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Science Fair Project Strategies Gail Guzman Teen Librarian Patty Higgins Reference Librarian Kelli Staley Information Technology Lansing Public Library.

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Presentation on theme: "Science Fair Project Strategies Gail Guzman Teen Librarian Patty Higgins Reference Librarian Kelli Staley Information Technology Lansing Public Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science Fair Project Strategies Gail Guzman Teen Librarian Patty Higgins Reference Librarian Kelli Staley Information Technology Lansing Public Library

2 2 Science Projects… Teach you to manage time over a longer assignment. Teach research skills when finding your information. Teach you to keep organized records of your experiment. Teach critical thinking skills.

3 3 Our Plan Finding a topic Researching your topic – Encyclopedias & Reference Books – Non-fiction books – Online Resources Searching our catalog Finding articles

4 4 A Galaxy of Ideas… Where Do You Start? Books Magazines Websites

5 5 Books to Give You Ideas Science Fair collection Science Experiments binders

6 6 Magazines to give you ideas Discover Discovery Kids Mother Earth News National Geographic Popular Science Science

7 7

8 8http://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/ideas.html

9 9

10 10 Using Project Idea Websites Can give you lots if ideas for your project. Can help you decide what interests you. A good idea may still be difficult to research, depending on equipment needed, or time required. Many students use the same websites to get ideas.

11 11 Ways to find a science fair project idea #1 Look at lists of science categories and pick one that you are interested in, then narrow that down to a project. (example, say you pick psychology, then narrow it to the differences between boys and girls, then to a topic like "Do boys remember boy-type pictures (footballs) better than girl-type pictures (flowers)?"

12 12 Ways to find a science fair project idea #2 Use your experiences Remember a time you noticed something and thought "I wonder how that works?" or "I wonder what would happen if..." then turn that into a project.

13 13 Ways to find a science fair project idea #3 Think about current events. Look at the newspaper. People are hungry in Africa because of droughts - a project on growing plants without much rain, which types grow ok with little water? Or the ozone hole over Antarctica - how can we reduce ozone? -a project on nonaerosol ways to spray things. Or oil spills. how can we clean them up? -a project on how to clean oil out of water.

14 14 Ways to find a science fair project idea #4 Watch commercials on TV. Test their claims. Does that anti-perspirant really stop wetness better than other ones? What are the real differences between Barbie and imitation Barbie dolls? Can kids tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi if they don't know which they are drinking?

15 15 Keep it specific! Make sure your project is well defined. Pick a project that is age appropriate. Pick a project that you can accomplish. Make sure you have enough time to complete your project!

16 16 Sample Topics Idea: – What freezes faster, water or juice? Better Idea: – What freezes faster, water or orange juice?

17 17 Sample Topics Idea: – Do plants grow if you feed them? Better Idea: – Do plants grow if you feed them sugar, or salt?

18 18 Sample Topics Idea: – What makes mold grow? Better Idea: – What makes mold grow on bread?

19 19 Sample Topics Idea: – Solar panels Better Idea: – Solar panels: are they efficient, and why?

20 20 Sample Topics Idea: – Batteries Better Idea: – Build a battery.

21 21 Sample Topics Idea: – Transporting electrical currents. Better Idea: – Transporting electrical currents through vegetables.

22 22 Scientific Method Purpose: What am I trying to discover or prove? Research. Hypothesis: What do you think will happen? Procedure: How will I do this? Your steps of an experiment. Results: What your experiment showed. Organize your data into charts or graphs. Conclusion: Evaluate results into a summary. It’s OK if your hypothesis was wrong if your results prove your experiment.

23 23 Research-Searching for Information on Your Topic Sometimes, terms are obvious – For plants, you can look at how they grow Often search terms require critical thinking – For solar panels, look up sunlight and energy as well.

24 24 …an example Project topic: Why do nails rust in water?

25 25 Specify Your Topic Define the topic: – Why does an iron nail rust in water? – Why does an iron nail rust in salt water? – Does an iron nail rust faster in a 25% salt water solution or a 50% salt water solution? – Does an iron nail rust faster in ice water, 60 degree water, 100 degree water, or boiling water?

26 26 Check the Dictionary! Rust (noun) 1. Any of various reddish-brown oxides formed on iron and iron containing materials by low-temperature oxidation in the presence of water. 2. Any of various metallic coatings formed by corrosion.

27 27 Decide on Your Search Terms Water Iron Chemical interaction Corrosion Oxidation Rust

28 28 Background Reading Explore the library resources to find information on the general concept that your science project investigates.

29 29 Beginning Your Research

30 30 Dewey Decimal System: How the library is organized Science materials have call numbers in the 500s-600s. General Science 500 Chemistry 540 Botany (plants) 581 Biology 574

31 31 Reference Collection

32 32 General Collection

33 33 Lansing Library Catalog

34 34 Sorting & Limiting

35 35 SWAN

36 36 SWAN

37 37 SWAN

38 38 OCLC WorldCat

39 39 OCLC WorldCat

40 40 EBSCO

41 41 EBSCO

42 42 EBSCO

43 43 First Search

44 44 First Search

45 45 First Search

46 46 First Search

47 47 Internet Research

48 48 Can’t trust everything on the internet

49 49 Trusted Websites Lansing Public Library – Illinois Clicks! – Internet Public Library – Librarians’ Internet Index –

50 50 Lansing Library Website

51 51 Illinois Clicks!

52 52 Internet Public Library

53 53 Librarian’s Internet Index

54 54 Wikis: Collaborative Websites A wiki is a group of Web pages that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows others (often completely unrestricted) to edit the content.

55 55 Wikipedia

56 56 5 Tips for Success Start as soon as your teacher assigns a project. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan ahead. Ask Librarians if you need help finding information. HAVE FUN!

57 Thank you for coming! Please fill out the feedback form! This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License


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