Science Fair

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					Middle School
Science Fair
    Grades 5 to 8

   Zion Lutheran School
      Academic Fair

Thursday ~ March 11, 2010
          Requirements
1. Research Report:
      700 words (5th & 6th grades)
      1,000 words (7th & 8th grades)

      Bibliography / Works Cited Page
      4 sources minimum
      2 direct quotations cited in the body of your
      paper

2. Class presentation of your report.

3. Project Display includes: a) a visual aid;
  b) a copy of your report; c) a chart or graph,
  and d) a physical object, diorama, model or
  static demonstration.
     Two Options
Option #1:
Research and Investigation


Option #2:
Experiment and Research
Sample Research & Investigation
           Topics
             (Option #1)
How are tornadoes formed?
Why does the moon keep changing
phase?
What happens when salt and water
are mixed?
What is potential energy?
At what temperature does dish soap
work best?
    Tips for Researching &
          Investigating…
Narrow your topic sufficiently for a focused
scientific inquiry. Broad topics like “Our Solar
                     (Option #1)
System” are not questions and are not successful
Science Fair projects.

Do lots of research. Use at least four different
sources.

It is helpful to take notes and keep note cards for
your sources and the information learned from
each source. Don’t be afraid to write lots of detail
in your notes.

Do not copy any phrase of five words or more
and/or a complete sentence from any source
without providing the reference for the source in
the body of your paper. This avoids plagiarism.
   Research & Investigation
    Written Report – Part 1
                    (Option #1)


Begin with a title page that includes: the title of
your research and investigation, name, grade &
date.

In the body of the paper, present your question or
inquiry.

Include what other people have learned about your
subject.

Tell how these other people made their
discoveries.
   Research & Investigation
    Written Report – Part 2
                   (Option #1)
Include any data, tables or graphs that help the
reader understand your scientific findings,
conclusions and analysis.

Explain an experiment you COULD HAVE done, if
you had the time and the equipment.

State what you learned from your research and
what you’d like to learn or investigate in the
future.

Conclude your paper with a bibliography. You
must have a minimum of four references.
Remember to cite two of your sources directly in
the body of your paper.
    Sample Experimentation
         Topics (Option #2)
Does heating a cup of water allow it to dissolve more
sugar?

How much potential energy can a bow hold?

Does an electric motor turn faster, if you increase the
voltage?

How does the type of liquid a plant receives affect its
growth?

Which causes a bigger explosion when Mentos are
added: Coke or Diet Coke?
    If Experimenting…
                    (Option #2)
Thoroughly plan your experiment, using the
scientific method.

Think about all the little details, supplies and
possible obstacles BEFORE conducting the
experiment.

Think about WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY,
and HOW.

Completely write your experiment down before
you start.

Make it reproducible--if someone reads your
paper, can they exactly reproduce your results?
   If Experimenting…
                 (Option #2)

After the experiment is finished, do research.
Discover WHY your experiment turned out
the way it did.
Tell how your results would have been
different,
if you had modified your experiment.
Find out if other people have tried your
experiment. What were their results?
     Scientific Method for
         Experiments
1. Identify a problem or ask a question.
                    (Option #2)

2. Construct a hypothesis.

3. Design an experiment.

4. Conduct the experiment.

5. Collect data.

6. Record and graph data.

7. Modify experiment and repeat steps 4 – 6, if
needed.

8. Draw conclusions, analyze and present your
findings.
1. Identify the Problem
                    (Option #2)



 The Scientific Problem:
 The information you're looking for or the
 question that you're trying to solve.
 Scientific Inquiry:
 Nearly every science project and nearly all
 scientific research are trying to answer a
 question of some sort.
2. Construct a Hypothesis
                 (Option #2)
Hypothesis:
An educated guess made by the scientist or
researcher before starting their project or
inquiry.
A hypothesis provides a clear focus at the
beginning of any scientific project and
narrows the scope of the scientific research
needed.
With a hypothesis, the researcher ensures
that all variables and possibilities have been
considered.
3. Design an Experiment
   Write Out the Steps & Procedures
                      (Option #2)


Scientific inquiry involves precision in measurement,
procedure and execution of experiments.

Good experiments have a single independent variable,
observable dependent variables and good scientific
controls.

Procedures for scientific investigations must be written
out in a sequential and clear manner.

Experimental steps must be easily understood, so that
others can replicate the project and verify the results.
3. Design an Experiment
 What I Observe (Dependent Variables)
                    (Option #2)


All the aspects of an experiment that are not changed
by the researcher, each time the experiment is
conducted.

