest math test to standardized test we all may be able to recognize that feeling of anxiety or nervousness of taking a test. We all recall at least one time where we were all prepared to take a test and the teacher would reach in their drawer and pull out the classic box of peppermints.  As your teacher would walk past each desk passing out a #2 pencil, along would come a mint in clear plastic wrapping. You probably would look in awe as you tried to figure out why your teacher was doing this. After googling the answer after your test, you probably came across the idea of chewing a peppermint helping improve your test performance. It is believed that mints help improve our memory and reaction time, but what’s the difference between the two? As our science fair project, we would like to test this hypothesis of how peppermint affects reaction time in individuals.Peppermint is known to be one of the most popular herbs used today. It grows in the summer throughout  the moist regions in North America and Europe. Whoever who has really studied the taste of peppermint, knows that its taste can be described as a cooling sensation. This is because the oil found in the peppermint plant itself, contains menthol. Peppermint oil is extracted through steam. It produces a liquid that is clear with a slight shade that looks to be yellow. Peppermint oil contains iron, copper, calcium, vitamins A and C, and magnesium. All of which helps that body in different ways. There currently is a steady increase in the demand for peppermint because of its many uses.More than 4000 tons of peppermint are produced every year. The United States creates almost 90% of that. Because of this high demand, the United States harvests it twice every year. There is one problem with this though. Double harvesting and growing number of pests being found in these plants can diminish the quality of the oil that is produced through the plant. Peppermint has had many uses since it was first discovered in about 1700. Peppermint can be used as or in medicine for coughs and colds. It also works just as well in foods and drinks such as chocolate, jellies, and teas. The most common known use of mint, is its use in the peppermint candy (mints), and mint-flavored chewing gum. Since peppermint has a unique fragrance, it can often be found in detergents, soaps, and creams. Studies have found peppermints potential effects on various things health-wise. Neurological conditions such as indigestion and headaches could potentially be affected by the use of peppermint. In 2007, “The Washington Post” posted an article entitled “The Power of Peppermint Is Put to the Test”. This article talks about how before a school of 800 students took their Maryland School Assessment in reading and math, their teacher reached out to a local restaurant supply company and ordered 3,600 peppermint candies. Why? You may ask. It  is because it’s believed that peppermint candies are said to help improve how students perform on test. Although the principal found many sites that claimed this to be true, almost none of them were able to provide information that backed up this belief. The article then talks about how in the 1900’s, researchers at the University of Cincinnati found the scent of peppermint helped their test subject concentrate and even do better on task that required them to concentrate. The article then gives about 5 other examples of researchers who did the same thing, and one even would use athletes. All of which, reported that the tet subject who were exposed to the scent of mint, did better than those who didn’t. These similar test even made variations, one being a principal who put orange slices in air conditioners at school to help keep students alert, another painting the school wall pink to calm students. The article then goes on about students that they interviewed after they took the test. 1 student said that she felt the only reason the peppermint helped, was because the teachers told the students it would. Another student believed that the peppermint didn’t help test performance itself, but made the students more comfortable. As a side-note, I would like to promote that this idea could be helpful for people who suffer from testing anxiety. An article entitled “Does Peppermint Candy Stimulate the Brain?”, by Livestrong focuses on the main beliefs of Bryan Raudenbush. Raudenbush is a researcher who found that drivers exposed to the scent of peppermint experienced little to no road-rage. Raudenbush, in contrast to other researchers, was able to provide an explanation. He explains that the scent of peppermint significantly increase the oxygen saturation and blood pressure. This results in physiological arousal. Physiological arousal is the sense of organs being stimulated to a point of perception. Blood brings oxygen to your brain. Since peppermint increases the amount of oxygen in your blood, then the more oxygen in your brain, the better your concentration and focus will be when consuming peppermint. There is believed to be a difference between smelling and consuming peppermint. Tasting peppermint has been found to improve memory and help you work faster. Smelling peppermint has been found to only slightly improve memory, but it does help to make you feel less fatigue. So if you are doing something like taking a test (like we do in our experiment), you may want to chew on mint flavored candy.  On the contrary, if you are doing something important and trying to stay awake, you might want to stick to only smelling peppermint. Peppermint candy is also known for the amount of sugar it contains. Sugar is the primary source of fuel for your brain. Peppermint candy provides a source of sugar that goes to your brain. It is still important that while it is very likely that peppermint candy helps your brain, it also contains sugar that can cause tooth decay or worse. Memory is defined as the mind storing and remembering information. Memory test would be  used to test and verify memory molecules in the brain. Reaction is defined as an expression or action performed in response to something else that is happening. A reaction test would be used to test and verify how long it takes for us to have a certain reaction to a presented event. For our experiment, we will  put the test of the effects of peppermint candies when it comes to reaction time. We will have 3 female and 3 male volunteers who are aged 15-16. We will have volunteers who will take 2 trials so that we can test this theory. We will then compare the 2 trials from each volunteer to see if there really is a visible increase in the reaction time by chewing on peppermint. Our experiment will take about 1-2 days to collect the data from all volunteers.

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