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Pupils attending the 2015 Summer School visit Science LinX

06 August 2015

Can you throw as far with your left hand as with your right? Which hand is best for doing fiddly tests? And which hand does a computer test say you prefer? V Can you throw as far with your left hand as with your right? Which hand is best for doing fiddly tests? And which hand does a computer test say you prefer? On Tuesday 7 July 2015, forty children between 10 and 15 years old conducted their own research into left and right-handedness.

Two school pupils doing a test | Photo Science LinX
Two school pupils doing a test | Photo Science LinX

The forty children were attending the Summer School for Junior Technology at Hanze University of Applied Sciences. After a guided tour of the Science LinX science centre and a visit to the Blaauw Observatory on the roof of the Bernoulliborg, the children were treated to a mini-lecture by Professor of Biology Ton Groothuis .

After telling them about left and right-handedness and research into the subject currently being carried out at the University of Groningen, he asked the children to answer the following question: ‘If you’re right-handed, does that mean that you do everything better with your right hand?’  

That afternoon, the children taking part in the Summer School were given a chance to test which hand was better for throwing, for tracing the path of a spiral and for doing assignments on the computer. All the results were then recorded and discussed.

Concluding discussion of the results | Photo Science LinX
Concluding discussion of the results | Photo Science LinX

A number of diagrams were generated, which showed that the right-handed children were able to do some things faster. But in certain exercises requiring fine motor skills, the left-handed children were faster. This caused general mirth among left-handers! However, it soon became clear that the results were inconclusive: you need a lot more data for good research. ‘But was it interesting?’ asked Groothuis. Unsurprisingly, the answer was a resounding ‘Yes!’

Report: Brenda Kah

Last modified:19 September 2017 12.24 p.m.
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