Science Fair Project 2014-2015
Choosing a Project
The most important part of the project is to choose a topic that is interesting to the student. There are many books and internet sources to help students with project selection. The website sciencebuddies.org, has an excellent Science Fair Project section. The students are also encouraged to choose a project and modify it slightly or think of one of their own. When choosing a project the student must also consider the feasibility of the experiment. Listed below are some criteria for a good experiment. The Experiment
1. An experiment is a series of tests undertaken in order to verify predicted results. 2. The tests are performed in order to prove a hypothesis.
3. The experiment should be practical and realistic.
4. There must be controls of standards to which the change is measured. 5. A control is accomplished by setting aside one sample that is not being manipulated.
6. With out a valid control there is no experiment, and without an experiment there is no project.
7. An experiment must be repeated several times using the exact same controls in order to validate the results.
8. Simultaneous experiments using the same controls are acceptable. The Science Fair Project consists of three major components: The Logbook
The logbook is running, cumulative documentation of the entire project including the all aspects of choosing a topic and question to the completed abstract at the end of the entire project. A sample article on how to produce a good logbook is attached. A basic rule of thumb is “If you’re not sure whether it should be in the logbook, put it in.” The logbook can never have too much information.
The logbook is the most detailed and comprehensive aspect of the science project. It is the only part of the project that starts when the topic is chosen and is completed the day of the science fair.
1. The logbook is a running record of the entire science fair project. The logbook contains all information collected during the project beginning with the process of choosing a topic and going through the entire experimental process and conclusions. The information within the logbook should be in such detail that anyone could duplicate the student’s research and experimentation and achieve similar results.
2. The logbook is hand-written in a bound notebook that contains entries on the front side of each page. All entries in the logbook must be written with ink, and must be dated, and initialed. If students make errors in the logbook they are not allowed to use white-out. Simply draw a single, diagonal line through the error. The logbook must be readable and neat, however it is considered a “work in progress” and understandably has information that is edited and/or crossed-out. 3. The Science Fair Notebook and logbook should NOT be identical.
4. The logbook must be a part of the final display.
5. The following format should be followed for the logbook:
a. Title Page
i. Follow the same instruction as the Title Page for the Science Fair Notebook
b. Table of Contents.
i. This will develop as the project goes on so the student should leave a single blank page directly following the Title Page.
c. Project choices and Final Decision
d. Background Research Plan
e. Bibliography and Facts from sources
f. Initial Hypothesis and Research Outline
g. Background Research
h. Final Project Hypothesis
i. Material List
j. Experimental Procedure
k. Data Recording
l. Graphs and Charts (These should be hand-written.)
6. If a mistake in data or incorrect information is recorded, a single line should be drawn through the incorrect entry so that the entry can still be seen. A marginal note on the adjacent clear page can be used to explain the incorrect entry. 7. The use of hand-drawn sketches and illustrations is encouraged and in most cases preferred.
8. The information contained in the logbook is used to create the typed Science Fair Notebook....
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