Science fair time is here again! Here is a step by step guide to the process that
we hope will help you have a higher quality project and be easier at the same time!
Please remember to turn your entry form in on time so the Science Fair
Committee can start contacting judges.
There are 3 grade level divisions. K-2 is the primary division. 3-5 is the
Intermediate division. 6-8 is the Junior Division. Below is a graph of what you
need to complete for each division.
Items
Abstract
Items on Table
Log Book
Display Board
All Words
Grades K-2
No
Yes
No
Yes
Handwritten or
typed w/help
Log Book Items
Cover
Abstract
Table of Contents
Charts and Graphs
Purpose
Research/background
knowledge
Hypothesis
Glossary
Procedure
Observations/Results
Materials
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
References
Grades 3-5
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Typed w/help
Grades 6-8
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Typed by yourself
Grades 3-5
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
25 or more words
Grades 6-8
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
1-2 pages
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Category Choices
Animal Sciences – Study of animals and animal life, including their structure,
function, life history, interactions, classification, and evolution, such as animal
behavior, development, ecology, genetics, nutrition and growth, pathology,
physiology, systematics and evolution, zoology
Behavioral and Social Sciences -The science or study of the thought processes
and behavior of humans and other animals in their interactions with the
environment studied through observational and experimental methods, such as
clinical and developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, physiological
psychology, sociology
Chemistry –The science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions
of matter, such as analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, materials chemistry,
organic chemistry, physical chemistry. It also includes Biochemisty –The study of
chemical substances, interactions, and processes relevant to living organisms, such
as analytical biochemistry, general biochemistry, medicinal biochemistry,
structural biochemistry. Cellular and Molecular Biology is also a part of it – The
study of the structure and formation of cells, such as cellular and molecular
genetics, immunology, molecular biology
Computer Science – the study of information processes, the structures and
procedures that represent processes, and their implementation in information
processing systems. It includes systems analysis and design, application and
system software design, programming and datacenter operations. This also
includes: Mathematical Sciences – the study of measurement, properties, and
relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. The deductive
study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures
Physics and Astronomy and Magnetism – physics is the science of matter and
energy and of interactions between the two. Astronomy is the study of anything
in the universe beyond earth, such as magnetics, electromagnetics, electronics,
mechanics, lasers, and optics. This also includes: Earth and Planetary Science –
the study of sciences related to the planet Earth (geology, mineralogy, physiology,
oceanography, meteorology, speleology, seismology, geography, atmospheric
sciences
Energy and Transportation and Engineering – the study of renewable resources,
energy efficiency, clean transport, and alternative fuels. This also includes
Engineering: Electrical and Mechanical – the application of scientific and
mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and
operation of efficient and economical structures, processes, and systems as well
as robotics and thermodynamics. Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering are
also included– the application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical
ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical
machines and systems, such as industrial engineering and material science
Ecology - Environmental Management – the application of engineering principals to
solve practical problems of managing mans’ interaction with the environment with
the goal to maintain and improve the state of an environmental resource affected
by human activities, such as ecosystems management, recycling, waste
management, and land management. This also includes: Environmental Sciences –
the analysis of existing conditions of the environment, such as air pollution and
quality, water pollution and quality.
Physiology and Medicine and Health Sciences – the science of diagnosing, treating,
or preventing disease and other damage to the body or mind, such as genetics,
physiology, epidemiology, disease diagnosis and treatment. This also includes:
Microbiology – the study of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and
pathogens, such as viruses, and antimicrobial agents.
Botany – study of plant life, including their structure and function, life history,
growth, interactions with other plants and animals, classification, and evolution,
such as ecology, genetics, and breeding.
The Process
First of all we want to stress the importance of the scientific method which is:
The Research question is the most important part of the Scientific Method.
Every part of your project is done to answer this question. It was also called the
purpose statement and referred to as the problem. Choosing a question is one of
the hardest parts of creating a science fair project. Here are some guidelines:
 What topic interests you?
 What have you always wanted to know in that area?
 Choose a question that can be answered with a YES or NO.
 Narrow down your field of research. It is important to focus on one
question. Rephrasing your question to expect a yes or no answer will help you
see whether you have done this.
Projects that should not be done:
 Can’t easily measure the results
 Doesn’t really involve science concepts
 Takes too long to complete
 Can’t be replicated at least 3 times without adding in variables
Next is the background information/research. Rather than starting from
scratch in putting together a plan to answer your question, you want to be a “savvy
scientist and use the internet or library or ask someone knowledgeable about the
topic”. You should research your topic before beginning the project.
Then you need to construct a hypothesis. This is a statement that you think will
be the answer to your research question. It is not something you already know or
something already proven, but an educated guess based on acquired knowledge of
your topic. You construct a hypothesis with: If ___________(I do this)______,
then _____(this)______ will happen.
Plan an experiment in which you test your hypothesis. It is important for your
experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you
change only one variable at a time while keeping all other conditions the same. You
should repeat the experiment at least three times to make sure the results
weren’t just an accident. It also gives you a chance to see if you need to make any
changes to your procedure before doing the experiment again.
