Science fair need not be a horrible experience. On the following pages you will find examples of how to do each of the required science fair parts. Each of these descriptions give an example of what is needed and a section with blank lines for you to answer the remainder of the question asked. The key to your success is to take science fair in small steps. Providing you give yourself time to organize and plan you will create a successful project. To ensure this success follow the examples listed below. With some planning and creativity you will create a successful science fair project.
“Writing the Purpose Statement"
The Purpose Statement should explain what it is you are trying to discover or prove. The Purpose should be written in a form of a statement. Try to make your statement original and creative.
The statement should clearly explain:
1. The problem that you are trying to solve with your experiment.
2. Why you want to do this experiment.
3. How you think the information gained from the experiment will help other people.
Example of a Purpose Statement:
The purpose of this experiment was to find out how the density of plant cover affects soil erosion. I became interested in this experiment when the hillside next to our yard began to erode. The information from this experiment will help people to determine how many plants they should plant on their yards hillside.
Fill in the blanks below to create a quality Purpose Statement.
The purpose of this experiment was to ___________________________
I became interested in this experiment when ____________________________________________________________________________________________
The information gained from this experiment will help others by
Bad Material List:
Good Material List:
1. 20 Liters of Water
2. Stop watch with second hand
3. Metric Ruler with millimeters listed
4. 3 cubic meters of potting soil
Fill in the blanks below to create a quality Materials List.
Description of Item:
The Procedures should follow these rules:
1. Label each step with a number or letter.
2. Write your procedures in a cookbook format
3. Be very specific with quantities, amounts and the order that things need to be done or completed.
Example of a Procedures / Method list:
1. Prepare three trays by putting an equal amount of potting soil in each tray. If you are using pans or cookie sheets, spread a layer of gravel on the bottom of the pan before adding the soil. This will allow for drainage since you will be watering all three pans while the grass is growing.
2. Set Tray 1 aside. In Tray 2, cover the soil with a layer of leaves and grass clippings. In Tray 3, sprinkle grass seed on the top of the soil.
3. Place the three trays in a place where they are level and have similar light and temperature conditions. (The temperature must be above 50°F (10°C) for the grass to grow.)
4. Use the sprinkling can to give each tray the same amount of water. Continue watering all three trays approximately every 3 days until the grass in Tray 3 is about .5 inches (1.25 centimeters) tall. This may take one week or longer. You may have to adjust your watering schedule depending on how fast the soil dries. Check the soil daily to see if it looks and feels moist.
Fill in the blanks below to create quality Procedures / Methods.
Writing the Results will include both text and illustrative materials AKA the tables and charts. Use the text to explain and guide the reader through your key results, i.e., the information that answers the hypothesis you investigated. Use the tables and charts to help strengthen and explain what you are stating in your text.
Your results should follow these guidelines:
1. Include what you wanted to accomplish and prove during your experiment.
2. Describe and report what you discovered. Be sure to include any data that might have been collected. It is important to show this data even if it did not support your hypothesis. The process of completing the experiment with true data is what is important.
3. The function of the Results section is to objectively present your key results, without interpretation.
Example of how to write the results:
The original purpose of this experiment was to see how a seeds germination is effected by the time of exposure to running water. The results of the experiment were that the duration of exposure to running water had a great effect on overall seed germination. (See chart #1). The seeds exposed to the 48-hour treatment had the highest percentage rate of germination (See chart #2). This was 2 times that of the 12-h group and 5 times that of our control group that was not exposed to the running water treatment.
Fill in the blanks below to create a quality Results page.
The original purpose of this experiment was to _____________________
The results of the experiment were ____________________________
Pointers for your Tables / Graphs:
v Big or little? A good rule of thumb is to size your figures to fill about one-half of a page. The viewer should not have to get a magnifying glass to make out the details.
v Color or no color? Most often black and white is preferred. The idea is that if you need to photocopy or fax your paper, any information conveyed by colors will be lost to the reader. However, for a poster presentation or a talk with projected images, color can be helpful in distinguishing different data sets. Every aspect of your Figure should convey information; never use color simply because it is pretty.
v Title or no title? When you are making a posters or projected images, where people may have a harder time reading the small print of a legend, a larger font title is very helpful.
What is a conclusion? A conclusion is a reexamination of your original hypothesis in regards to the data you have collected. Your conclusion will continue by describing how your results prove or disprove your hypothesis. Your conclusion included what questions you have developed in doing the experiment. It also includes how you might change your experiment if you were to continue this topic in order to explore those questions that you developed during the experiment.
Example of a conclusion:
My hypothesis was that grass would do a better job at preventing soil erosion on the hillside than shrubs. I base my hypothesis on the idea that there are more roots in the grass than the shrubs. The results indicate that this hypothesis should be considered false. The dense amount of shrub cover shielded the underlying dirt better than the grass. Because of the results of this experiment, I wonder if different kinds of shrubs have the same effect on preventing erosion. If I were to conduct this science fair project again I would try both deciduous as well as coniferous shrubs.
Fill in the following lines to create a successful Conclusion:
My hypothesis was ______________________________________
The Results indicate that this hypothesis should be considered
Because of the results of this experiment _____________________
If I were to conduct this science fair project again I would ________