Time Required: Over Night to Eight Weeks (or More)
1. Understand the Scientific Method The scientific method is a process that scientists developed to form and answer questions. In order to truly do science for your project, you need to understand how we do science – and to do that, you need to understand the scientific method.
2. Buy a notebook: Easy, but very, very important. From this moment on, this notebook is your "Project Log" where you will keep track of everything to do with your project (and only you project).
3. Write Down all the Questions You Have. This is not as easy as it sounds. Ask every question you need to know the answer to. Don't be embarrassed, if you need an answer, you're probably not the only one who doesn't know.
4. Create a Schedule That Will Get Everything Done in Time, That You Can Stick To. Get a calendar and mark off the date of the fair (or when your project is due). Spread out the tasks you need to complete over the time you have. Don't wait to the last month, week or day(!) to try to do everything. Science Fair Project Schedule Checklist
5. Choose a Topic. This seems hard, and it is important, but don't get too worked up about it: most people get stuck for a little while on this step.
6. Fine-tune Your Topic. You need to turn your topic into a question that can be answered. If you can't get to a question right now, do some more research (that is step seven, but its ok to mix these two steps up a bit).
7. Research Your Topic. As discussed in the scientific method, we need to find out as much as we can about our topic. This will ensure that you will have a deep understanding of your topic, as well as helping you to develop a question that will work for your project. This will make the rest of your project easier.
8. Develop Your Hypothesis - an educated (you did educate yourself with allthat research, right?) guess about the answer to your question.
9. Design Your Experiment to test your hypothesis.
10. Conduct Your Experiment. Gather all the equiptment you need and follow the steps of the experiment you designed.
11. Analyse the Data and Draw Conclusions. Once you have your data, make any calculations you need for the analysis, produce graphs and charts as required to visualize the data. Then, determine whether your data supports your hypothesis.
12. Write Up Your Project Report. This is a written record of your project. Use the detailed notes you took during each step (you did take them, didn't you?) to help you here.
13. Put Together Your Display. Check with the rules of your science fair (or the directions from your teacher) to make sure your display is correct.
14. Collect your ribbon - or at least enjoy the fair
- There are many common misconceptions about what is needed for a great science fair project. It is not about how much money you can spend and it is not about whether you are a geek or not. It is about whether you can put together a project that shows you understand science and the process of doing science. What you Do and Do Not Need for a Great Science Fair Project