Science Fair Packet Name_______________________________
DULUTH HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE FAIR
I. Science Fair Rationale:
Science Fair allows the science student a chance to do “real science”. Coursework provides science facts
and formulas, but conducting a scientific investigation gives a student the practice in time management and the use of
variables, research, observation and analytical skills that a student needs if interested in a career in a demanding field.
II. General Information:
In this course, you will have to do the following during 1 st Semester.
1. Develop your own original idea for a scientific investigation (you must experimentally solve a problem
using real data)
2. Conduct research that helps you develop a hypothesis
3. Plan experimental procedures using appropriate scientific methods
4. Gather necessary materials and complete any necessary forms in a timely manner.
5. Perform the experiment, taking photographs and collecting data
6. Organize and display your data
8. Analyze your data and draw conclusions
9. Compile a formal report summarizing your work.
All the while, you must keep an up-to-date logbook; turn in required papers and forms. By Dec. 2
submit a formal research paper summarizing your science fair project and research.
The following Science Fair-related work is OPTIONAL:
If you are asked to enter Duluth High’s Science Fair (December 7th), the benefits to you would include:
1 point added to your final fall semester average if you enter the school science fair
1 point to your final spring semester average for advancing to the district fair. Note: you must
actually GO to the fair; not just be asked to go.
1 point (additional) to your final spring semester average for advancing to the state fair.
Parent Letter Aug 16 5
Pre-Planning/Topic Worksheet with Annotated Bibliography Sept 15 48
Experimental Plan/Outline Worksheet Oct 4 35
Logbook Check #1 Oct 18 20
Logbook Check #2 (Final Data with notarizations, and final pictures) Nov 10 20
Final Research Paper Dec 2 100
IV. In This Packet –
1 – Science Fair Project Information (this sheet)
2 – Parent Letter
3 – Pre-Planning/Topic Sheet
4 – Experimental Outline Sheet
5 – Logbook Check #1 Sheet
6 - Logbook Check #2 and How to Write a Research Paper
7 –Final Project Grading Sheet
Parent Letter - Science Fair Name_______________________________
Date Due __Aug 16__Per_____
Teacher Init: __________ Points: ______/5
Science Fair projects are required in all Honors level chemistry classes at Duluth High School. Honors level science students
have shown promise and interest in advanced-level science classes and are encouraged to pursue careers in medicine,
engineering and other highly-skilled and research-based fields. By allowing students to do the independent scientific research
of their choice, we believe that our students gain insight to the scientific process (research, creative thought, experimental
procedure, use of controls, analysis, etc) which is in many ways more important than learning scientific facts. We ask for your
assistance in helping your child understand that this is part of the learning process that “cannot be taught out of textbooks”.
To assist you, we have answered several frequently-asked questions…
I. Q – Can my child do the same project as he/she did in a previous year? (or one done by a relative or friend?)
A – No, but a student may do a related project (complete with new research and new variables) if the instructor
permits. It is essential that the student notify the instructor that he/she would like to do a related project prior to
starting the project.
II. Q – When is my child’s Science Fair Project due?
A – The final project must be completed by Thursday, Nov 10th. The final research paper must be completed by
Friday, Dec 2. However, there will be several interim grades taken which will help keep your child on task that will
be due on several days from September to November. The exact dates and details of the exact assignments are
detailed in the Science Fair Packet.
III. Q – What if my child turns in his/her project late?
A-This is a long-term assignment. There will be a 10% point deduction per day (from the “earned credit”) if any or all
of the project is not turned in by the beginning of the class period on the date it is due. The deduction WILL APPLY
even if the student is absent for a “normal” reason (illness, pre-arranged, field trips, etc.).
IV. Q – Where will my child get any equipment needed for the Science Fair Project?
A - DHS has some equipment which may be used for Science Fair Projects. Your child should check a list provided
by the instructor. Know that electronic equipment must stay in the school and that your child must arrange an after-
school work session some time during the project. All after-school work must be completed by Wednesday Nov 9th.
If the equipment is not available or if you would like to work at home, these companies will mail scientific equipment
to your home at your expense: General Supply (601) 981-3882 and Edmund Scientific (609) 573-6270.
