2 Working on a science project can be an exciting adventure 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.
5 Choosing a Topic and Title Be sure that the project chosen is an experiment and NOT a demonstration.An experiment isa problem that isexplored throughthe scientific method:Formulating a questionDetermining and following a procedureCollecting and analyzing dataForming a conclusion
6 Choosing a Topic and Title Avoid this common mistake:Choosing a model or demonstration:Examples:VolcanoesSolar SystemsHow a Light Bulb Works…Models and demonstrations are NOT scientific experiments!
7 Also avoid choosing CONSUMER PROJECTS! Example:A Coke vs. Pepsi ProjectSurveying 20 people to see if they prefer Coke or Pepsi would NOT be a good science fair project because it has no scientific importance.
8 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!
9 Choosing a Topic and Title Pick a topic that:Will be interesting.You will be able to complete in the required time.How should I frame my question?
10 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?
11 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 _____.
12 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.
13 Background & ResearchResearch 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:BooksMagazinesNewspapersInternet
14 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.
15 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.
16 Designing an Experiment Independent variableThe variable you are changingDependent variableThe variable you observe for changesControlled variables (aka Constants)Things that remain the same throughout the experiment
17 Designing an Experiment You must design an experiment that only tests one independent variable.All other variables must be controlled.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.
18 ProcedureProvide a detailed list of instructions so that others can repeat your experiment. These instructions should be numbered.Get 8 pea plants ( 100 cm tall).Place 4 pea plants on each tray.Label one set of plants “Caffeine”.Label the second set “Water”.Pour 100ml of coffee( with caffeine ) onto the soil of each plant twice a week.Pour 100ml of water onto the soil of each plant twice a week.Measure each plant with a metric rulerRecord data in record book.
19 MaterialsNext, 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.
21 Collecting & Displaying Data Data should be collected as you perform the experimentData should be displayed on your board in the form of tables, graphs, and/or chartsAll tables, graphs, and charts should be clearly labeled and include a titlePhotos should also be included, if available.
23 ResultsUsing 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.
24 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?
25 ConclusionMy 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.
31 Helpful Resources Science Fair Web Pages Best site for help through out project!This is a good site explaining the parts of a science fair project.A web site for children to use in setting up their science fair projectA great site! It has info for parents, teachers, and students. It has project ideas, research tools, and tip sheets for all kinds of projects.
32 Make a time-line and stick to it. Parental support Organization Bringing It TogetherKeys for success:Make a time-line and stick to it.Parental supportOrganization