Science Fair Project - DOC by 5M4yfO81


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                  Science Fair Project Requirements –
                         A Step-by-Step Guide
Part One:     Lab Report
   1. Title Page: The title of your project should provide the viewer with a clear concept of the subject and
       the procedure of the research. There should be NO cutsie titles that are not explained. This is serious
           a. Bad Example: “Bouncy Bouncy Balls”
           b. Good Example: “Bouncy Bouncy Balls: The Study of Tennis Ball Elasticity and Temperature”
       Include your name (name of partner if applicable), science teacher’s name, period, grade & year.
       *** Check out for topic ideas & helpful hints ***

   2. Abstract: This is a paragraph or two that in NO MORE than 250 words. It is written LAST, but put at
      the front of your report. It is a summary your entire report. It should answer the following 8 points:
          a. What question are you trying to answer? What is your projects purpose? Why are you doing
             this project (other than for a grade)?
          b. State your hypothesis. “If ____________, then ____________.”
          c. Give a short description of your independent variable (what you change).
          d. Give a short description of your dependent variable (what you measure).
          e. Give a short description of the control and what you kept consistent in your experiment.
          f. Briefly explain how you measured the variables (details will be in the report).
          g. In general, what type of results and data did you collect from your experiment?
          h. Your conclusion statement, was your hypothesis correct? Yes or no, you will explain in the
             report. You can NOT say partially correct. It is either right or wrong. There are NO points taken
             off for being wrong. This is how scientists decide what to try next.

   3. Table of Contents: Each section needs to be listed with corresponding page numbers.

   4. Introduction: This section states the purpose of your project. Include the following:
          a. What is the question you are trying to answer?
          b. What is your independent variable?
          c. What is your dependent variable?
          d. What are you controlling for?
          e. Your hypothesis should be included in this section unless you are presenting a survey or an
             invention. All experiments should have a hypothesis that shows your prediction of what will
             happen BEFORE you do the experiment.
             It must be written - “If________, then __________.”

   5. Research: This section should show the research you did in developing your hypothesis and designing
      your experiment. Use quotations for anything taken directly from a source (book, internet, or
      pictures). You did NOT just think this project up out of your own imagination, and you have to learn
      about the topic to write an expository report. You should be able to discuss your topic intelligently,
      without notes, with your teacher and the judges. For example, if you do an experiment on the best
      types of paper airplanes you should research real airplanes, aerodynamics, air resistance, and even
      about how different types of paper can make a difference. This section should be an extensive essay of

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       its own (5 or more paragraphs). Make sure you have appropriate and reliable sources for your
       research, and CITE YOUR SOURCES to avoid plagiarism (even if you paraphrase, you must cite your

   6. Methods and Materials (this used to be the procedure section): This section explains how you did your
      experiment and what type of materials you used. This should be written as a list, however you should
      use complete sentences to describe exactly what you did. The more details the better. What were
      your variables, how were they measured? How did you measure the results? Did you try the
      experiment multiple times? Did you have to change anything? Discuss safety and supervision issues, as
      well as any problems obtaining materials. Someone should be able to replicate (copy) your project
      exactly, just by reading this section.

   7. Results: This section, sometimes called data analysis, explains what your results were. This should
      only be facts, not your opinion of what it means! Actual pictures of your experiment, tables of data,
      and graphs should be included in this section. Remember the independent variable goes on the
      horizontal (x) axis and the dependent variable goes on the vertical (y) axis. **NOTE: THIS SECTION IS

   8. Discussion: This is the conclusion of your paper. You should write “According to the data collected,
      the hypothesis if __________, then __________ appears to be _________ (supported OR not
      supported).” You may NOT say you were “partially” correct. A hypothesis is either right or wrong. It is
      ok to be wrong, as long as you have learned something (explain what you have learned).
      ***Your ONE experiment does not PROVE anything. Instead use phrases like, “It is suggested by the
      evidence that …”, or “The results support…”, or “It would appear that…” If your hypothesis was wrong,
      why do you think so? Were there problems with the project? Is there something you would do
      differently if you tried again? You can also mention ideas for other experiments that you came up with
      because of this project, known as future research. **This is where you discuss WHY you got your

   9. Acknowledgements: Only student work should be displayed. You may have supervision and assistance
      from adults and teachers, but you must give them credit for the work they do – and only accept credit
      for what you do yourself. If you advance to the Los Angeles County Science Fair, you may be
      interviewed. You must be able to explain how and why your project works in detail without the
      assistance of an adult or notecards. You should be an expert in this subject by the time you are done.
      Use your resources, just be sure to cite written sources and acknowledge human ones.

