Faculty Sponsor: Shyam Gouri Suresh
As a transfer student from a college in Minnesota who now attends a college in North Carolina, I am interested to see if there could be a change in my academic performance due to a change in climate. This poster presents the relationship between local temperature and high school academic performance. Specifically, I theorize that students who experience more frequent warmer days during the school year will perform better on their SAT’s. To isolate these effects, I control for other demographics—poverty level, race, sex—mentioned in published literature. In order to test my theory, I use cross-sectional data for the 2015-16 school year pertaining to 1184 schools across the state of California, since this state has varied climates. My Y variable of academic performance, measured by average SAT score per school, is taken from a California Department of Education data set that provides standardized test results for public high schools. My independent variables of interest are COOLi—measured by the percentage of cold days during the period September 1st of 2015 to June 30th of 2016, or when the maximum temperature was less than or equal to 50 degrees—and WARMi— measured by the percentage of cold days during the period September 1st of 2015 to June 30th of 2016, or when the minimum temperature was greater than or equal to 60 degrees. I compare four different models to determine that Model (4) is the best fit for my analysis. I also conduct various tests to determine the robustness and limitations of my results. My results suggest that neither the percentage of warm days nor that of cool days have statistically significant influence on a school’s average SAT score. However, the sign of the marginal influence and second derivative for both variables supports my theory. I also conduct a subset F-test to determine that these variables lack joint influence.