How do I start my science fair project?

— National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Some science fair projects are not so much experiments to test a hypothesis as they are questions to answer or demonstrations of how nature works or even inventions of technologies to measure something in nature. Before you start, find out which of these are acceptable kinds of science fair projects at your school. You can learn something and have fun using any of these approaches.

  1. First, pick a topic. Pick something you are interested in, something you'd like to think about and know more about.
  2. Then do some background research on the topic.
  3. Decide whether you can state a hypothesis related to the topic (that is, a cause and effect statement that you can test), and follow the strict method listed above, or whether you will just observe something, take and record measurements, and report.
  4. Design and carry out your research, keeping careful records of everything you do or see and your results or observations.
  5. Construct an exhibit or display to show and explain to others what you hoped to test (if you had a hypothesis) or what question you wanted to answer, what you did, what your data showed, and your conclusions.
  6. Write a short report that also states the same things as the exhibit or display, and also gives the sources of your initial background research.
  7. Practice describing your project and results, so you will be ready for visitors to your exhibit at the science fair.
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