V. Q – What type of projects are not allowed?
A- 1. Projects which involve humans, vertebrate animals, recombinant DNA, pathogens, controlled substances,
human or animal tissue or hazardous substances or devices -- UNLESS – the student is willing to:
a. Work in a lab with a qualified adult supervisor (outside of school) AND…
b. Submit the numerous proper certifications on a timely basis (prior to and after experimentation)
2. Surveys of any type
VI. Q – To what extent should I be involved in my child’s Science Fair Project?
A- 1. Please read the packet and grading information.
2. Assist in transportation to library, lab, store to purchase equipment, or to regional, state or national Science
3. You (or a friend) may be qualified to serve as a project “Supervisor” if your child needs one (See V.A.2
4. Checking on your child’s progress on an on-going basis. You should be aware that part of your child’s
grade will be based on frequent log book entries. (at least once a week)
5. Parents are strongly discouraged from supplying ideas or manual labor involved in any aspect of the
VII. Q – OK, now how should we get started?
A- 1. Please read the Science Fair Packet and put pertinent dates, etc. on your family’s calendar
2. Purchase a Science Fair Log Book (a bound, NOT SPIRAL, black composition book, preferably with
3. Sign Below & have your child return by August 16th.
Parent Signature:_______________________________ Student Signature: _____________________________ Period: _____
Comments or questions:
Science Fair Project Name:
Pre-Planning/Topic Sheet Period: _____ Due Date Sept 15th
1. Source of the Idea (1pt):
2. Question (2pts): (Remember, only choose a topic that you can find library materials, equipment and supplies for,
procedures and expert advice on)
3. Category: -Behavioral/Social Sciences -Biochem -Botany
-Chemistry -Computer Sci -Microbiology
-Engineering -Environmental Sci -Gerontology
-Mathematics -Medicine and Health -Earth and Space Sci
4. a) Independent Variable(4 pts):
b) Dependent Variable(4 pts):
d) Control Variables (4 pts): Measured by:
Materials Needed: _______________________________________________________________
5. Bibliography (20 pts): Attach your 5 resources in a word document following the directions on the sheet entitled
“What is an Annotated Bibliography.
6. Introduction and Background Research (13)
___/3 – a well-written paragraph on why the topic was important to study ( to both you and to the general public)
___/10 Background Research – should:
___ be thorough; ___ include parenthetical references; ___ be limited to 3 typed pages
7. TEACHER COMMENTS: (Students: Leave this part blank!)
___ topic seems too simple for your grade level; choose another topic
___ topic requires university help – do you have access?
___ narrow your topic –too broad/too many variables
___ unclear what you might be testing
___ topic will require special permission, supervisor, & many forms
___ you may not use plants / people / surveys / sampling / partners
___ SEE ME within 3 days – you will need to re-do the Topic Sheet, but we must speak first!
AFTER GRADING, THIS SHOULD BE INSERTED INTO THE “FORMS” POCKET IN YOUR LOG BOOK.
Science Fair Project Name:
Experimental Outline Period: Due Date: Oct 4th
I. Project Title (1 point):
II. Category (1 point):
III. Question (2 points):
IV. Variables (5 points): Write in complete sentences. Include how the variable is measured.
V. Mentor (1 point): Person who will notarize your data table/lab book.
VI. Materials (5 points): If you have to order materials through the school you must include a list of those
VII. Experimental Procedure (20 points): Complete in a word document, print and attach to this sheet. First list
the equipment and supplies needed with the approximate quantities. Draw a sketch of your equipment setup if
needed. Next include all procedures numbering each procedure. Be very specific in your procedures. Finally,
label a new section as Sample Data Table. This table won’t have any data in it as it will only be a sample of the
table(s) you will use to collect your data. Show the correct column and row labels including appropriate
metric units that you will use to record your actual data. Once approved, transfer this procedure to your log
Things I’ll be looking for in Logbook Check #1
Date Due Oct 18th__Per_____
I. When purchasing a log book, look for:
A bound logbook, such as a “Composition Book” (black, marble-type) (NOT: spiral, 3-ring, loose leaf)
II. These are things you must keep in mind when doing entries and/or research:
All entries in BLUE or BLACK INK (colored pencil may ONLY be used to color-code graphs).
You MUST put the correct chronological date on each entry.
Your logbook must show that you frequently are thinking and working on science fair (min. 2x/wk).
OK to state: “Purchased materials at Home Depot” (& tape the receipt), or “Emailed Dr. Smith with these questions:
(and list them)”.