   10. References: This is an extended Bibliography. It should list ALL the books, encyclopedias, and internet
       sources you used in MLA (like in English class) format. It should also include a short paragraph about
       how and what you used each reference for. Have a variety of sources: newspapers articles, interviews
       of experts, internet, and books.

   9. General Notes:
         a. You should try each experiment 3 or more times and average your results
         b. If you do a survey, include a large sample size
         c. Reports must be typed Times New Roman, size 12 font.

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          d. Double-space all lines and be sure to include a cover page with your full name, school, science
             teacher, period, grade, and due date. See your teacher if you do not have access to a computer
             to type the report.
          e. Use one-inch margins

Part Two:      Log Book
   1. Your log book should show that you did this experiment over time (days or weeks or more).
   2. Label each page with the date and write down what you did on that day: research, trial one of the
       experiment, the display board, worked on your conclusion, etc.
   3. This is like a daily journal or diary of your work on the project.
   4. This should NOT all be typed. You can use a fresh composition book and hand-write your entries.
   5. Tape in ACTUAL pictures of the project and YOU working on it.
   6. You can draw pictures of how you will set up your experiment.
   7. This CAN be in multiple pen colors.
   8. Consider this your rough draft and notes that you will use to write the lab report.

Part Three:   Display Board

   1. Your display board is the publishing of the project in a quick, visual way. It has all of the same material
      as your written report. The written report is to check facts and details, but everything a judge needs to
      know should be on the display board.
   2. This is the first impression judges have of your work.
   3. The display should be sturdy, free standing, colorful, simply illustrated, well-labeled, and attractive.
      Check your spelling!!!!
   4. There should be NO cutsie titles that are not explained. This is serious work.
          a. Bad Example: “Bouncy Bouncy Balls”
          b. Good Example: “Bouncy Bouncy Balls: The Study of Tennis Ball Elasticity and Temperature”
   5. Display boards should be easily read from 6 feet away.
   6. Tri-fold Display Boards can be purchased from The Science Academy. If you do not wish to purchase
      your display board from us, then make sure you get the correct size board.
   7. Boards must be 24 inches wide and 36 inches high (if closed).
   8. Your lab book and report should be on the table in front of your display board. No valuable items,
      plants, animals, bacterial cultures, or liquids allowed – display pictures instead. Label ALL materials
      with your first & last name your science teacher’s name & room number.
   9. Boards can be covered with paper or fabric and use complimentary colors.

   10. Display boards should be neat, preferably typed in 18    font or larger (this           is Times
       New Roman 22).
   11. You should have the title the largest.
   12. On the display board you MUST include the following (look at the diagram on the next page for an
       example of how to lay it all out):
          a. Title: Question & Topic Area                         f. Methods & Materials
                      (see #4 above)                              g. Results/Data – tables, graphs, & charts
          b. Abstract                                             h. Discussion – were you right or wrong
          c. Hypothesis (If…then…)                                i. Acknowledgements
          d. Variables and Control                                j. References/Bibliography
          e. Research                                             k. Photos (include one with you in it

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Your abstract is the first thing judges read. Then they look at your board and your log book. If they are still
interested by your work, they will then read your report. If you place, the judges may interview you in the
final process of judging. You should know your topic enough to answer these questions without notes.
Questions at judging could include ones like the following:
            How was the topic selected?
            Did you receive help, and if so, how much?
            How much do you know about the general subject area of the project?
            If you had more time, what else would you do for the project?
            What did you learn in this process?
            If you continued this project next year, what would you do?
            What were some of the problems you experienced?
            What would happen if you changed the variables?
            What would happen if you had 20 trials instead of 3?

Display Board Diagram:

                                         Methods & Materials
       Abstract                                                                               &


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