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Science Fair Presentation Workshop


									                Science Fair Projects
Presented by Sean Mulvanity, Ed.D
Teacher Specialist for Science, SCCPS
Adapted from Janice VanCleave’s Science Fair
     Steps of a Science Fair Project
1. Scientific Method
   Research, Problem, Hypothesis, Experimentation, Conclusion
2. Topic Research
   Project Types, Three Steps to a Topic, Research a Topic,
   Topic Ideas
3. Project Research
   Primary Research, Secondary Research
4. Project Report
   Title Page, Table of Contents, Abstract, Introduction,
   Experiment and Data, Conclusion, Sources,
Steps of a Science Fair Project con’t
5. The Display
   Helpful Hints, Do’s and Don’ts, Safety
6. Presentation and Evaluation
   Judging Information, Do’s and Don’ts at the Fair
             Scientific Method
The process of thinking through the possible solutions to
  a problem and testing each possibility to find the best
• Research
• Problem
• Hypothesis
• Project Experimentation
• Project Conclusion
• The process of collecting information
  from students’ experiences,
  knowledgeable sources, and data from
  exploratory experiments.
• Do use many references from printed
• Do gather information from
  professionals – professors, media
  specialists, and scientists
• An “open-ended” scientific question to
  be solved
• Example – “How does light affect the
  reproduction of bread mold on white
• Do limit your problem
• Do choose a problem that can be solved
• An idea about the solution to a problem
  based on knowledge and research
• Ex. “I believe that bread mold does not
  need light for reproduction on white
  bread. I base my hypothesis on these
  facts: 1. Organisms with chlorophyll
  need light to survive. Molds do not
  have chlorophyll. 2. In my exploratory
  experiment, bread mold grew on white
  bread kept in a dark bread box.”
          Hypothesis con’t
• Do state facts from past experiences or
  observations on which you base your
• Do write down your hypothesis before
  beginning the project experimentation
• Don’t change your hypothesis even if
  experimentation does not support it.
      Project Experimentation
• The process of testing a hypothesis
  using variables
• The independent variable is the variable
  that you change
• The dependent variable is the variable
  that is being observed, which changes in
  response to the independent variable
• The controlled variable is not changed
  by the student
  Project Experimentation con’t
• Do have only one independent variable
  during an experiment
• Do repeat the experiment more than
  once to verify your results
• Do have a control
• Do have more than one control, with
  each being identical
• Do organize data
          Project Conclusion
• A summary of the results of the project
  experimentation and a statement of how the
  results relate to the hypothesis.
• Don’t change your hypothesis
• Don’t leave out experimental results that do
  not support your hypothesis
• Do give possible reasons for the difference
  between your hypothesis and the experimental
• Do give ways that you can experiment further
  to find a solution
            Topic Research
•   Project Types
•   Three Steps to a Topic
•   Research a Topic
•   Topic Ideas
            Project Types
• An Investigation – ex. How long does it
  take the heart to return to normal after
• Construction of a Kit or Model – ex. A
  model of a solar home
• Demonstration of a Scientific Principle
  – ex. Measuring lung capacity
      Three Steps to a Topic
1. Think of a topic you’re interested
   in. ex. People, animals, plants,
2. Try to focus on one aspect of one
   topic. ex. People: What makes a
   person an adult? Animals: How
   can I best train my pet? Plants:
   How can plants best be protected
   from animals? Rocks: What do
   the different colors in rocks mean?
   Three Steps to a Topic con’t
3. Now use the same idea, but be
   more specific. Ex. People: How
   do third graders compare with
   adults? Animals: Does the length
   of an animal training session make
   a difference? Plants: Can
   companion planting protect beans
   from beetles? Rocks: How do you
   detect minerals in rocks?
         Research a Topic
• Look closely at the World around
• Choose a topic from your experience
• Find a topic in Science magazines
• Select a topic from a book on
  Science fair projects or Science
              Topic Ideas
• Categories
  Astronomy; Biology: Zoology, Ecology,
  Microbiology; Earth Science: Geology –
  (Fossils/Archeology, Mineralogy, Rocks,
  Seismology, Volcanology), Meteorology,
  Oceanography, Paleontology;
  Engineering; Physical Science:
  Chemistry, Physics – (Electricity, Energy,
  Gravity, Magnetism); Mathematics
          Topic Ideas con’t
• Great Project Ideas –How does the color
  of a background affect its absorption of
  solar insulation? On which foods does
  fungus grow best? How are teeth
  affected by fluorides and acids? Is there
  a relationship between phases of the
  moon and our weather? What kind of
  soil is best for water retention? Will
  antacids help soil polluted by acid rain?
            Project Research
• The process of collecting information from
  knowledgeable sources.
• How successful you are with your project will
  depend largely on how well you understand
  your topic.
• Primary Research – information you collect
  on your own: Exploratory experiments,
  surveys, interviews and responses to
• Secondary Research – information/data that
  someone else has collected: book, magazine
  or periodical, newspaper, encyclopedia,
  software package, document from online
            Project Report
• The written record of your entire project
  from start to finish.
• Title page, Table of contents, Abstract,
  Introduction, Experiment and Data,
  Conclusion, Sources,
            Display Board
• Do use computer-generated graphs
• Do display photos representing the
  procedure and the results
• Do use contrasting colors
• Do limit the number of colors used
• Do display models when applicable
• Do attach charts neatly
• Do use rubber cement or double sided
  tape to attach papers
          Display Board con’t
• Don’t leave large empty spaces on the
• Don’t leave the table in front of the backboard
• Don’t make the title or headings hard to read
  by using uneven lettering, words with letters
  of different colors, etc…
• Don’t hand-print the letters on the backboard
• Don’t make mistakes in spelling words or
  writing formulas
Display Board con’t

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