A scientist looks at how the dependent variables
respond to changes in the independent variable.

All the things you do to make your experiment fair,
consistent and able to be replicated.

Humidity, weight, volume, and speed are good
examples of dependent variables.
3. Design an Experiment
What I Change (Independent Variable)
                   (Option #2)

An independent variable is the one thing that is
changed by the scientist or is different in your
various experiments.

The independent variable is the one that you are
testing.

A good experiment has only one independent
variable that is changed by the scientist.

As the independent variable is changed, the
experimenter observes what happens.
  3. Design an Experiment
            Scientific Control
                 (Option #2)

A scientific control represents an "outside"
measurement.
Use of a control tells us what would happen,
if there were NO experimentation.
Using a control gives a way to compare
experimental results.
A scientific control shows the precision of
the experimental results.
4. Conduct the Experiment
           Follow the Procedure
                (Option #2)


Read the procedure and take the time to
carefully understand each step listed from
beginning of the experiment to its end.
Exactly follow the experiment’s step-by-
step processes.
Do not neglect or omit any detail of the
experimental design.
       5. Collect Data
                (Option #2)



Data are often numbers, such as
measurements, quantities and capacity.
Collected data can be observations
documented using: adjectives, words,
drawings or other recording methods.
An experiment’s data are the measurements
taken during the experiment.
6. Record & Graph Data
               (Option #2)


 Data are clearly written and can be easily
 understood.

 Numeric data are usually displayed in the
 form of tables or graphs.

 Records of the experiment represent the
 measurements & observations made or
 taken during the experiment.
 7. Modify Experiment
            (if necessary)
                (Option #2)

Change the experiment’s procedure to reflect
any modifications made to the original
experiment.
Exactly follow the modified experiment’s
step-by-step processes and procedures.
Collect new data and note any changes.
Record and graph your results.
     8. Draw Conclusions,
  Analyze and Present Findings
                  (Option #2)

Describe what is represented in your data
tables and graphs.
Explain the results of your experiment:
"The one with salt froze 3 minutes faster"
"The celery stalk turned purple after 90
seconds"
"People who ate fruit had a lower rate of
cancer"
    8. Draw Conclusions,
 Analyze and Present Findings
                 (Option #2)

Conclusions are a scientific judgment of
experimental results.
         The hypothesis was wrong:
      "Salt makes water freeze faster".
         The hypothesis was right:
   "Celery can turn purple by placing food
        coloring in its holding water"
          A surprising finding was,
     "Eating fruit helps to fight cancer"
  Written Report & Analysis of
       Experimental Data
                         (Option #2)
Begin with a title page that includes: the title of the experiment
or investigation, name, grade & date.

In the body of the paper, give your hypothesis, explain your
experiment, provide the procedures followed and include
experimental outcomes.

Include any data, tables or graphs that help the reader
understand your scientific findings, conclusions and analysis.

State what you learned from your research and what you’d like
to learn or investigate in the future.

Conclude your paper with a bibliography. You must have a
minimum of four references. Remember to cite two of your
sources directly in the body of your paper.
         Plagiarism Defined
                              (Both Options)


   The following definition is copied from
   http://www.plagiarism.org/learning_center/what_is_plagiarism.html

   “According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary,
   to "plagiarize" means:
1. to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own

2. to use (another's production) without crediting the source
3. to commit literary theft
4. to present as new and original an idea or product derived from
   an existing source.”
                     Examples of
From:
                      Plagiarism
   http://www.plagiarism.org/learning_center/what_is_plagiarism.ht
   ml

    “All of the following are considered plagiarism:
1   Turning in someone else's work as your own.
2   Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit.
3   Failing to put a quotation in quotation marks.
4   Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation.

5   Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without
    giving credit.

6   Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the
    majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on ‘fair
    use" rules’)”
 Avoiding Plagiarism
Do research, by checking many different sources

Cite sources by telling exactly who or what the
sources are in a bibliography.

Use standard, acceptable form to present your
research citations.