All your entries should be meaningful; i.e.: you should not have a page stating “today I did nothing”. If you ran out of
things to say on one page and went to the top of the next page, draw a diagonal on the blank area and sign your
initials across the diagonal line.
If you made an incorrect entry that is more than 1 line in length, draw a diagonal line across the incorrect statement or
information and sign your initials across the diagonal line
No printed material should be taped or stapled into the logbook (i.e.: no background from the internet that you printed
out) with the exception of: PHOTOS, RECEIPTS, and computer generated GRAPHS.
III. Specific items to be included (10 points):
Number each and every page (front and back) from beginning to end of logbook IN PEN at the bottom
outside corner. Start with the very first page!
Page 1 is the Title Page. Print your project title, your name, teacher’s name, date you started project. (See “A” below)
Page 2 is for the Table of Contents. (See “B” below)
After the Table of Contents, label a section called Dated Entries. Record all activity that had anything to do with your
project. Tape any receipts you might have and say, “Today I went to Home Depot and purchased _________.”
The next section is for your Research (See below - C). Copy this from your annotated bibliography.
After the Research section, copy your Experimental Outline.
After the experimental outline section, leave a page or two for any revisions you might need to make in order for your
experiment to work. Call this the Revisions section. It might never be needed, but you never know….
Next comes the Data section. Setup your accepted data tables. Make sure labels and units are included.
After the data section, leave a few pages for any Acknowledgements you may which to make.
Make a neat pocket to fit all your forms and paperwork, folded in half, on the INSIDE BACK COVER.
IV. Miscellaneous (10 points):
Required Science Fair Forms which should be in the pocket in the back of the logbook (in addition to the forms
found in this packet): Checklist for Adult Sponsor (1), Research Plan (1A), Research Plan Attachment, Approval
Form (1B), any other forms that your specific project needs
At least 5 valid references, each with at least 3 facts per reference. Thorough bibliographical info is necessary even
for internet-derived sources.
Example of Log Book
A. Title Page B. Table of Contents C. Research
(suggested page numbers)
Page Item Citation #__1__
3-12 Research Author:________________________
13-26 Dated Entries Title: _________________________
“THE EFFECT OF 27-30 Experimental Publication:____________________
TEMPERATURE Outline Date:_________ Location:_________
ON VISCOSITY OF 31-33 Revisions Pages cited:____________________
MOTOR OIL” 34-37 Data http address:____________________
38 Acknowledgements Exact Quotes:___________________
by Jim Watt _______________________________
Teacher Name Additional Notes: _______________
8/21/ 00 - _______________________________
______________________________ ________________________________ _______________________________
Things I’ll be looking for in Logbook Check #2
Date Due Nov 10th__Per_____
5 points each Points _________/20
I. Data: All of your data should be collected by this date and present in your log book.
II. Pictures: Include pictures in your log book that show the progression of your project. A logical place for your
pictures in the dated entries section.
III. Discussion: Write a rough draft of you discussion after the data section of your log book. Use the guide below.
IV. Graphs/Analysis: Complete all graphs or other analysis of your data. Refer to these in your discussion.
How to Write A Research Paper
A paper describing your research should consist of the following sections, which are well-written and to-the-point.
a) Title Page –
Center the research project title, and put your name, address, school and grade at the bottom right. Follow guidelines
Provided by your teacher for the format of the page and for additional information required for the competition; for
Example, school’s and parents’ names and addresses, hours spent on research project and category, etc.
b) Table of Contents –
Number each section when you finish writing.
c) Introduction –
This sets the scene for your report. The introduction should explain what prompted your research and what you
hoped to achieve. Refer to previous research as well as your own experiments. Form the review of the literature,
summarize information essential for understanding the research project. Include only critical background information
on the independent and dependent variables and research studies that directly relate to the research problem.
establish a strong rationale for the study by emphasizing unresolved issues or questions. Conclude by stating the
purpose of the study and the research hypothesis.
d) The Experiment – Methods & Materials –
Describe in detail the methodology used to derive your data and observations. Your report should be detailed enough
so that someone would be able to repeat your experiment just by reading your paper. Use photographs and drawings
of your equipment to describe your experiment further. Step listings are not acceptable. Include a precise description
of the sample, any apparatus that was constructed or modified for the study, and methods of data collection.
e) Results – Present the data collected in the experiment in tables and graphs; summarize the data in narrative form. Include
statistical analysis of the data. Do not include raw data; if necessary, the raw data can be placed in the appendix.
