Student Research Project Example

What objects can block television remote signals? Here is a student research project about it. Plagiarism is bad so don’t copy it but use it maybe as a guideline.


To determine which objects block television remote signals


If an object has high density then it will be able to block TV remote signals.

Background Information

A television remote sends a signal from a diode. Remotes use diodes made of silicon so the radiation is in infrared wavelengths. The infrared rays are not visible to the naked eye but a receiver in the television is able to recognise it. Everywhere is infrared light so for the television receiver to recognise the signal, the signal is sent through a series of flashes.


·         Television with remote control

·         Sheets of paper (A4)

·         Cling wrap

·         Sticky tape

·         Plastic ruler

·         Foil

·         1-metre ruler


1.       Setup the experiment by following Figure 1.1

click here for Figure 1.1

2.       Place Clingwrap 10cm directly in front of the remote. Attempt to turn on TV. Repeat with other objects.

3.       Record observations in a table

4.       Repeat steps 2 & 3 at 20cm distance.

Note: sticky tape should be stuck together to increase width.


The dependent variable is which object blocks TV remote signals and which doesn’t. The independent variable is the distance between the object, the remote and the TV. The control variables are the same TV and remote as they must be observed to see effects.



0cm Distance (blocks/doesn’t block)

10cm Distance (blocks/doesn’t block)

Cling wrap

Doesn’t block

Doesn’t block

Piece of metal


Doesn’t block

Plastic Ruler

Doesn’t block

Doesn’t block



Doesn’t block

1 sheet of paper

Doesn’t block

Doesn’t block

2 sheets of paper

Doesn’t block

Doesn’t block

3 sheets of paper


Doesn’t block

4 sheets of paper


Doesn’t block


All the objects didn’t block TV remote signals when put at a 10cm distance. This was unexpected but it was probably because the infrared rays either bounced in a different direction or just increased in strength away from the starting point. Metal objects were able to block the signals at a close range. The experiment could have been improved at a closer distance to the television as well as larger pieces of objects to test whether they moved in a different direction. A wider variety of objects could have improved the results.


Metallic objects blocked TV remote signals at close range but like every other object, as the distance changed the signals passed through. This was most likely due to the fact, that the object was either too small or the rays became stronger and pass through. Most objects regardless, of density were able to let TV remote signals pass through. Thus proving the hypothesis false.

Reference and Acknowledgments

·         Miller, Steve The Complete Idiot’s Guide To The Science of Everything, Penguin Group, 2008

·         Variables in your Science Fair Project, (accessed 11/3/11)

·         Infrared remote control technology, (accessed 20/3/11)


·         Logbook

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