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Science Fair Project
What is a science fair?
• A journey of scientific inquiry. Students answer a scientific
question by conducting an experiment.
• The process ends with a showcase event.
Why are Science Fair Projects
so Important?
Students will…
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
experience PBL (Project Based Learning)
think like scientists
develop organizational skills
enhance writing and presentation skills
work on real science problems
demonstrate their abilities and knowledge to an audience
learn the scientific method
Student Benefits
 Integrates skills learned in other classes:
-Math skills,
-Computer skills, Research skills,
-Writing and presentation skills
 Serves as a basis for future science fairs, which present opportunities for
scholarships, awards, and prestige
 Promotes interest in a science career
Partnership
Students
• Choose a topic
• Design and perform
experiment
• Communicate
results through
presentation
Teachers
• Keep students on
track
• Answer Questions
• Provide rules and
regulations of fairs
Science
Fair
Success
Parents
• Encourage your child
to do their best work
•Supervise safety
Partnership
Students
• Choose a topic
• Design and perform
experiment
• Communicate
results through
presentation
Teachers
• Keep students on
track
• Answer Questions
• Provide rules and
regulations of fairs
Science
Fair
Success
Parents
• Encourage your child
to do their best work
•Supervise safety
Partnership
Students
• Choose a topic
• Design and perform
experiment
• Communicate
results through
presentation
Teachers
• Keep students on
track
• Answer Questions
• Provide rules and
regulations of fairs
Science
Fair
Success
Parents
• Encourage your child
to do their best work
•Supervise safety
Science Project Categories
Physical Sciences : Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics
Life Sciences: Agriculture, Behavior/Psychology, Health, Botany,
Microbiology, Environmental, Geology, Medicine, Zoology
Engineering/Computer/Math: Electronics, Computer,
Mathematics,
Concerns About Science Projects
“So what kind of a project is
required?”
Allowable Projects: Experimental
type projects that use the scientific
method with a testable question.
Ex. How Does …brand fertilizer
affect the growth rate of roses?
Projects Not Allowed: Research
projects (What is a hurricane?) or
models (a paper mache' volcano).
These do not involve testing.
Science Project Topics to Avoid
What do the teachers need to do?
 Teachers will break the science project into small,
manageable assignments that are spread out
over time.
What do the students need to do?
 Students need to complete the assignments on time
and ask questions if needed.
 The Scientific Method?
1-Ask a question.
 This is the foundation.
 If your child identifies a
question that is safe and can
be answered through
experimentation, the rest of
the project will follow.
For Example: How will the amount of
fertilizer affect plant growth?
How to Pick a Good Question
 The question should be interesting enough for your
child to read about and then work on for the next
couple months.
 Make sure the experiment is safe to perform.
 Ensure there is enough time to do the experiment
before the science fair. For example, most plants take
weeks to grow. If your child is doing a project on
plants, he or she will need to start early.
2-Do background research.
 Collect information by
looking in a variety of
sources.
 Goal: Obtain enough
information to make a
prediction of what will
happen in the experiment.
3-Construct a Hypothesis
What is a hypothesis?
 An educated guess about the
answer to a question. (It is a
statement of “expected” results.)
 Avoid statements like “I think”
and “I predict.” The hypothesis
should be in the form of
If/then: If I do [this], then [this]
will happen.
•For Ex: “If I increase dosages of fertilizer, it will
cause greater growth in tomato plants.
4-Design Experiment
 Independent Variable Is the factor that changes in an
experiment BY EXPERIMENTER
 Dependent Variable Is the factor that changes in the experiment
because of the change in the independent variable
 Control Variable(s) All other aspects of the experiment must
remain the same.
“How Does amount of fertilizer Affect the Growth Rate of Roses?”
Ind.
Dep.
Cont.
5-Materials
 The materials section is a detailed list of
everything used in the experiment. Include what,
how much, and kind of things used. They are
typically measured in metrics.
Non-Example
•Water
•Flower pots
•Seeds
•Dirt
Example
•5 liters of rain water
•Six 4 cm. clay pots
•12 bush bean seeds
•10 liters of potting soil
6-Test the Hypothesis (Do an
experiment.)
 The procedure is a listing of
steps used in the experiment.
 It is very detailed, like a
recipe. It makes it easy for
someone to duplicate the
experiment.
7-Data
• Draw tables, charts, graphs. It can be Line or Bar or
Circle. Example of a graph that “How wind generator
power changes with wind speed”.
60
Power (kW)
50
40
30
20
10
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Wind Speed (m/sec)
9
10
8-Analyze the data
• After organizing the data in easy-to-read tables and
graphs. You create a written statement of the data
and your observations during experiment
• Look at measurements and observations recorded
during the experiment. Think about the data and
decide what the results mean.
9-Conclusion
 Did the data support the hypothesis?
 If not, why do you think it did not? Do not worry
about negative results, or results that come out
differently than expected. Just explain why you
think you got those results. If the results turned
out as expected, explain why you think it turned
out this way.
 It’s ok if the experiment disproves the hypothesis.
Safety, safety, safety!
You can find this diagram and a lot of helpful information
about display boards at www.sciencebuddies.org
References
In addition to www.sciencebuddies.org, these websites are useful…
DiscoverySchool.com
http://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/
Discovery Channel’s guide to projects. Includes project ideas, questions &
answers, tip sheets, and a “Parents-Get Involved” section.
 All
Science Fair Projects
http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/
Browse ideas by topic or grade level. You can also search if you know your
topic. Be sure to look at the grade level of the project.
 United States Department of Agriculture
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/kids/fair/ideasframe.htm
Agricultural project ideas dealing with Chemistry, Botany, Environmental
Science, Nutrition, Microbiology, and Zoology.
Changes this Year
 Harmony will not be having a school wide science
fair this year.
 Students will complete their projects as in years past
and present them to their classmates.
 Students will not be required to create a science fair
board unless they are chosen to attend the cluster
science fair
 Projects that will move on to the cluster science fair
will be chosen by members of the science department.
Important Dates
 Harmony Cluster Science Fair held at Harmony
School of Political Science:
 December 8th, 2012
 Austin Energy Regional Science Fair:
 February 20-23, 2013:(http://www.sciencefest.org)
 Texas Science and Engineering Fair:
 March 26-29, 2013:(http://emtsef.utsa.edu/)
Have fun!
QUESTIONS ?