Organizing and Conducting a Science Fair Project
Whatever the topic you choose, it must be one that you can experiment with yourself. A good way to start is to ask a question that can be answered only be experimenting. Here are some examples of topics chosen by other students and why they can or cannot be selected as good topics:
POOR TOPIC: "Motors"
The topic is too general. If the student is planning to describe how motors work, then he is merely doing a demonstration and not experimentation.
POOR TOPIC: "How Volcanoes Erupt"
This topic will not allow experimentation without visiting real volcanoes. If the student plans to make a model that erupts, then he is doing a demonstration and not experimentation.
GOOD TOPIC: "The Effect of Chemical Fertilizers On Bean Plants"
This could be a good topic because it suggests experimentation. The student must use a good scientific method in completing the project.
GOOD TOPIC: "How Do Pill Bugs React To Various Surfaces?"
This, too, could be a good topic because it suggests the use of an experimental method. The title of the project is in the form of a question. Asking a question is a good approach toward developing your topic.
Every Project Must Have A Purpose
Once you have chosen a topic, try to explain the purpose of the experimentation in one to three sentences. You can start this way: "The purpose of this project is __________." Your purpose may include any hypotheses (scientific guesses) that you have as to the outcome of your experimentation.
Here is an example of one student's purpose:
The purpose of this project is to determine if earthworms, Lumbricus terrestris, affect soil nutrients.
In one sentence, the student has described what he is attempting to find out experimentally and what his test subjects are going to be. A likely hypothesis would follow as "I predict that plants will grow better in soil containing earthworms than in soil without earthworms." It can also be stated as "If a plant is placed in soil with earthworms, then it will grow better than a plant in soil without earthworms."
The project title of this example could take two forms:
What Effects Do Earthworms Have On Soil Nutrients?
The Effects Earthworms Have On Soil Nutrients.
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