Do not copy any phrase of five words or more
and/or a complete sentence from any source if
they relate to an original idea, unless you put them
in quotation marks, and cite the source
specifically.
Avoiding Plagiarism                 (continued)

 For example, if your source says, “One
 commonly proposed theory about the origin of
 marshmallow holds that the traditional recipe
 used an extract from the mucilaginous root of the
 marshmallow plant, a shrubby herb (Althaea
 officinalis)
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallows

 You CAN’T use, “One commonly proposed
 theory...” OR “The origin of marshmallow” or
 “an extract from the mucilaginous root”.
             Plagiarism (continued)
Avoiding how can I use the information
 Mr. Martin,
 without using the same words?” asked the
 concerned student.
 “Well, Dear Student, you are allowed to
 use         ALL the INFORMATION in the
 reference,
         but NONE of their exact
 LANGUAGE!”
 If you MUST use their LANGUAGE (not
 recommended) you must A. Exactly
 QUOTE their words, and B. CITE the
 reference precisely in the body of your
Avoiding Plagiarism                   (continued)
  FOR EXAMPLE:
  If your source says, “One commonly proposed
  theory about the origin of marshmallow holds
  that the traditional recipe used an extract from
  the mucilaginous root of the marshmallow plant,
  a shrubby herb (Althaea officinalis)
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallows
  You can say, “According to Wikipedia, the
  marshmallow came from the root of the
  marshmallow plant, called althaea officinalis.”
        Citing Sources
Each Science Fair Project must have a Bibliography,
which lists every source from which you found
information.

Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallows
NOT “Wikipedia”

Example:
http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/question128.htm,
NOT “Google”

In the body of your report, each source must be
matched with its bibliographic information by using
author’s name or title of the source and page numbers.
Use your MLA Citation Guide, as a reference for the
proper format.
Citing Sources                         (continued)

To properly cite a source, do THIS in your report:

“The origin of the marshmallow is an interesting subject.
The marshmallow came from the root of the
marshmallow plant, called althaea officinalis”.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallows) The
marshmallow consists of sweet white corn syrup
with flavor added (Britannica 104).

In the above examples, both sources are listed in
the text of the report and in the bibliography using
the MLA Citation Guide.
          Bibliography
List each source, including author,
publication place, year, and date for books.
List each web PAGE (not just web SITE)
along with the DAY that you visited it.
Use your bibliography format page or ask
your teacher about the proper way to cite
your sources.
       This is an important academic
discipline         that you will use from now
until the end of       your studies at college.
         Sample Bibliography
•   Arnett, Bill. “Jupiter.” The Nine Planets. 2 Sept. 2004. 16 Nov. 2004
        <http://www.nineplanets.org/>.

•   Chartrand, Mark R. Skyguide: A field guide to the heavens, New York: Golden
        Press, 1990.

•   Compact Bible Handbook, Nelson, Thomas, Nelson Reference & Electronic,
       Nashville, TN, 2004.

•   Cornish, Jim. “The Space Shuttle: Online Activities for Elementary Students.”
        Classroom Connect Oct. 2002; 8-9.

•   National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Ed. Jim Wilson. 10 Nov. 2004.
        National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 22 Nov. 2004
        <http://www.nasa.gov./>.

These sample references are based on the MLA Citation Guide you will be using.
      Oral Presentation
Introduce yourself and the main topic.

Offer a few questions about your project to your audience
as a start. Make sure you will answer these questions in
your talk.

Use your display as a visual aid.

Do not read your report. You are an expert on your topic.
Enthusiastically share what you have learned.

Your five minute presentation will be timed. Use as much
of the five minutes as possible. Do not go over.

Audience members should be respectful, attentive and
show appreciation through polite applause.
               Project Display
            Option #1 - Investigation
You are restricted to a free-standing display board no larger than 3’ x
4’ with your name and grade on the front.
The research display neatly represents a synopsis or a special
feature.
All illustrations and images are neatly labeled and clearly connected
to the topic of the investigation.

Any model or demonstration that supports your topic needs a title,
labels and a short explanation of its connection to your paper.

An interactive demonstration might be provided for the viewer.

Students must provide any and all equipment needed, with prior
teacher approval.

Your research report, any experimental equipment and data analyses
should be displayed.
                Project Display
              Option #2 - Experiment
You are restricted to a free-standing display board no larger than 3’ x 4’
with your name and grade on the front.
An experiment’s display neatly presents the steps of the Scientific Method
with all of its parts clearly stated.
The experiment, its steps and/or procedure must be included.
All labels are neatly placed and their information is easy to follow.
Any model or demonstration that supports your topic needs a title, labels
and a short explanation of its connection to your experiment.

Your research report, any experimental equipment and data analyses
should be displayed.

Students must provide any equipment needed, with prior teacher approval.
 Science Fair Success
A successful project represents your original ideas, effort
and work.

An excellent project uses research to help guide scientific
concepts, investigations, experiments and analysis.

A diligent and responsible student will work to avoid any
possibility of plagiarism.

An outstanding project is within your reach with thoughtful
design, hard work, careful execution, neat and precise
presentation and giving credit to any outside sources or
references.

				
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