Science Fair Project Display: Putting it All Together (page 2)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Oct 28, 2010

The Report

It is also important that your report be of good quality. This means that you must organize a portfolio of clearly stated, factual information. It is important to keep this in mind because the report is essentially your spokesperson when you are not with your project (for example, during preliminary judging).

An organized report contains the historical background on your subject, an introduction that states your purpose, a procedure that explains your means of acquiring information, your plan for organizing an experiment, and all the recorded data, diagrams, flow charts, photos, conclusions, and other details that fully explain your project. You might even want to include detailed descriptions about different phases in your experiment in the form of a diary. It is a good idea to include the names and places you have visited, together with any related correspondence.

Your report may be easier to complete if you create a journal when you begin to work on your project. If you record everything in your journal as you go along, all you will need to do later is organize your notes, since your journal is essentially the foundation of your report.

In organizing your report, you will have to distinguish between primary and secondary sources of information. Primary sources of information consist of surveys, observations, and experimentation that you have done either alone or through a mentor. Secondary sources are outside sources, such as the library, media organizations, government agencies, companies, laboratories, and so on. If you have used secondary sources for information either quoted directly or used indirectly, you must acknowledge these sources in footnotes and in a bibliography. Also, if you have worked under the guidance of a mentor or adviser be sure to give credit to this person and those who have assisted you in a references section in the report.

As with your backboard, make sure you prepare the report with word not be able to explain your project as well as you can, but it is reassuring to know that an organized report can work well for you in your absence.

If you write a thorough report that encompasses all of the items mentioned here, you may be eligible to submit it to another type of science competition, such as the Intel Science Talent Search, a local Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, or another similar competition.

The Abstract

An abstract is a brief summary of your project that is 250–300 words long. The abstract briefly explains the project’s purpose and procedural plan and presents generalized data and a short discussion of your conclusions. There is no standard way to write an abstract, but it should always be concise and clear. Many state and regional fairs have made the abstract a mandatory part of science fair project competition and specify that it must be completed and submitted to the science fair’s Scientific Review Committee with an application for admission to the science fair. Many science fairs review the abstract to make sure that the project you have been working on meets the standards proscribed by the fair’s Scientific Review Committee and the rules and regulations established by that science fair. The abstract further helps to categorize your project into the correct scientific category of competition, and it helps the judges to quickly grasp the summary of your project. It may even suggest to the judges that they should consider your work for other awards that are sponsored by outside special awards presenters.


Is Synthetic Motor Oil Spillage Environmentally Safer than Petroleum Motor Oil Spillage?

The impact of oil spillage is a great concern for the environment whether it be due to its regulated disposal or by accident. The purpose of this project is to determine, in the event of spillage, which form of motor oil, namely, regular petroleum motor oil or synthetic motor oil, would have the least negative impact on the environment. It was hypothesized that the regular petroleum motor oil would have the least negative impact since the synthetic motor oil contains manmade polymers. In order to test this theory, the growth rate of bean plants grown in soil containing traces of unused synthetic motor oil that was administered in various amounts and the growth rate of bean plants grown in the same soil containing traces of unused regular petroleum motor oil that was administered in the same amounts were compared against bean plants that were grown in the same soil where no traces of either type of oil were administered. The results indicated that every bean plant exposed to traces of oil was negatively impacted compared to the control group of bean plants. However, between the two types of oils studied herein, it was evident that the synthetic oil had more of a negative impact upon the plants as evidenced by retarded root length and the ability of the plants to sprout beans which were measured and recorded at various intervals and at the conclusion of the experiment. Therefore, my hypothesis was correct, the spillage of regular petroleum motor oil appears to have the least negative impact.

The above example contains a simple abstract of a recent award-winning science fair project to give you an idea of how an abstract is written.

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