Include only information collected during the current year’s study.
f) Discussion – The discussion is the meat of your paper. Your results and conclusions should flow smoothly and logically
from your data. Be thorough. Take readers through your train of thought, letting them know exactly what you did. Compare
your results with theoretical values, published data, commonly held beliefs and/or expected results. A complete paper
should also include a discussion of possible errors. Hoe did the data vary between repeated observations of similar
events? How were your results affected by uncontrolled events? What would you do differently if you repeated this
project? What other experiments should be conducted? Be sure to provide appropriate literature citations.
g) Conclusion – Briefly summarize your results. Be specific; do not generalize. Make sure not to introduce anything in the
conclusion that has not already been discussed.
h) Acknowledgments/Credits –Credit assistance received from mentors, parents, teachers, and other sources. As directed by
your teacher, include statements by mentors that certify the precise nature of your work.
i) References/Bibliography – Your reference list should include any material that is not your own (i.e., books, papers, journal
articles and communications cited in the paper. See the Media Center or your English teacher for help. Follow the prescribed
bibliographic style manual precisely for all references including internet references. APA Style is to be used.
j) Appendix – Include critical information that is too lengthy for the main section of the paper, such as raw data, additional
tables and graphs, copies of surveys or tests, and diagrams of specialized equipment.
Final Project Check Sheet – Science Fair
Date Due Friday DEC. 3rd Per_____
I. Final Report:__ /110
___/ 2 This sheet, filled out and inserted (not stapled) behind title page of report
Final Report, stapled or in a folder and inserted into front of Logbook (See “Final Report”, Section II)
Logbook (See “Logbook”, Section III)
___/3 Every part of report is typed neatly in standard (non-funky) font of size 12
___/3 Double-spaced typing with 1” margins
___/4 Writing in 3rd or 1st person references
___/10 Good grammar, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation. paragraphing, “flow”, thoroughness, originality
___/8 You must use some form of parenthetical referencing (i.e.: Smith, p.45) after non-original thoughts
SPECIFIC: ___/70 (see previous page for details – “How to Write a Research Paper”)
___/2 Page 1 of your report should have the title, your name, your teacher’s name, course name, date of report
THE FOLLOWING SHOULD “FLOW”…
___/3 I. Introduction & Background Research – any/all corrections should be made and included in the final
II Methodology/Experimental Outline
___/5 Variables – Explain/describe your Control group, Experimental group, & variables kept constant
___/5 Materials – amounts and details of experimental materials
___/10 Experimental Procedure – for the formal report, this will be in narrative form. (not steps 1,2,3)
___/10 III. Results – a narrative, accompanied by at least 2 (but no more than 5) graphs/tables pertinent to your
project. The graphs and tables should be placed in the appendix
(Must be drawn by a computer or meticulously drawn on graph paper. Must have titles, labels, keys.
___/10 IV Discussion – this is the meat of your paper and should be thorough and tie everything together
___/5 V. Conclusions (also suggest areas for future research related to this topic)
___/5 VI. Acknowledgments/Credits
___/5 VII. References/Bibliography (at least 4 sources; documentation of all sources as described)
___/5 VIII. Appendix – additional data tables, graphs, sketches, etc.
II. WARNING: These are areas in which automatic point deductions will be taken to be subtracted from the 110-point total:
___/10 If items are taped or inserted into logbook other than: photos, receipts, and the forms that are required
___/20 If English instead of the required Metric units are used
___/20 Personal notes, opinions of a non-scientific nature, etc. (i.e.: I didn’t enjoy this; etc)
___/20 Student who does a project not approved on the originally-submitted Topic Sheet, student must also resubmit
a paper on the approved topic
___/20 All the forms you’ve been inserting into the pocket of your logbook all along (Parent Letter, Pre-planning/
Topic Sheet, Experimental Outline, GSEF forms 1, 1A, 1B, and any other forms that were required)
___/20 If you did not make the improvements suggested on the First Logbook Check Tuesday, Oct 4
___/10 Turning in a project after the beginning of your class period on Friday, December 2
___/25 Turning in a project any time after 2:40 pm on Friday, December 2 but before Monday, Dec. 5
___/ 50 Turning in a project any time after 2:40 pm on Monday, December 5