Science Fair Project
 
 
______ Points
This project involves the use of the scientific method in order to solve a problem. In solving the problem, you will conduct an experiment and record the results.

Here ís a list of the due dates for each part:_________________ Topic picked and OK'd by teacher._________________ Diary and experiment begin (Daily logbook)._________________ Lab report is due (include a diagram)._________________ First draft of research is due (5 pages, 3 sources)_________________ Diary ends. Begin making graphs and finishing report._________________ Written report is due (including graphs)._________________ Science Fair display (posters, etc.) due._________________ P.C.I.S. Science Fair for best projects.Requirements: This project should includeÖ

Total length of 15 pages.

 Science Fair Project Your science fair project should follow the format of the scientific method.Step 1. Define the Problem

Step 2. Research

Step 3. Hypothesis


Step 4. Test and Experiment

 Step 5. Check Hypothesis

 Step 6. Conclusions

 Final Note:

Completion of this project shows that you have learned how to conduct an experiment as a scientist would. This is a very important goal. While some class time will be devoted to the science fair, most of the work of the science fair will need to be completed at home.

___________________________ ______________________________

(Student Signature) (Parent Signature)

  Step 1. Define the Problem

  • Select a topic that interests you! Look for a topic in books, magazines, experiment books, museums, newspapers, TV, etc.
  • Click here for topic ideas :
    • Keep your topic narrow enough so that you can finish it and do a good job on it.
    Example:"Plants" is a poor topic. You will not be able to learn everything about plants. Be specific. Pick a particular plant and choose one variable to test.A better topic would be: How does the distance from a fluorescent light source affect the growth rate of hydroponically grown ivy plants? How will varying the distance by 5cm in each group affect the growth of the leaves and roots?
  • State the purpose of your project

  •  Example:The purpose of this experiment is to find the best distance from a fluorescent light for growing ivy cuttings. We have been growing ivy cuttings in water on the windowsill for many years. Now, I would like to try to grow them under our new fluorescent light. My mother will be able to use my results to grow ivy cuttings for her friends.Step 2. Research

    Use at least three different sources including books, magazines, Internet, interviews, encyclopedias, etc.Read, Read, Read!!

    Remember that you should research all aspects of your experiment.Example:

    For research on ivy (Hedera helix)

    • Look in books on house plants, gardening, plant encyclopedias, etc.Also research hydroponics
    • Also research fluorescent light

    Now, combine your research and organize your notes into a research report.Don't forget to include pictures and diagrams as part of your research! Step 3. Hypothesis

    Include other guesses such as height, color, condition, size, time, etc.Now that you have read about your topic, you should be ableto ask yourself specific questions about it. You should be ableto answer the questions with intelligent guesses or hypotheses.I believe that the ivy plants closest to the fluorescent light will grow best. Fluorescent lights are often used in indoor gardening and do not emit harmful quantities of light. Based on my research, I think this group will grow 6 cm. taller during the experiment. Also, because these ivy plants get more light, their root systems will also grow best. The following is a chart of my predicted results for each group:  

     Hypothesis - Ivy Group A averages

    Date Height in cm. # of leaves Avg. root length in cm. Expected Observations
    1/1/99 4 5 0 Initial sizes.
    1/8/99 4.5 5 0 Leaves will grow before roots start.
    1/15/99 5 5 1 Roots will begin to grow.
    1/22/99 6 6 1 More leaves will follow.
    1/29/99 7.5 6 2.5 Leaves and roots will grow faster.
    2/5/99 8 7 3 All parts will grow fast.
    2/12/99 9 7 4.5 Roots will grow very fast.
    2/19/99 10 8 6 Plant is very healthy, ready to transplant.
    Totals 6 8 6  

    Notice that this is just the chart for group A. You would also need hypothesis charts for groups B, C and D

     Now, it's time to make a lab report. Here's what it should look like:

    Lab Report

    Title: (in the form of a question)Purpose: (reasons for doing this experiment)Materials: (this should be a list of everything needed to do your experiment)

    Procedure: (step-by-step instructions on how to perform your experiment). Number the steps and donít forget any details! Any person should be able to duplicate your experiment by reading your procedure. Also, include a diagram to help with your explanation.

