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Science Research Guide

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1 Science Research Guide
Mr. Schulman

2 Why do Science Fair? Student research promotes skills that are essential in the job force: Teamwork Responsibility Organization Honesty Discipline Time management Ethics

3 Choosing a Topic Sources of ideas and inspiration:
Conversations with teachers, scientists and students Magazine and newspaper articles Books Anything that causes you to wonder why or why not and motivates you to investigate further See web resources in the handbook at:

4 Safety and Regulations
Certain areas of study must be in compliance and have special forms signed before beginning the project. See handbook. These forms can be downloaded from the “Rules Wizard” at the following web site: Also check out the “Project Primer” and “Document Library” on the same site. No vertebrate animal experimentation is allowed in middle school.

5 Writing your Research Paper:
Use 3rd person Type in a 12 point standard font Check your spelling and grammar TITLE PAGE Put your title in the middle of the page. NAME SCHOOL GRADE

6 ABSTRACT Use this format:
COMPLETE PROJECT TITLE (all in capital letters, as it appears on project) Student’s name (Last name, First name, Middle initial if used) Broward County Science Fair Category entered The following parts should be included in an abstract 1. PURPOSE: Why is the research being done? 2. HYPOTHESIS: What is the expected outcome of the research? 3. PROCEDURE: Briefly, in paragraph form, describe the materials used and how the experiment was done. This section should not be a list, but a summary of your methods. 4. RESULTS: Briefly summarize the data from charts and graphs in narrative form. Include only information collected during the study. 5. CONCLUSIONS: Briefly, in narrative form, cite interpretation of the results. Briefly, compare findings with other research. Include suggestions for procedural improvements and recommendations for future study. APPLICATION: How is this research useful for everyday life? THE ABSTRACT SHOULD BE APPROXIMATELY 250 WORDS, SINGLE-SPACED ON A SEPARATE PAGE, FONT SIZE NO SMALLER THAN 10 POINT, AND IT SHOULD FIT IN THE BOX ON THE FORM AT THE ISEF WEBSITE:

7 PURPOSE STATEMENT Write one to three sentences that explains why you are doing this investigation. The problem is stated in the form of a question. Example: “Which soap powder is most effective in removing ketchup stains?” THE PROBLEM STATEMENT IS THE FIRST SENTENCE OF YOUR INTRODUCTION

This section helps the reader to understand your topic. It discusses the information that was learned and explains the reasons why you chose this hypothesis. The introduction should be 3-5 pages long or approximately 1,000 words.

9 HYPOTHESIS A hypothesis states what you think is going to happen when you investigate a question. It is written in “If…then” format: If the independent variable is applied, then the dependent variable will change in a certain way. Example: If marigold plants are watered with cola, milk and water, then the plants watered with milk will grow tallest. THE HYPOTHESIS IS THE LAST SENTENCE OF YOUR INTRODUCTION

10 EXPERIMENT Materials Procedure Controls Variables Data Data Analysis

11 MATERIALS List all materials used in your investigation. Include what, how much and what kinds of materials you used. Keep in mind quantities are important. Be sure to use only metric units. Good Listing Poor Listing 3 – 15x15 cm squares of each: Paper towels Brawny, Gala, Scott Generic paper towels 250 ml graduated beaker Measuring cup 750 ml water 20º C Water 1 – 20x20 cm square cake pan Container Celsius thermometer Thermometer Clock with second hand Clock

12 PROCEDURE Your step-by-step directions are like a recipe. Anyone who reads them will be able to duplicate your investigation and get the same results. You must repeat your experiment 10 times. Example: Question: “Do all brands of paper towels absorb the same amount of water?” Step-by-Step Directions: “Cut three 15x15 cm square from each brand of paper towel. Label each cut piece with brand name. Pour 50 ml of 20ºC water into 20x20 cm square pan. Place 1 square of Generic brand paper towel into water in pan. Leave for 30 seconds. Remove paper towel. Measure water remaining in pan and record. Dry pan. Repeat steps 4-8 for each brand of paper towel. Repeat entire process 10 times for each brand of paper towel.

13 CONTROLS Keep everything the same except for the variable being tested. The control group receives the same treatment as the test group, but the independent variable isn’t applied.

14 VARIABLES A variable is something that can be changed in the experiment. An independent variable is what you change on purpose to see its effect. A dependent variable is what changed or did not change in response to what was changed on purpose.

15 DATA LOG Data refers to information gathered during your investigation. Your data log should include: 1. Detailed day-by-day notes on the progress of your project A. What you are actually doing B. Problems you have with your investigation C. Things you would change if you were doing this investigation again 2. Any drawings that you feel might help explain your work 3. Data that you gather from your investigation (notes, tables, charts, graphs) Be sure that you date each entry in your log

16 Making a Graph Title: The title is a short description of the data being displayed. Horizontal Axis: The Independent Variable (what you changed on purpose) is displayed on the horizontal axis. Vertical Axis: The Dependent Variable (what happened as a result of what you changed) is displayed on the vertical axis.

17 DATA ANALYSIS Discuss patterns and/or trends in your data. Explain why they occurred. Describe any problems with your experiment.

18 RESULTS Interpret the data. State the findings of the experiment based upon the data you observed and analyzed.

19 WRITING A CONCLUSION Before you write your conclusions, carefully examine all your data (graphs, charts, tables.) Answer these questions: 1. Did you get the results you expected to get? 2. Did your experiment support your hypothesis?

20 APPLICATIONS Tell how the project and results are useful. RECOMMENDATIONS Tell how you would improve your project or what you would do to extend it for further study.

21 BIBLIOGRAPHY On a separate page, list alphabetically all books, articles, people or other sources you used for researching and writing your paper. Indent the second line of each citation. Do not number the citations. See Use APA style. Use at least 5 sources and cite the Intel ISEF Display and Safety Regulations

22 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS On a separate page, make a list of any people, including your parents, who may have helped you.


2 Proposal (problem and way student might go about researching and solving it). 3 2 source cards. Plan for developing evidence for display 4 3 source cards 5 3 source cards 6 2 source cards 7-8 Rough draft of: Procedures, Materials, and Data Table design 7-8 Submission of ISEF Certification Forms. Approval is for actual experimentation or data collection. 9-11 Rough draft of: Data collection, Data analysis, Conclusion, Abstract 12 Final copy (includes all parts of a formal science research paper) 13-14 Display design and construction

25 Resources Consult the following website for these forms and any additional forms you may need: Checklist for Adult Sponsor / Safety Assessment Form Research Plan (1A) Research Plan Attachment Approval Form (1B) Sponsors Exxon / Mobil Educational Alliance Program Wal-Mart Office Depot Local Businesses

26 Dates School Fair = week of December 15th ?
County Fair = first week of February

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