There are two types of projects judged at the Byers Elementary Science Fair: Experimental and Research.
Experimental Projects: answer a question using an experiment
This type of project follows the Scientific Method and should include:
Purpose or Question (What are you trying to find out?)
Hypothesis (What do you think will happen?)
Procedure (Includes the list of materials and directions for conducting the experiement)
Results (What happened?)
Conclusions (Were the results what you expected? Why did that happen? What does your experiment prove? How could you/would you change the experiement in the future?)
Judging Criteria: Are all of the components of the Scientific Method included? Is your display eye-appealing, neat, and spelled correctly? Does your project explain itself without you being present? Did you spend time and effort on your project? Are you able to clearly explain your project and tell the judge what you learned? Is your project creative and original? Sample Experimental Project Ideas:
Which brand of raisin cereal has the most raisins?
Do all objects fall to the ground at the same speed?
Which brand of paper towel is the strongest?
Do all colors fade at the same rate?
Do plants grow bigger in soil or in water?
Can you separate salt from water by freezing it? Boiling it?
Does the human tongue have definite areas for certain tastes?
Which way does the wind blowmost frequently?
Do taller people run faster than shorter people?
Research Projects: presents/explains scientific information.
This type of project should include:
Purpose (Why did you research this topic?)
Procedure ( How did you gather your information?)
An original written report on the chosen subject
Diagrams, pictures, and/or graphs to display information
Displays of materials or models may also be included
Sources (Where did you get your information?)
Judging Criteria:Does your project explain something and/or present information clearly? Is your display eye-appealing, neat, and spelled correctly? Does your project explain itself without you being present? Did you spend time and effort on your project? Are you able to clearly explain your project and tell the judge what you learned? Is your project creative and original?
Sample Research Project Ideas:
Describe the process of digesting food
Research the food pyramid and recommended servings for kids and adults
Describe how the ear works
Research the solar system
Explain how a plant grows
Research a particular type of dinosaur
Describe how sound travels
Explain why smoking is harmful
Science Fair Links
California State Science Fair - read about this science fair which has been going on since 1952! You can learn how to enter, get help with your own project, or see a directory of past projects.
Cyber Fair - see sample fair projects, look through other student's examples, and see the steps involved in judging projects.
Experimental Science Projects - outlines steps in preparing a project (complete with an ideas list), and suggests the best ways to prepare one at different grade levels.
Math Ideas for Science Fair Projects - cool ideas for projects you can do that involve the use of math.
Math Projects for Science Fairs - suggestions for possible projects on topics that could make exciting and interesting projects, from the Canadian Mathematical Society.
Science Buddies - use the topic selection wizard to help you figure out what science projects interest you most. Once you have a topic, get help doing research, setting up the experiments, and completing them.
Science Fair Central - includes cool project ideas, a science fair handbook, reviews of students' experiments, and more from Discovery Channel School.
Science Fair Project Resource Guide - samples, ideas, magazines, resources, and more. Includes a list of sites that explain the Scientific Method.
Scientific Method - describes the five steps of the Scientific Method that are helpful when creating a science fair project. Includes examples of wording and sample projects to explain certain steps.
Super Science Fair Projects - guide to projects, topics, experiments, and tips for successfully completing a science project, including the six steps of the Scientific Method.
USGS: Science Fair Project Ideas - lots of earthquake science fair project ideas from the USGS!
What Makes a Good Science Fair Project? - short guide written by a group of experienced judges for the California State Science Fair.
The Scientific Method
is an organized way of figuring something out.
There are usually six parts to it.1. Purpose- What do you want to learn? An example would be, "Do plants grow better under different colored lights?" or "Do girls have faster reflexes than boys?"
2. Research- Find out as much as you can. Look for information in books, on the internet, and by talking with teachers to get the most information you can before you start experimenting.
3. Hypothesis- After doing your research, try to predict the answer to the problem. Another term for hypothesis is 'educated guess'. This is usually stated like " If I...(do something) then...(this will occur)" An example would be, "If I grow plants under green lightbulbs, then they will grow better than plants growing under red lightbulbs"
4. Experiment- The fun part! Design a test or procedure to confirm or disprove your hypothesis. In our example, you would set up a plant under a green lightbulb and a plant under a red light and observe then for a couple of weeks. Also set up a plant under regular white light to compare the others to. If you are doing this for a science fair, you will probably have to write down exactly what you did for your experiment step by step.
5. Analysis- Record what happened during the experiment. Also known as 'data'.
6. Conclusion- Review the data and check to see if your hypothesis was correct. If the plant under the green lightbulb grew better, you proved your hypothesis, if not, your hypothesis was wrong. It is not "bad" if your hypothesis was wrong, because you still learned something!
More Science Fair Ideas:
Does music have an affect on plant growth?Does music have an affect on animal behavior?
Which kind of food do dogs (or any animal) prefer best?
Does the color of food or drinks affect whether or not people like them?
What is the best way to keep an ice cube from melting?
What level of salt works best to grow brine shrimp?
Can the food we eat affect our heart rate?
How effective are child-proof containers and locks.
Can noise levels affect how well we concentrate?
Does acid rain affect the growth of aquatic plants?
What is the best way to keep cut flower fresh the longest?
Does the color of light used on plants affect how well they grow?
What plant fertilizer works best?
Does the color of a room affect human mood/behavior?
Do athletic students have better lung capacity?
What brand of battery lasts the longest?
What type of food molds the fastest?
Does having worms in soil help plants grow faster?
Does gravity affect how plants grow?
Does the color of hair affect how much static electricity it can carry? (test with balloons)
How much weight can the surface tension of water hold?
Can people really read someone else's' thoughts?
Which soda decays teeth the most?
What light brightness makes plants grow the best?
Does the color of birdseed affect how much birds will eat it?
Do natural or chemical fertilizers work best?
Can mice learn? (you can pick any animal)
Can people tell artificial smells from real ones?
Does age affect human reaction times?
What is the affect of salt on the boiling temperature of water?
Does shoe design affect an athlete's jumping height?
What grass seed grows the fastest?
Can animals see in the dark better than humans?