The science fair project is optional. If you plan on participating in the Diocesan Science Fair, see your science teacher about details. The application is due by February 18, 2014. The fair will be on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Go to http://sciencebuddies.com/ for help.
.What must be included in the presentation and/or turned in?
*A detailed experiment notebook or logbook.
*A written project report with an abstract and bibliography.
*A poster or display board of your project, including maininformation, graphs and pictures.
Science Project Guidelines and Information
You will carry out a science project using the scientific method and experimentation. You may work individually or with one other person. The project will count as three test grades, and the final paper (write-up of the project) will tentatively be due
What is an independent science project?
An independent science experiment is a type of science experiment. The purpose is to encourage you to use the scientific method of hypothesizing and experimenting to find out something about the world in which you live. In your project you will design and conduct a controlled experiment.
What is a controlled experiment?
A controlled experiment contains one part to which all of the other tested materials are compared.
What does a controlled experiment look like?
If you wanted to see which fertilizer works best, one plant would be in soil with no fertilizer (the control) and the other plants would have different kinds of fertilizer added, for example organic versus chemical. During the experiment data as to height (or weight, etc) would be kept. At the end of the experiment graphs would be made from the data. Finally, a conclusion would be made about the effectiveness of the fertilizer.
Another experiment might be to see which and what types of pollution different bodies of water have. Each sample is compared to each other and to a norm, (which would be the control).
What is acceptable?
Unfortunately some "projects" are not acceptable. Keep in mind the objective is to do an experiment in which you, the student can measure, see or alter conditions. Models of volcanoes do not fit these criteria. Nor do "rubber" eggs. Models of the human body generally do not fit this category. There is a difference between an exploration and an experiment. Models by themselves do not disqualify an experiment; for example, you could make models of different wing styles and study the amount of lift on each - this is acceptable. Demonstrations by themselves are not enough. For example, showing that vinegar and baking soda react would not be allowed.
What to do:
- First, obtain a composition notebook, single subject spiral or wireless notebook to use as your logbook, or create a loose leaf folder or small binder. This is where you will keep a record of all that you do, including your thought processes, reflections, and data.
- Select a topic. Check out the web sites listed. Remember a science project is a test you do to find an answer to a question, not just showing what you know about something.
- Gather background information about your topic from books, magazines, the Internet, people and companies. Keep notes about where you got your information.
- Complete, get appropriate signatures and turn in your science project proposal form.
· Once you have received approval, use the scientific method to carry out your project. State the purpose of your experiment - What are you trying to find out?
Select a variable (something you will change/vary) that will help you find your answer. State your hypothesis - your guess about what the answer will be.
Decide on and describe how you will change the thing you selected.
Decide on and describe how you will measure your results.(Write all of this in your log.)
· Run a controlled experiment and record data.
Do the experiment as described above. Keep notes in your log book. Make both quantitative and qualitative observations. Write down everything you can. Take pictures of your project’s stages.
· Repeat the experiment if possible.
· Analyze your data. Graph the quantitative data to help make sense of it. Look for patterns.
· Summarize your results and draw conclusions. Using the trends in your experimental data and your experimental observations, try to answer your original questions. Is your hypothesis correct? Now is the time to pull together what happened, and assess the experiments you did.
· Communicate your results. Write up, in a formal manner, the entire project. Refer to the handout about the research paper and abstract.
· Construct an Exhibit or Display. It has to be neat, and clear. Make it fun, but be sure people can understand what you did. Show that you used the scientific method.
· Practice your presentation. Practice explaining your project to someone (parent, friend, grandparent, etc.)
Science Fair Paper
* Using your notes you can make a first-class science fair project by writing a good paper explaining what you did. Some teachers/judges require less and others more, but it should be organized something like this:
*Your project's name (it can be in the form of a question) Your name, school and grade.
Table of Contents
*List the parts of your report (Introduction, Hypothesis and Research, Procedure/Experiment, etc) and the page numbers where they begin. You'll have to make this page after the others.
*One paragraph that tells the whole story. One way to do this is to write a sentence for each idea in the scientific method. One for the purpose, one telling what experiment or test you did, etc.
Hypothesis and Background Research
*State your PURPOSE in more detail, what made you think of this project. Tell what you found out from the books or other sources you used to learn about your topic and be sure those sources are listed in your bibliography.
*List the materials you used and what you did. If drawings will make it clearer, draw on separate pages and put in this section. Explain in detail things you made.
*Describe what happened, what you observed. Show your data.
*Describe your interpretation of your results. Look over your notes, charts, and log and write what you think your data shows. You can put your opinions here. Was your hypothesis (what you expected to happen) correct? Don't be afraid to say that you might have made a mistake somewhere. Great discoveries can come from what we learn from mistakes!
Be sure to state the limitations of your project. (For example, if your project was to find out something about dogs and you used your dog, you can say "My dog did this. This might not be the same for other dogs." You can't say that all dogs would behave the same as yours because you didn't check all dogs.)
*List of books, articles, pamphlets, people you talked to and any other sources you used for researching your idea and writing your paper.
They are written or typed in this form:
Last name of author (or person you talked to), first name, "Title of article or chapter", Title of source (book title , magazine title or "Conversation"), place where published: publisher name, date, volume: pages.
Jones, Thomas A., "The Development of the Chick" Animal Development Magazine, June 2005, Vol. -34.
Peracchio, Laura, Telephone Conversation,