Science Fair Instructions
Updated on December 5, 2016 at 9:33
Science Fair Grade Categories
All participants must:
In this type of project you ask a question, construct a hypothesis, test your hypothesis using an experiment and draw conclusions from your experiment. At least one independent variable will be manipulated, while the others are all controlled. Data should include graphs and charts which will be extensively analyzed.
The best experimental projects involve ORIGINAL experimental research - answer a question that you DO NOT already know the answer to!
In this type of project, you develop, create, and evaluate new devices, models, theorems, physical theories, techniques or methods in technology, engineering, computing, natural science or social science. INVENT a way to do something better or cheaper or something that will save the world, then evaluate how we will benefit from it, how it advances our knowledge, and/or has an economic benefit.
In this type of project you do extensive research on a topic, write a research paper and do a visual of the main points of what you found in your research. The analysis (and you might even collect the data yourself) of the data should be extensive, and will include many graphs and charts. The studies might involve animal (including humans) subjects and behaviours, biology field studies, data mining, observation and pattern recognition in physical and/or socio-behavioural data.
Requirements of a Science Fair Project:
There are TWO main parts of your science fair project:
I.The Project Display Board
EVERYTHING on your display board should be neat, TYPED on a computer, and free of grammatical errors.
Don't include so much text that it will be impossible for the judges to read it all - if you have a lot of text, consider putting it in a separate notebook (which your teacher will refer to when they are marking your science fair project).
A good title should simply and accurately present the research, and might mention the variables being studied.
What is your goal for your project? (What was your question?)
This should be written in paragraph format and in YOUR OWN WORDS. The major points to be included in the introduction are as follows:
A demonstration of a clear understanding of the applicable principles and processes (the science of the experiment). References should be cited.
The rationale: gives the scientific and/or practical reasons for the project. To help the reader understand the rationale, it may be necessary to provide some background information or describe other studies conducted by scientists.
The purpose: indicates what the researcher hoped to achieve or learn.
The hypothesis: states what the researcher predicted the results would be.
Written using an "if...then...because..." statement.
A specific point form list of all the materials that were used, including the sizes, amounts and/or brands of materials used.
First state your variables - independent, dependent, and controlled.
Next, state any safety considerations (if your experiment requires any).
Then step by step instructions on how to perform the experiment. Number your steps. Anyone should be able to follow this procedure and know exactly what to do and get the same results as you.
Write in present-tense, and don't use personal pronouns like I, we and us.
Proper presentation of the data allows the readers to see more easily how you arrived at your conclusion. The data included should be the averages of all trials. Raw data should be included in the project report. Judges will be looking for accurate and appropriate statistics and graphs, charts, etc.
Written in your own words, the conclusion summarizes what was done in the experiment. It can be longer than one paragraph, but should:
Start by re-stating the objective and hypothesis - what was the purpose of the experiment, and what was your prediction?
Summarize the results of your experiment - what did you find out?
Discuss any possible sources of error - did you make any mistakes along the way, or have any problems controlling your variables?
Is there anything that could be done to improve the experiment?
Finish with a concluding sentence that wraps everything up.
A list of all the sources you used to make your project (web sites, books, etc.)
Does not include websites in Chinese, or search-engine websites like "yahoo answers", "baidu" or "google".
A thank you to any parent, teacher or other students who helped you.
II.The Project Report
report you need to have all the sections for your project
display board TYPED in a font size 12 written report.
This needs to be placed in a folder.
The project report should also have:
A longer, expanded background research section than what was on the display board
Also include all your raw, original data from your experiment (or any extra information you discovered and did not include on your board)
What else should you include?
Any good scientist knows that the key to performing a good experiment is to carefully plan the experiment, and then to record all the data in a notebook/computer so that the information can be easily referred to later.
A good science fair project will have a notebook or computer record of the experiment, which will include:
the DATE for each entry
all DATA recorded neatly in tables with units
Any risk assessment/human consent forms were filled out for the experiment
This notebook is not the "good copy" of the experiment, so the judges are not looking for neatness. Instead, the notebook is your PROOF that you actually did the experiment - it shows that you didn't just copy it from the internet somewhere.
Some great web-pages to get some ideas are:
Fair Projects and Ideas:
School Science Fair Project Ideas:
Wide Science Fair: