Presentation on theme: "Science Fair Secrets Working on a science project can be an exciting adventure! You will get to explore new ideas, new equipment, new techniques, and."— Presentation transcript:
Science Fair Secrets
Working on a science project can be an exciting adventure! You will get to explore new ideas, new equipment, new techniques, and learn about the principles of science. But, like all adventures, to be successful takes time, planning, research, preparation, and some hard work.
How do I get started?
Choosing a Topic and Title
Be sure that the project chosen is an experiment and NOT a demonstration. An experiment is a problem that is explored through the scientific method: – Formulating a question – Determining and following a procedure – Collecting and analyzing data – Forming a conclusion
Choosing a Topic and Title Models and demonstrations are NOT scientific experiments!
Also avoid choosing CONSUMER PROJECTS! Example: A Coke vs. Pepsi Project Surveying 20 people to see if they prefer Coke or Pepsi would NOT be a good science fair project because it has no scientific importance.
How to make a consumer project scientifically relevant A way to make the Coke vs. Pepsi idea into a good project might be to determine if the caffeine found in Coke or Pepsi has a greater effect on the blood pressure of a sample of 20 people. This project would have scientific (medical) importance!
Choosing a Topic and Title How should I frame my question? Pick a topic that: Will be interesting. You will be able to complete in the required time.
Choose a title that reflects your topic and is in the form a question Example: How does caffeine affect the growth of a plant? How much methane do different types of food scraps produce? How does the roughness of a surface affect a snail’s average speed? Does salt or sugar affect water evaporation? Does a magnetic field affect the germination process?
Explaining the Purpose Use 1-3 sentences to describe what you want to find out. Begin with: – The purpose of this project is… – The purpose of this study is… – The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effect of ____ on _____.
For example: The purpose of this study is to determine which soda, Coke or Pepsi, has the greatest effect on a person’s blood pressure. The purpose of this project is to find out if a pea plant will grow taller when given caffeine rather than water.
Background & Research Research should be designed to get background information about your topic, before you begin your experiment. Try to use various sources for your research. Suggested sources: – Books – Magazines – Newspapers – Internet
Formulating a Hypothesis A hypothesis is a prediction, or scientific guess, stating what you think will be the answer to your problem/question. It may be written as an “If, then” statement. “ If I __________ then I think _____” “if” represents the independent variable, while “then” represents the dependent variable.
For example: If blood pressure is measured after Coke and Pepsi are consumed, then those subjects who drink Coke would have a higher blood pressure than those who drink Pepsi. If I pour 100ml of coffee on four pea plants and pour 100ml of water on another four pea plants, then I think the plants with coffee will grow taller because caffeine will stimulate the plants.
Independent variable – The variable you are changing Dependent variable – The variable you observe for changes Controlled variables (aka Constants) – Things that remain the same throughout the experiment Designing an Experiment
You must design an experiment that only tests one independent variable. All other variables must be controlled.variables Example: If you are testing plants: Use the same seeds. Plant all of them with the same soil. Put them all in the same amount of light for the same amount of time. The only thing that should be different about the plants is that one received coffee and the other water.
1. Get 8 pea plants ( 100 cm tall). 2. Place 4 pea plants on each tray. 3. Label one set of plants “Caffeine”. 4. Label the second set “Water”. 5. Pour 100ml of coffee( with caffeine ) onto the soil of each plant twice a week. 6. Pour 100ml of water onto the soil of each plant twice a week. 7. Measure each plant with a metric ruler 8. Record data in record book. Procedure Provide a detailed list of instructions so that others can repeat your experiment. These instructions should be numbered.
Materials Next, you need to list all materials that will be used to conduct the experiment. Make a complete list of everything you will use in your experiment. Tell how many and how much of each object used. Use metric measures only.
Do your experiment.
Collecting & Displaying Data Data should be collected as you perform the experiment Data should be displayed on your board in the form of tables, graphs, and/or charts All tables, graphs, and charts should be clearly labeled and include a title Photos should also be included, if available.
Include photographs of your experiment
Results Using your data write a few sentences how your experiment turned out. There is no interpretation or analysis. For example: The people in my study who drank Pepsi had a higher blood pressure than those who drank Coke. From reading my charts and graphs, I know that Plant Group #1 grew an average of 40cm with 100mL of coffee. Plant Group #2 grew an average of 20cm with 100mL of water. The Plant Group that was given coffee grew 20cm more on the average than the Plant Group that was given water.
Drawing Conclusions Here is where you answer your research question. – Did the data you collected support your hypothesis? – Explain why the data did or did not support your hypothesis. – How could you modify your experiment to get more useful data and get more conclusive results?
Conclusion My hypothesis was supported. The plants that were watered with coffee ( caffeine ) grew taller than those that were given water. Therefore, caffeine has a positive effect on the growth of pea plants. This may be due the fact that caffeine is a stimulant. The caffeine could have stimulated the plant to grow.
Make your Board
Use the entire board! Be creative with your display! Not so good Good
Helpful Resources Science Fair Web Pages http://www.sciencebuddies.org/index_A.htm Best site for help through out project! http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/fair.html This is a good site explaining the parts of a science fair project. http://sciencefair.math.iit.edu/ A web site for children to use in setting up their science fair project http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/ ?pID=fair A great site! It has info for parents, teachers, and students. It has project ideas, research tools, and tip sheets for all kinds of projects.
Bringing It Together Keys for success: † Make a time-line and stick to it. † Parental support † Organization