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Science Fair Information Night

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Presentation on theme: "Science Fair Information Night"— Presentation transcript:

1 Science Fair Information Night
Presented by: Ms. Sanjudo and Ms. Coolidge No notes. GREAT WEBSITE: Science Buddies: Provides free science fair project ideas, answers, and tools for serious students. Visit online:

2 What is a science fair? A journey of scientific inquiry Investigation
Students answer a scientific question by conducting an experiment. If available, go ahead and provide parents with the date of the science fair and the date of the kickoff.

3 Student Benefits Inquiry and Experiential
This is their own learning adventure. They might explore topics such as: Timing ocean tides How gears work How light affect plants No notes.

4 Student Benefits, continued
Integrates skills they’ve learned in other classes: Math skills Computer skills Research skills Writing and presentation skills No notes.

5 Student Benefits, continued
Furthers students’ interest in science Serves as a basis for future science fairs, which present opportunities for scholarships, awards, and prestige Promotes interest in a science career The school fair is the first step in the competitions that lead up to the international level, where prizes total over $3,000,000 and the top winners take home $50,000 scholarships. These competitions are for middle school and above. But even doing projects at the elementary level gets students ready to participate at these fairs later on. Preparing a science fair project is an excellent example of what education experts call active learning or inquiry (also, hands-on learning). It is a very effective instructional method; indeed, it is recommended as a cornerstone of successful science teaching. Yet, according to the National Research Council, active learning is not employed often enough in the classroom and its absence is seen as one of the key factors behind kids losing interest in science and not performing to their potential.

6 Project Planning Our planning involves breaking the science project into small, manageable assignments that are spread out over time. We will provide students with detailed guides to explain exactly what needs to be done at each step of the project. No notes.

7 Partnership Students Work Responsibility Science Fair Success Parents
If students don’t create their own learning experience, it defeats the purpose of the active inquiry. Science Fair Success Parents Encourage Answer questions Supervise safety Come to the fair! Teachers Step-by-step assignments Checkpoints graded along the way

8 Partnership, continued
Students Work Responsibility Parents Encourage Answer questions Supervise safety Come to the fair! Although most work is done at home, steps will be explained and graded in class. By breaking down the work into small manageable chunks, teachers and parents will have checkpoints to make sure the students are headed in the right direction. Having key steps and milestones will help students with the time-management portion of the project. Science Fair Success Teachers Step-by-step assignments Checkpoints graded along the way

9 Partnership, continued
Students Work Responsibility We will provide you with a guide to help you support your child. This guide will give you tips and information about how to get involved with your child’s project, while ensuring they get the most out of the learning experience. Science Fair Success Parents Encourage Answer questions Supervise safety Come to the fair! Teachers Step-by-step assignments Checkpoints graded along the way

10 Assignments A schedule of assignments outlines the due dates for every assignment. Students will receive a grade for each assignment as well as a grade at the end for the completed project, report, and presentation. We encourage parents to guide and assist their children with the project, but allow them to do most of the work on their own!

11 Science Fair Packets Go Home with Students
Science Fair Time Line Monday, March 21, 2011 Science Fair Packets Go Home with Students Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Science Fair Parent Workshop 6:30 to 8:00 School Cafeteria Friday, April 1, 2011 Student Contract and Experiment topic due Thursday, April 7, 2011 Title, Problem Statement, and Materials list due Thursday, April 14, 2011 Research and Bibliography due Thursday, April 21, 2011 Hypothesis, Controls, Independent, and Dependent Variables due Monday, April 25, 2011 Procedures, Data (qualitative and quantitative) Results, Observation and Application due Thursday, April 28, 2011 Abstract, Acknowledgements, and Report with a Table of Content due Monday, May 2, 2011 PROJECTS ARE DUE May 2 – 6, 2011 In-class presentations of science projects Wednesday, May 11, 2011 Set-up projects in the cafeteria. Teacher will select top two projects from each class. Thursday, May 12, 2011 Judging of science fair projects Science Fair Night 6:30-8:00 pm

12 Overview 6 Science Fair Project Steps Ask a question.
Do background research. Construct a hypothesis. Test the hypothesis by doing an experiment. Analyze the data and draw a conclusion. Communicate the results. Elementary school students, depending on age or skill-set, may or may not do background research.

13 Ask a question. This is the foundation.
If your child identifies a question that is safe and can be answered through experimentation, the rest of the project will follow. Be sure this is NOT a demonstration. It MUST test data. Avoiding the shaky foundation: at this point, each student will fill out a project proposal, which is a rough map of where they plan to head. It is critical for me to evaluate each one so that the students can re-do their questions at this point, if it they are not practical or not safe.

