Science Fair, two words that terrify educators, students, and parents. If your child or school is
participating in the science fair this year, don’t panic! If the right steps are taken your child and
school could take home the big prize.
Students are responsible for designing and executing the entire science fair project. Parents
should not do the science fair project for their child. Encourage students to think outside of the
box when it comes to choosing a science fair project, which can be the hardest part. Students
should select a topic they find interesting. If you are having trouble finding the perfect science fair
topic, here are a few ideas.
- How do laws/policies on deer affect deer populations?
- What conditions impact productivity while doing homework?
- How does photo-editing affect perception?
- How does weather affect mood?
- How does temperature affect the brewing of tea?
- Which detergent is best for removing stains?
- Which paper towel absorbs the fastest?
- What is the best way to remove wrinkles from fabric?
- How does temperature impact the activity of ants?
- How does smell affect taste?
The science fair project should be an experiment and not a demonstration. Students should start by asking a question and then
use the scientific method to get an answer.
The scientific method is a step-by-step process used to ask and answer scientific questions. Although the scientific method can
be traced back to the Greeks and even to ancient artisans, Galileo is known as the father of "The Scientific Method.”
- STEP 1: Ask a Question – The scientific method starts by asking a question. It’s important to pick a topic you find
interesting and to develop a question that can be measured.
- STEP 2: Form a Hypothesis – A hypothesis is an educated guess. Your hypothesis should be measurable and say
something like, "Raising the temperature of a cup of water will increase the amount of sugar that dissolves."
- STEP 3: Design and Perform an Experiment – Design and perform an experiment that will prove your hypothesis true or
- STEP 4: Analyze the Results – Once your experiment is complete, gather and analyze all data to determine if your
hypothesis is true or false. If your hypothesis is false go back to STEP 2 and create a new hypothesis.
- STEP 5: Communicate the Results - Communicate your results via a report and a science fair board.
From creativity to how memorable a presentation or display might be, judges will use a variety of criteria to judge science fair
projects. Judges might ask these questions…
- Did the student think like a scientist?
- Is the science fair topic creative?
- Did the student use the scientific method?
- Was the student’s project presented and displayed professionally?
- Was the presentation and display memorable?
Planning is key! An award-winning science fair project is not created overnight. Realize ahead of time that it takes patience and
time when doing these projects.