Investigation - Projects that use the scientific method to solve an original problem.
Investigation An investigation project uses the scientific method to solve an original problem or question you've created. (See next page for an explanation of this method.) To create your own question or problem you can try starting with an experiment you've read about and altering it or making it more specific. For example, you may have read about an experiment where water is heated to increase the amount of sugar that will dissolve in it. The question in this experiment might be, "How does heating water increase the amount of sugar that will dissolve in a cup of water?" You might follow this same experiment but use another substance (such as chocolate powdered drink mix) to dissolve in the water and heat. You could also make your question more specific. Your question or problem could then be "How does the heating water by 5 degrees increase the amount of powdered drink mix that will dissolve in a cup of water?"
Demonstrations or Investigation projects should begin with a specific question, and end with an answer. For example: Will an ice cube melt faster in air or in water? How does playing video games affect your heart rate? Does water temperature affect melting speed of ice? Which brand of cereal has the most raisins? With which brand of batteries do toys run the longest? Do objects of different weights fall at different speeds? From which direction does t he wind blow most frequently? Do showers use less water than baths? Which brand of golf ball flies the farthest? Does fertilizer make bean plants grow taller? Which soil holds more water, sand soil or clay soil? Which type of liquids form the biggest drops? Do ocean and fresh water freeze at the same temperature?
SAFETY: In keeping with the current school safety standards for science fairs, the following guidelines must be followed: Live animals will not be allowed at the science fair as part of your project. We suggest photographs and pictures be used instead. Bunsen burners can be used during a demonstration. However, matches/lighters must be kept with a science fair committee person. Goggles must be worn when demonstrating a project that involves chemicals or chemical reactions (it’s a state law). Even a simple baking soda/vinegar reaction requires the use of goggles. No dangerous chemicals allowed. Bacteria or cultures will only be allowed in your project if they are not able to be touched by spectators. These guidelines are for the safely of both participants and spectators.
Project Specifications: Due to the limited space we have the size of the project should be approximately 4 ft x 3ft x 2 ft. Cardboard sheets this size are available to pre-order. Please detach the ½ sheet interest form and send with your money. Orders must be in no later than February 13, 2009. Larger sizes need to be approved by the science fair committee. If you need special equipment such as proximity to an outlet, video player, etc. please note below.
Evaluation: All students entering the Science Fair will receive a participation medal. Additionally, participants will be evaluated by elementary through high school teachers, community members and Tiffany Park staff. Evaluators will ask questions and provide constructive feedback to the students. Evaluation will be based on a combination of using the Scientific Method, presentation and layout, effort, demonstration and explanation, knowledge achieved, and originality of project. Narratives and attached explanations are encouraged. Students will be present during evaluation in order to demonstrate and answer questions about their project. Students will receive immediate feedback from the evaluators at this time.
YesNo1. Is this a problem that I am interested in? YesNo2. Will I have enough time to complete the project for the Science Fair? YesNo3. Will I learn something new about this subject through my observations and experiments? YesNo 4. Is this problem specific enough so that I will be able to define exactly what I need to do? YesNo 5. Do I have sufficient knowledge and experience to conduct the experiments that will be necessary for the project? YesNo 6. Will I be able to obtain all of the equipment necessary to do the project? YesNo 7. Is this a project that I will be able to accomplish with very little or no outside help? Choosing a Science Problem Self-Check List There are many categories from which to choose a problem on which to base your science project, such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, geology and general science. You should be able to answer “yes” to every question below for the problem you have chosen. If any answer is “no,” reconsider your choice; it may be a good idea to choose a different problem or to alter the focus of your project.
Intermediate Science Fair Requirements (3-5) 1.Ask a question to investigate. 2.Plan and conduct simple investigations following all safety rules. (variables) 3.Construct a reasonable explanation using evidence. 4.Make sure your project has some kind of creative pizzazz. 5.Your presentation board needs to be neat and have no serious spelling or grammar errors. 6.Verbal Knowledge (Does the student know the subject well? Can the student explain the project?) 7.Thoroughness (Is the project complete? Does the project tell a complete story?) 8.Creativity (Is the project original? Is the project presented imaginatively? Does the project show a unique approach to answering a question?)
Data in Charts Days1234567 Length (cm) 0122.544.55 Experiment A (Water) Days1234567 Length (cm) 0000000.5 Experiment B (Capri Sun)
Science Fair Boards 1.Question – What is your topic 2.Materials – List of what you used 3.Procedures – Steps you did in order 4.Variables – what are your 2-3 variables? 5.Purpose – Why are you doing this? 6.Prediction – What do you think will happen? What will be the results? 7.Data/Results – chart, graph information 8.Conclusion – what did you learn? Answer your question.
Question or Title PurposePrediction Conclusion Pictures Materials Procedures Data/ Results Graph/ Charts Variables