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Ms. Pearson's Science Site

Science fair project PROJECT STEPS

Physical Science Class
Physical science LFC
Semester Exams (Review)
AP Enviromental Science
science fair project

  • Project Steps
    • Selecting A Topic.
      • The first step on preparing a good science fair project is to select a topic for your project. Choosing a good project is a very important because it makes the difference between a good and an excellent project. You should pick a topic you are interested in.
    • Research your project
      • After selecting your topic, learn everything about it. books on your topic can most likely be found in your local libary or bookstore. The best source for information is on the internet. You canuse the many search engines available to find information or try our science links page with a vast amount of links to various science related sites on the internet.
    • Make a Plan
      • Once you consider yourself an 'expert about your topic, Make a plan as how you will conduct your experiment. yoyur plan should include the following:
        • The purpose of your experiment
        • The variable(s) or the things that you are going to change during the experiment.
        • Your hypothesis or whaty you think the outcome of the project will be.
        • a detailed procedure outlining how you will conduct the experimentation
    • Conduct the Experiments
      • The next step is to follow the plan that you have written. while conducting the experiments make sure you keep detailed notes on everything that you observe. you may even want to take pictures or make sketches of your observations. These notes are vital to your experiment because they are needed when you write your report and make your display.
    • Analyze Your Results
      • once you are finished with the experiment, organize your notes. you may want to recopy your notes that way they are more organized and can be easily understood by others. then, analyze themask your self what happened did the results agree with your hypothesis, and so on. make graphs and charts to repersent the data to help you analyze it.
    • Write a Report
      • Write a detailed report about your project. tell exactly what you did, how you did it, and what you discovered. be sure to write all your plans and your experiment. include youer data, perhaps some charts and graphs and to help readers interpret the information. Be sure you also include some of the background information you learned. for More information visit our Writing a science fair page.
    • Make your display
      • The Display is crucial to your success at the fair because it tells about your project. The display must be neat and well organized. it should include background information, the problem, your hypothesis , your procedure, your results, your conclusion, your report, and charts and graphs. You can also include photos or drawings of your experiments. for more information on creating your  display , see our display hints page.
  •  Display boards
      • The purpose of your display is to display your project to a judge. Content, or the information on the board is the most important thing. many boards look good but do not have very much information. your display board should look professional, something that a businessperson might use, not a little kid. It should attract the attention of the viewer and make them want to come over and read about your project.
      • It is good to use color on your display but you should not make it too color ful because it will make your display lose professionalism. Stick to 1 or 2 colors that contrast, such as black and white red and green. avoid flourecent they make your project look cheap. whatever you do, do not use colors that clash! Use colors sparingly, do noy want the judges focusing on the colors instead of the content.
      • The title is very important in a display board. it should be eye-catching and easy to read. be sure that the leters are large enough to read across a room. use dark colors for the title.
      • Most display boards are of a 3 panel configuration and the traditional way to set up this type of board is: 

Left panel

Center Panel

Right panel

    • Before you begin make sure you plan out the board icluding your sketches. this can save you money if you mess up a board.
  • Formal report!
      • a good research paper should include all of the following:
    • Title page Create a title page including a project title, your name, address, School, and grade.
    • Table of contents include the page #'sfor the beginning of each section.
    • Introduction the introduction includes your hypothesis, an explaination of your idea and how you got it. also include what you hoped to achieve when you started the project.
    • Experiment Describe in detail the method you used to collect your data and observations. Your report should be detailed enough for anyone to be able to repeat your experiment by just reading the paper. it would be a good idea to include detailed photographsor drawings of your self-designed equipment.
    •  Discussion In this section, your results are analyzed. This section should flow logically so that the reader can easily follow your train of thought. Compair your data, with theoretical values, and expected results. Discuss how your results varied form similar events. Describe what you would do differently if you were to do this project agian.
    • Conclusion Summarize your results. do not introduce anything that wasnt already mentioned in previous parts of paper.
    • Acknowledgements in this secion, you should give credit to all who assisted you. This may include individuals, businesses, and educational or research institutions. Identify any finacial support or materials donations recived.
    • References This list should include any documentation that is not your own, such as books or articles, You Used. Use Proper bibliography format.
  • Logbook
  • Your log book is a detailed accounting of the process you went through to create your science project. it should include the research you did to come up with your research question, the formulation of your hypotheses, your materials and procedure, and your acctual collection of data.
    • Research question and hypothesis
      • Your research question is a question about a scientific idea, concept or problem you would like to answer.
        • Ex. Does name-brand fertilizer helps plants grow faster generic fertilzer?
      • You hypothesis is prediction about how you think your research question will be answered.
        • Ex, Generic fertilizer will help plants grow jsut as quickly as name brand fertilizer.
    • Varibles
      • There are 3 types of variable you must identify in your experiment, control variables, independent variables and dependent varibles. 
      • Your independent variable is what you are manipulating in your experiment.
        • Ex. Type of fertilizer, name brand or generic
      • Your dependent is how you are going to measure the effects of the independent variable.
        • Ex. Growth
      • Your control varibles are all of the other variable that could possible effect your dependent variable that you are going to keep constant across your experimental conditions.
        • Ex. Amount of light, amount of water, temperature, [O2],[CO2],
    • Materials and Procedures
      • This is a complete accounting of how you are going to conduct your experiments and all of the materials required. Your procedure should includeall steps needed for someone reading your method to complete the exact same experiment.