    Expected results: (hypothesis and predicted numbers)

     

    Step 4. Test and Experiment

    You must keep careful records of all that you do and all that happens during your experiment. This should be in the form of a daily diary called a logbook..Example:1/13/99

    Today I checked my plants at 5:30 P.M. I noticed that Group A seems to be growing faster than groups B, C, and D. Specifically, plant A2 seems to be growing the best. The plants in Group A arenít just taller, but seem to be greener and more healthy. It is interesting to note that the plant with the longest root development is plant C3. I donít know the reason for this. Here is a chart of my results for today:

    Plant Height in cm. # of Leaves Root length in cm. Observations
    A1 5 4 3.1 Has not grown
    A2 5.2 5 3.4 Has a new leaf
    A3 5.3 4 3.4 Is tallest in the group
    B1 4.9 4 3.1 Has not changed
    B2 4.8 4 3.0 Has not shown growth
    B3 4.8 5 2.5 Poor root growth
    C1 5.0 4 2.3 Poor root growth
    C2 4.3 5 3.4 Lowest height
    C3 4.5 4 4.2 Longest roots
    D1 4.3 4 3.2 Lowest height
    D2 4.7 4 2.9 Low root growth
    D3 4.4 4 2.0 Least root development

    Step 5. Check Hypothesis

    Now is the time to make charts and graphs to show your results!

    • You should make graphs to show your point of viewSet the scales of the axis to emphasize your resultsProve your point with your graphs!All graphs should be neat and include a chart of the numbers that you used.At least one graph should be handmade.At least one graph should be computer made.At least one graph should have a key.
    • You could also use photographs, models, and drawings to help show your results.

  • Example:
  • Step 6. Conclusions

    After you have recorded your observations, you should be able to answer the question that you asked in your hypothesis. Compare all of your graphs!!Now, put your project together as follows:

  • Cover

    A good cover that shows effort. Donít forget a full heading!Table of ContentsPages numbered and in the correct order. Use the order given here!Lab ReportYour lab report that ís already completed. Make sure youíve made corrections and included a good diagram with labels.ResearchRe-copied with corrections. Donít forget pictures!HypothesisYour predictions (numbers) for each group each week and reasons why.DiaryMetric measurements for each day with comments. Make sure itís neat!Check HypothesisCompare you actual (metric) numbers to your predicted numbers. Also give reasons why.GraphsAt least 3 graphs. They will be graded on accuracy, neatness, and presentation. Use graph paper for any handmade graphs. Every graph needs a chart with the numbers that you used for that graph.Analysis of GraphsExplain each of your graphs and prove your point. Use sentences like "I did this becauseÖ", "You can see thatÖ", "Notice thatÖ", "CompareÖ", and "This proves thatÖ"BibliographyAt least 3 sources. Include author, book name, publisher, copyright date, and volume. Include the URL and the date of any Internet sources.Acknowledgements (optional)

    Thanks to....or any comments about your project

  •  
  • After your project is graded, you will be asked to do a Science Fair PresentationHere's how to make a great display:

    Materials:

  • Make the backboard from any sturdy material. Remember that it should stand by itself on the table. Plywood, pressed board such as masonite, heavy cardboard or foamboard would be a good choice. Assemble the material into 3 sections with hinges or strong tape.

    Color

    Before you go any further, decide what colors you will use. If your background needs painting, enamel paints works best. Choose contrasting colors for lettering. If you are in doubt about your color combination, get another opinion.

    Lettering

    Your title should be cut out of construction paper and attached (taped or glued) to the background. The use of large stencils or a computer will make the letters more attractive. Posters can be lettered by hand, but first do them in pencil and later re-trace them in marker. Stick-on letters can also be used.

    Drawings

    Drawings and sketches should always be done in pencil first and then re-traced. Large, poster size drawings can be enlarged using an overhead or opaque projector at school.

    Photos

    Good photography can be enlarged at a photo dealer so that you can show how you set up your experiment. Every project does not need photos, but if you have a camera, you might consider recording your progress. Always label your photos!

  • Use copies of this page to help you remember what you'll need to get from each book for your bibliography:

    Bibliography Verification Name:___________________________Period:______ Date: ______________ Topic Area:

    Circle Source:

    BookPamphlet ArticlesPeriodical ArticleNewspaperFilm TV
    Video RecordingInterview CD ROM Internet  

    Use correct citation and modify the space below if necessary:Title: (or name of web site)Author:Date/Publisher / Pages:Web address, if it is a web site:(URL)Last date web site was updated:Date you retrieved web site information:LOCAL/REGIONAL/STATE JUDGING CRITERIA

    TOPICS FOR CONSIDERATION IN JUDGING

    The Science Fair focuses on the exhibitor and what he or she has learned about the chosen subject and the scientific process in general. The quality of a studentís project will be judged not only on what is exhibited but also upon the exhibitor's ability to discuss his or her work intelligently.

    SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO THE PROBLEM

  • Does the exhibitor recognize the scope and the limitations of the problem? How orderly has been the analysis? Has originality been shown in setting up a systematic work schedule and in the securing of data? Are the projectís conclusions consistent with the projectís data? Possible 30 points.
  • ORIGINAL NOTEBOOK/FORMAL LAB REPORT

  • Did the exhibitor keep an original, day-by-day notebook which records all plans, procedures observations and conclusions or failures as well as successes? How accurate are data and observations? Does the student have a bibliography? Possible 10 points.
  • THOROUGHNESS

  • Has the exhibitor searched the literature concerning his or her project? Has he or she constructed charts and graphs wherever applicable? How successfully has the original plan been carried through to completion? Possible 15 points.
  • INGENUITY AND CREATIVITY

  • Has the exhibitor made the best use of available equipment? Is the explanation of his or her project clear and concise? How much originality is shown in the method chosen? How effectively has the student used his or her material in the solution of problems? Have safety precautions been observed in the conduct of the experiment? Possible 20 points.
  • EXHIBITOR'S ADVANCEMENT IN SCIENCE

  • Is the exhibitor aware of the basic scientific principles, which lend support to his or her methods and conclusions? Is the exhibitor aware of the value of the empirical method ñ of the necessity of repeated trials and the importance of controlling the variables in experiments in order to reach valid conclusions? Is the exhibitor research-minded? Possible 25 points.
  • Safety Rules for a Science Project

    1. In order to protect the public, no explosive, highly flammable, corrosive or highly poisonous materials may be brought to the fair. All chemicals must be protected so that there will be no possibility of damage to spectators, neighboring exhibitors, etc. Use of rocket fuels, armed rockets and explosives of any kind is prohibited. This is very important in the crowded conditions at the science fair.Due to the fire hazard, there can be no open flame, torch, or burner. Electrical heating units must be well protected and must not be near the front edge of the exhibit.Projects dealing with radiation, either from x-rays or radioactive materials must present no hazard to the public.Plants must be properly cared for. Provision should be made to prevent offensive odors.No pathogenic cultures may be exhibited.Molds and bacterial cultures must be covered carefully and sealed tightly at all times.Hypodermic needles and syringes must not be left on display. Any exhibit, which includes them, will be automatically disqualified and removed from the fair.All moving parts of machines must have protective covering. Watch particularly for vacuum pumps.Push buttons and levers must be securely mounted on exhibits. They must not be attached to tables or walls.Material and construction must be durable. All movable parts must be firmly attached. Power-driven movable parts must be protected with guards.All electrical apparatus must be constructed according to standard electric safety laws. If you are in doubt, consult a competent electrician.All exhibits which require house current for operation or illumination must be designed for operation on alternating current at 110-115 volts. If batteries are used, they should be storage batteries to insure continuity of operation. Dry cell batteries may be used if they are frequently renewed.Doorbell push buttons must not be used to control 110-115 volt apparatus. Use toggle or push-button switches designed for the proper load. Non-insulated switches, such as knife switches, will not be permitted.All wiring, switches and metal parts carrying current must be completely enclosed by barriers that will positively prevent observers from reaching into the exhibit and receiving an electrical shock. Both front and back of display must be so enclosed. All chassis should be grounded.All electrical joints must be properly secured and insulated.Nails, tacks and uninsulated staples must not be used for fastening wires. Use porcelain and other suitable types of insulators.All wire used in construction of exhibits must be selected and insulated for voltage in use. There must not be any exposed wires.All capacitor banks must have short-out provisions.All solvents must be in proper containers.All pressure vessels should have relief valves.
    2. All laser beams must be contained and pulsed electrical circuitry isolated.

     

    SCIENCE FAIRChemical Release Form

    Student _______________________ Course ____________________Teacher _______________________I requested the following chemicals for my childís science project:Cost: Chemical Name: Amount: Hazard:$_______ ______________________________ _____ ____________________________ ______________________________ _____ ____________________________ ______________________________ _____ ____________________________ ______________________________ _____ ____________________________ ______________________________ _____ ____________________________ ______________________________ _____ ____________________________ ______________________________ _____ ____________________________ ______________________________ _____ _____________________$______ Total Cost

     

    I have been informed of the proper handling procedures and special hazardous qualities of each of the above chemicals. I will supervise my child in their use and disposal. I will NOT hold the school authorities LIABLE in the event of injury caused by any of the above chemicals. I also agree to pick up the requested chemicals at school and transport them home in my personal vehicle.Date_____________________ Signature _________________________________

    (Parent/Guardian)

     
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