Science Fair

Picking Just the Right Project...

 
  • Picking just the right project can be a little time consuming, but following these guidelines while you are looking will help narrow down your search:

     

    1) Pick a topic you are interested in.  Your science fair project will stretch over several months so pick something you will enjoy researching!

     

    2) Make sure that you are testing something.  You will need to compare a variable to a control in your experiment so make sure your project contains at least one variable to be tested.  (Good experiments will have the variable listed in the project description).

     

    3) Choose creative projects and make sure they are grade appropriate.  Certain projects are done every year and will lose points in the area of creativity during judging.  For example, almost all projects that test a property of plants have been done before!  Here are a few examples of overdone projects:

     

    "How do different light sources affect plants?"

    "How effective are different cleaners on killing germs?"

    "Making a veggie/fruit powered lightbulb"

  •  

  •  

  • PROJECT LINKS:

  • 3rd-6th Projects:

     

    http://pbskids.org/dragonflytv/scifair/

     

    http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/projects/index.html#chemical

     

    http://sciencefair.math.iit.edu/projects/
     

    http://www.sciencebob.com/sciencefair/ideas.php

     

     

    3rd-12th Projects:

     

    http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas.shtml

     

    http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/

     

    http://chemistry.about.com/od/sciencefairprojectideas/a/projectideas.htm

    (Topic ideas only-doesn't contain detailed experiment)

     

    http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments

     

     

    5th-12th Projects:

     

    http://www.sciencefairadventure.com/

     

    http://www.sciencefair-projects.org/chemistry-projects/index.html

  •  

     

    DISPLAY BOARDS:

    Here are some of our past FCS science fair winners! Note that the boards have the complete scientific method listed as well as detailed graphs and data tables.

  •  

  • SAMPLE PROJECTS:

  •  For some project ideas from the California State Science Fair click on the following link:

    Project ideas from the CA State Science Fair

  •  

  •  

  • FORMS:

  • Looking for a science fair form??  Check below for all important forms and due dates.

     

    Due Dates  (Find out when each component of the science fair is due.  Work ahead if you want!)

     

     

    Research Requirements  (How many pages do I have to write for my paper?  How many notecards do I need?  Find the answers here!)

     

     

    Rubrics  (Click here to see how your science teacher will be grading each part of your science fair project. Use the rubrics to help guide your work.)

     

     

    Judging Forms (Includes the judge's score sheet & a deadline score sheet.  Science teachers will judge the project with a scoring sheet and a deadline sheet and two other anonymous judges will judge the project using just the scoring sheet.)

     

     

    Display Board Checklist & Requirements  (See how to set up your display board here.)

     

     

    Sample Logbook Entry  (What goes in a logbook?  Everything!!!  Check out this sample logbook entry.)

  •  

  •  

  • DOING THE EXPERIMENT:

  • Doing the experiment correctly and with the right amount of detail is just as important as writing your research paper.  Look below for some critical points to remember when setting up your project.​

  • Keeping Your Logbook

     

    Before you start the experiment you want to make sure you note down some important things in your logbook.  You can put just about everything in your logbook; the more detail, the better! 

     

    Click the composition notebook to the left to check and see if your logbook is being kept correctly.

     

    Don't forget to include the following things as well:

     

    1)  Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, Variables (what's this?), Data Tables, (what's this?), Results and Conclusions.

     

    2) Pictures/Diagrams of your experiment

     

    3) Labels or other important documents

  •  

  • Setting Up the Experiment

     

    When you are getting ready to perform your experiment make sure you check the following things before beginning:

     

    1) Safety precautions!  Please read all warning labels and make sure you have the correct safety equipment before beginning your project. 

     

    2) Other factors??  Think of any other factors that might affect the outcome of your experiment.  For example, can weather, amount of light, temperature affect how your experiment will turn out?  Try to eliminate all possible human/environmental errors before starting your project.

     

    3) Reread through your entire procedure to make sure you didn't miss anything important.  The smallest deviation from the original procedure could affect your experiment. 

     

  • Performing the Experiment

     

    -When you are performing the experiment make sure to log everything down in your logbook.  Jot down notes or observations as you go.  Was there a certain smell or texture that might be important?  Was a gas produced?  Did it change color?  etc.

     

    -Fill in your data table with numeric information that can be converted to a graph later. 

     

    -Watch out for human/environmental error!  If your experiment doesn't turn out the way you want it to, check to see if something else was affecting your outcome.  Then try it again!

     

    -Do multiple tests/trials!  This is really important to add reliability to your experiment.  The more times you get the same result, the more reliable your experiment is!

     

    -Write down a summary of your findings (this is called your results).  Explain what happened and why you think it happened.  Finally, write an overall conclusion explaining what happened in your project and whether or not your hypothesis was right.  Try to be specific and show what you have learned through this process.

     

     

    Research Help:

     

     

     

     

     

    Having a hard time finding credible websites or articles?  Try the following research databases.  They are scholarly websites/databases so you will need to search by typing in scientific terms into the search engines.

     

    ERIC Database

     

    Google Scholar

     

    PubMed Central

     


"Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want, but the power to do what you ought."