SCIENCE PROJECT DESIGN 1. HOW TO WRITE THE TITLE. The title consists of a few well-chosen words that should indicate the variables named in your science project. Be creative but it must reflect on your science project. 2. HOW TO WRITE THE RESEARCH QUESTION. The research question must give the independent/manipulated variable and the dependent/responding variable. Ex: What is the effect of IV/MV on DV/RV? How does the IV/MV affect THE DV/RV? 3. HOW TO WRITE A PURPOSE STATEMENT. Take the research question and make it into a statement naming your variables. Ex. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the effect of IV/MV on the RV/DV. ( Name ) ( Name ) 4. HOW TO WRITE THE BACKGROUND INFORMATION. NEVER USE PERSONAL PRONOUNS IN FORMAL WORK! This is where you present the information you gathered about the science project. It‛s important to READ about the topic of your science project to collect this information. You should include an explanation of the important facts of the general problem or area being investigated, explaining why this problem is of interest and outlining what information is already known. Use complete sentences here, too. All sources used (textbook, articles, etc.) must be listed in your Bibliography section at the end of this section. All of the sources used must be properly cited. Check your handout on how to cite your sources. 5. HOW TO WRITE A HYPOTHESIS. A hypothesis is an educated statement based on background material that explains what you think is going to happen before the experiment begins. The hypothesis must indicate the relationship between the IV/MV and the DV/RV. Make sure it is testable. Note: it is okay if your guess turns out to wrong. That's how science works. Many famous scientists have made incorrect hypotheses. It happens and you still get lots of information from this result. The hypothesis is written as an “if / then” statement. If _____, then _____. If = the IV/MV Then = the DV/RV 6. HOW TO WRITE VARIABLES. Here you list both the INDEPENDENT (IV) and DEPENDENT (DV) variables. The independent variable is the cause agent (the manipulated variable) and the dependent variable is the effect (what is actually measured in the experiment.) For example: the researcher controls and manipulates the independent variable (e.g. room temperature) and measures changes in the dependent variable (e.g. plant growth.) Use complete sentences here, too. You will also list what will remain constant during the experiment. (E.g. same volume of liquid, same light source, same thermometer) These variables are called the onstants/controlled variables.
7. HOW TO WRITE YOUR MATERIALS AND PROCEDURE Materials: The materials are all of the equipment that you used to complete the experiment or lab. This is a comprehensive list. A list is not complete sentences. You can list them across the page using spaces between the items, down the page or in a two-column list. For example: If you used 2 mg of salt, you list 2-mg salt. If you need 4 balloons, then list 4 balloons. This list should enable someone, who is unfamiliar with the project to gather all of the materials, and them go repeat your procedure. Make sure everything in the Procedure matches what is needed in the Materials section. Procedure: This part of the project clearly describes the experiment. There should be enough detail so that someone else could repeat your work. To make directions easy to follow, number each step sequentially like a recipe does. Finally, if you had to create any apparatus, you need to describe how to make it… It is REQUIRED to photograph the experimental set-up – one picture is worth lots of words! Label each photo as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. and explain the photograph. 8. HOW TO WRITE THE RESULTS. Present your findings in a logical not chronological, order. Give the results that you found, NOT what you think you should have found. This section should contain a collection of clearly labeled (1) DATA TABLES, (2) GRAPHS and (3) FIGURES (drawings). When you present each table or figure, briefly describe important patterns pointing out trends or inconsistencies, but should NOT include explanation or opinions. 9. HOW TO WRITE THE CONCLUSION. Here you get to explain what the results of the experiment showed. In this final section you give your interpretations of the data and relate them to the questions you asked in the hypothesis section. Be careful to avoid just repeating the hypothesis section again. If you have any odd data to explain, do it here or make a new hypothesis as to why the results came out in a way you did not expect. This is an interpretation of the results of the experiment based on the data that you collected and graphs that represent the data. REMEMBER YOU HAVE PROVED NOTHING, MERELY SUPPORTED OR NOT SUPPORTED THE HYPOTHESES. Include whether you accepted your hypothesis or rejected it based on your data. Present your conclusions clearly. Write the conclusion using complete sentences.
Science Project Sites
http://www.isd77.k12.mn.us/resources/cf/ExmSciProj.html http://www.ipl.org/youth/projectguide/ http://www.colleton.k12.sc.us/sciencefair/sciencelinks.htm http://www.isd77.k12.mn.us/resources/cf/SciProjIntro.html http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/fair.html http://isd77.k12.mn.us/resources/cf/welcome.html http://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/ http://homeworktips.about.com/cs/sciencefairs/index.htm