Observations - At this point begin doing your experiments, keeping very accurate
records of everything you do. Take lots of pictures. Record your failures as well
as successes. Keep track of all steps you perform and all tests you make in your
notebook. Where necessary use a control as well. The control is a particular
sample that is treated the same as the rest of the samples except not exposed to
manipulated variables. (If you are testing different soil types, keep the water
the exact same and the amount of soil the same and change only the type of soil. )
As you observe your experiment, you will need to record the progress of your
experiment. Data can be whatever you observe about your experiment. It can be
recorded with numbers/charts/graphs/pictures. Examples of data are values in
pH, temperature, a measurement of growth, color, distance, etc. Data should be
recorded in Metric Values in your log book and on your presentation board or in a
series of pictures and charts that show what occured.
The results are usually in the form of a statement that explains or interprets the
data. You simply state in words what your data shows. Example: “Test plant # 3
showed little difference as compared to the Control Plant. There should be an
explanation with every chart/graph you make.
Analyze your results and draw a conclusion. The conclusion is the answer to your
question. Even if you prove that your hypothesis was true you may want to test it
again in a new way or control other variables.
The conclusion is a summary of the research and the results of the experiment.
This is where you answer your hypothesis. You make a statement of whether your
data supported your hypothesis or not. You may have data that did not support
your hypothesis at all. In this case, you may explain why the results were
different.
How to put this in a log book:
The log book pages should be in a binder.
Cover
Abstract (page 2) (remember not to use “I” in an abstract and 250 words or less)
Title (all in caps)
Name
School
Date
1st paragraph - background research and purpose statement
2nd paragraph - summary of procedure
3rd paragraph – things that happened and variables that may have caused it
to have different outcomes. What you would do different next time.
4th paragraph – observations
5th paragraph – conclusion
Title page (Page 3)
Name
School
Date
Table of contents
Tables and graphs (remember titles on vertical and horizontal axis lines)
Purpose statement/research question (should be stated in form of a question)
Background research (remember to include a glossary of key terms)
State your hypothesis
List of your materials
Procedure
Details of how you went about your experiment – include all of the times you
tried – even your failed experiments
Observations:
Details about what took place in your experiment. Your log book is the place to
put all your details. Put it in an easy to read form on your backboard. Remember
(especially for older grades) that you need to use the metric system and not
standard units. Record all failures as well as successes and the progress of your
experiment. Tables and graphs are often a good way to show the information.
Results
This is where you describe your tables, charts, graphs, pictures, etc. I know it
sounds like you are repeating yourself, but this is where you analyze what you
observed. You may want to tell how something either did or did not affect
something else.
Conclusion
In this section you answer your research question. You make a statement of
whether your data supported your hypothesis or not. You may also explain why the
results were different than the hypothesis. You may also explain how different
variables affected your project. Be sure to explain why others would be
interested in knowing the results.
Acknowledgements – credit people, businesses for financial support and donated
materials or information that helped with your experiment.
References or bibliography
Consent forms (these are needed if you are working with people or animals) See
your teacher for more details.
Tips and Tricks
All numbers must be in metric.
Do not use the word “I” or any contractions.
Put headings on each page of your log book and on the backboard.
All writing should be double spaced in the log book except for the abstract.
All writing should be the same type/font size (12 is recommended) in the log book
except the headings which should be the same larger font size.
All writing should be the same type/font size on the back board except the
headings which should be the same larger font size. The words should be easy to
see from a few feet away.
Please dress to impress on judging day.
Spelling and Grammar are important so peer editing is important.
The students need to do the work. Judges will deduct points when the students
can’t show extensive knowledge of the project.
The backboard does not need excessive decorating. Clean lines and simplicity with
a splash of color is best.
Helpful Websites:
Science
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring/project_ide
as.shtml
Buddies
All
Science
http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/
Fair
Projects
Science
http://www.sciencebob.com/sciencefair/ideas.php
Bob
Science
Fair Idea http://scienceclub.org/scifair.html
Exchange
Science
http://www.science-ideas.com/
Ideas
Science
http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircen
Fair
tral/Getting-Started.html
Central
Science
http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/sciencefair
News for
zone/topics.asp
Kids
Science
http://www.terimore.com/
Fair
Projects
PBS/Dragon http://pbskids.org/dragonflytv/scifair/index.html
fly TV
ISEF
https://student.societyforscience.org/resources-2
Log book
Your log
book
See instructions and
cover
should
follow this
basic
Title page
Abstract
Name
an example on the next
page. Remember not to
School
use “I” in your
format.
abstract.
Page 4
Table of
Tables and
contents
graphs
Date
Purpose:
Page 5
Background
research
Purpose statement or
research question
(remember
State what you knew, and
titles on vertical and
Page 2 Abstract
page 3
what you discovered while
horizontal axis lines)
researching your subject.
Include a glossary of
Page 3 Title page
terms that relate to your
Page 4 Table of
topic.
Materials
Hypothesis
Procedure
You may construct a
Make a list of all
hypothesis with:
materials used in your
went about your experiment –
If___________(I do this)
project.
include all of the times you
Details of how you
___________, then
tried – even your failed
___________
experiments. Make sure you
(this)________ will happen.
include how you controlled
Explain why you think you
will get these results.)
Observations/results
your variables and what
happened each time you tried
your experiment.
Conclusion:
Details about what took place in
This is the answer to your
your experiment. Especially for
research question. This should
higher grades the metric system
include any variables that made
should be used (not standard
your experiment turn out in a
units) Record all failures as well
particular way. You may explain
as successes and the progress of
why your hypothesis was not
your experiment. Some of this
correct (if it wasn’t)
may be recorded using graphs or
tables or charts.
Download

Science Fair Booklet - Newell School District