Organizing and Conducting a Science Fair Project (page 3)

— The Ohio State University Extension Breads of the Harvest
Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Your Exhibit

Your exhibit (also referred to as a display) is one more way of showing others what your project is about. The exhibit alone is not the science project, but it is nevertheless important. As with all parts of your science project, you should take time to do it right.

Check with your teacher about the rules for making an exhibit. Most science fairs have restrictions on size of displays. One type of exhibit has three sides and stands by itself (without other means of support). The center part is reserved for the TITLE of the project and diagrams, photos, or drawings. On the table in front of the display backboard, you could place equipment that you used or samples of your experimental group and control group, such as, Petrie dishes, soil samples, plants, cages, etc.

The two side wings of the display could be used for a shorter version of your purpose, procedure, results, and conclusions. Under the RESULTS section you might display graphs or charts like those in your scientific paper. Your complete scientific paper can be placed on the table in front of the backboard. Thus, the backboard, scientific paper, and equipment comprise your EXHIBIT.

A 3-Sided Display

Your own creativity will determine how you make your display.

However, this diagram gives an example of a basic 3-sided display.

3-sided display

Graphs and Charts

2. Perhaps you would choose to display photographs or drawings of your work

3. Equipment and your research paper can be placed on the table


Make the backboard from any sturdy material. Remember that is should stand by itself on the table. Plywood, pressed board such as Masonite, or heavy weight cardboard would be a good choice. Assemble the three sections of the backboard with hinges or strong, wide tape.


Before you go any further, decide what colors you will use. If your backboard needs painting, an enamel paint works best. Choose contrasting colors for lettering. If you are in doubt about your color combination, get another opinion.


Your title should be cut out of construction or poster paper and attached (taped or glued) to the backboard. The use of large stencils will make the letters more attractive. Posters could be lettered by hand, first in pencil and then retraced in marker. Stick-on letters may also be purchased at office supply stores.


Drawings and sketches should always be drawn in pencil first and then retraced.

Large, poster size drawings can be produced by using an Opaque Projector at school. Tack or tape a poster to a wall. Place a drawing from a book, magazine, etc. under the opaque projector and project the image onto the poster. Using a pencil, trace the outline of the projection. You can fill in the details after you take the poster down from the wall.


Good photographs can be enlarged at a photo dealer to 5" x 7" or 8" x 10" so that you can show how you set up your experimentation. Every project does not need photos, but if you have a camera, you might consider recording your progress. If photos are included in your research paper, they should be placed at the end. Photos on your backboard should be labeled.

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