14 Problem Statement Select a topic from the list of Project Ideas included in the Science Fair handbook or a teacher approved topic The problem statement is written in the form of a question. A good topic can be investigated (tested) and contains variables. A poor topic is merely a demonstration or is too general. Problem statement must be approved by the teacher before continuing with the project.

15 Background Information
Research information on the topic by reading: Books, Magazine articles, Internet articles, Interviewing someone knowledgeable about the topic, After researching the information, write a paragraph that summarizes the information that was found. Students CANNOT turn in copies of the articles. They must summarize the information in their own words.

16 Bibliography Make a list of all the references used for the Background Information. Students MUST use the correct format: Located in Science Fair handbook Students should have at least 3 references.

17 Title Elementary Science Fair Title
Pick a title that tells what the project is about. Should be “catchy” and catch the viewer’s attention. The title is NOT the same as the problem statement.

18 Hypothesis The student will predict what is going to be the results of the investigation. The hypothesis should not be changed if it is incorrect. The hypothesis is just an educated guess. Must be stated using “if” and “then” statement. Example: “If Brawny, Viva, and Bounty paper towels are tested for their absorbency, then Bounty will absorb the most water.

19 Materials List all of the materials used to conduct the investigation.
The size and quantity MUST be included. Measurements MUST be written using metric units.

20 Test the hypothesis by doing an experiment.
Process Part 1: Design an experimental procedure. Steps and materials should be spelled out. Part 2: Do an experiment. Actual testing of hypothesis occurs, answering the question. No notes.

21 Procedures List the steps taken to conduct the investigation.
Each step must begin with an action verb. Do not use words such as “I” or “me”. Must be written in the form of instructions as though someone were going to follow them.

22 Variables These are all the factors that affect the investigation.
There are three types of variables: Manipulated Variable: what changes, Responding Variable: what happens by itself, Variables Held Constant: what stays the same. The variables MUST be placed on the display board.

23 Data Students will gather information during the investigation.
Data MUST be quantifiable. Students may keep a log of their information that includes specific details of the progress of the project (include dates, measurements, etc…). The information MUST be displayed in a graph.

24 Analyze the data and draw a conclusion.
Example of a graph that draws a conclusion: How wind generator power changes with wind speed. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20 30 40 50 60 Wind Speed (m/sec) Power (kW) The graph shows that the power a generator is able to produce increases by the cube of the wind speed.

25 Results Students will write what happened at the end of their investigation. Results must be quantifiable.

26 Conclusion Students write about the results of the investigation
Ask yourself these questions before writing your conclusion Did you get the results you expected to get? If not – how were the results different? Were there any unexpected problems or occurrences that may have affected the results of your investigation? Do you think you collected sufficient data? (Were there enough trials? Samples?) Do I need to revise my original hypothesis? (If you write a revised hypothesis, DO NOT use it to replace your original hypothesis for this project!

27 Elementary Abstract The abstract consists of three paragraphs:
Paragraph 1: Purpose and Hypothesis, Paragraph 2: Procedures, Paragraph 3: Results and Conclusion. No more than 150 words.

28 Ask a question Here’s a helpful resource to find a great project idea.
Visit the Science Buddies website at to utilize these tools: The Topic Selection Wizard This brief online survey recommends project ideas that are best for your child, based on his or her interests. Project Ideas Pick from a huge selection of project ideas, organized by difficulty level, and featuring safety guidelines, materials lists, and required time for each project. The Topic Selection Wizard step will occur during class.

29 Do an experiment. Expectations
It’s ok if the first experiment goes wrong and your child has to modify the procedure. It’s ok if the experiment disproves the hypothesis. Safety, safety, safety! It takes time! No notes.

30 Communicate results The display board tells a story from left to right, generally on three panels. It mimics the steps in the scientific method and is a combination of written material, as well as photos, charts, diagrams, and graphs. Students must follow this lay out for judges to easily find their results.

31 Oral Presentations During the week that the Display Board is due, students will be required to present their projects orally to the class. It is important that students follow the guidelines in the handbook to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this assignment. Students MUST NOT read the information from the board. They need to address their classmates and maintain eye contact to demonstrate their knowledge of their project.

32 Exhibits For Parents Parents are invited to view the Science Fair Projects in the school cafeteria Thursday, May 12 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm.

33 Questions???

34 Thank You Have fun! Mention a clear next step.
The kickoff will be on [DATE] Parents will receive an information packet with a letter, tips on how to support their child throughout the process, and a copy of the student assignment timeline.

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