Phase 1 Hypothesis: Air quality, as measured by the concentration of Airborne Particulate Matter (PM10), Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) will have a strong inverse correlation with the degradation of the Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) rate for asthmatic subjects.


The diagram below illustrates the pathophysiological response due to environmental triggers.


Figure 1: Interaction between Environmental triggers, Airway Inflammation, Pathophysiology, and Peak Expiratory Flow Rate of asthmatic subjects


Phase 2 Hypothesis: The traditional PEF prediction model (Nunn, 1989) overstates the PEF flow rate for asthmatic subjects as it depends only on the subject's age, height and gender, and fails to incorporate the effect of air pollutants that trigger a cascading pathophysiological response.


What’s your hypothesis? Try to address something that you believe is challenging which you are able to answer in a single experiment.


Judges' Tip An excellent hypothesis will lead on from the question, be tightly focused and build on existing knowledge (100 words maximum).