STEM Fair Project Walkthrough
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STEM Fair Project Walkthrough Click on any of the display board headings below for hints & tips! PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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STEM Fair Project Walkthrough Click on any of the display board headings below for hints & tips!. Choosing a Topic and Title. Choosing a Topic and Title. Be sure that the project chosen is an experiment and NOT a demonstration. An experiment is a problem that is explored through

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STEM Fair Project Walkthrough Click on any of the display board headings below for hints & tips!

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STEM Fair Project Walkthrough

Click on any of the display board headings below for hints & tips!


Choosing a Topic and Title


Choosing a Topic and Title

  • Be sure that the project chosen is an experiment and NOT a demonstration.

  • An experiment is

    a problem that is

    explored through

    the scientific method:

    • Formulating a question

    • Determining and following a procedure

    • Collecting and analyzing data

    • Forming a conclusion


Choosing a Topic and Title, cont’d

  • Avoid this common mistake:

    • Choosing a model or demonstration:

      • Examples:

        • Volcanoes

        • Solar Systems

        • How a Light Bulb Works…

      • Models and demonstrations are NOT scientific experiments!

      • They will NOT be accepted as Science Fair Projects!


Do NOT submit a DEMONSTRATION as your STEM Fair Project!

A DEMONSTRATION will NOT be accepted!


Common Science Fair “Demonstrations”


Also avoid choosing CONSUMER PROJECTS!

Example:

A Coke vs. Pepsi Project

Surveying 100 people to see if they prefer Coke or Pepsi would NOT be a good science fair project because it has no scientific importance.


How to make a consumer project scientifically relevant

  • A way to make the Coke vs. Pepsi idea into a good project might be to determine if the caffeine found in Coke or Pepsi has a greater effect on the blood pressure of a sample of 100 people.

  • This project would have scientific (medical) importance!


Some valid projects might involve…

  • Designing and testing a model

  • Performing an experiment of some kind and reporting the results

  • Demonstrating a concept for an original design

  • Observing patterns in nature.


Visit the Intel ISEF site to see if your project idea fits into an existing category


Choosing a Topic and Title

How should I frame my question?

Here are two examples…

Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


Explaining the Purpose

  • Use 1-3 sentences to briefly explain the purpose of your experiment.

  • Begin with:

    • The purpose of this project is…

    • The purpose of this study is…

    • The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effect of ____ on _____.

    • For example:

      The purpose of this study is to determine which soda, Coke or Pepsi, has the greatest effect on a person’s blood pressure.

Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


Formulating a Hypothesis

  • A hypothesis is a prediction, or scientific guess, stating what you think will be the answer to your problem/question.

  • It should be written as an “If, then” statement.

    • Example:

      • “Ifblood pressure is measured after Coke and Pepsi are consumed, thenthose subjects who drink Coke would have a higher blood pressure than those who drink Pepsi.”

  • In simpler terms, “if” represents the independent variable, while “then” represents the dependent variable.

Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


Background & Research

  • Research the topic of your question/problem

  • Find out what is already known about your topic

Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


Designing an Experiment

  • You must design an experiment that only tests one independent variable.

    All other variables must be controlled.

  • Next, you need to list all materials that will be used to conduct the experiment.

  • Finally, you need to provide a detailed list of instructions so that others can repeat your experiment. These instructions should be numbered.

    Note: It is important that you repeat your experiment as many times as possible to help validate your results.


More on variables and controls…

  • Independent variable

    • The variable you are changing

  • Dependent variable

    • The variable you observe for changes

  • Controlled variables (aka Constants)

    • Things that remain the same throughout the experiment

Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


Collecting & Displaying Data

  • Data should be collected as you perform the experiment

  • Data should be displayed on your board in the form of tables, graphs, and/or charts

  • All tables, graphs, and charts should be clearly labeled and include a title

  • Photographic and video evidence should also be included, if available.

Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


Results

  • In this section, you simply state what your results are.

  • There is no interpretation or analysis.

  • For example:

    • “Subjects who drank Pepsi had a higher blood pressure than those who drank Coke.”

  • Some students elect to include Data & Results together into one section.

  • Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


    Drawing Conclusions

    • Here is where you answer your research question.

      • Did the data you collected support your hypothesis?

      • Explain why the data did or did not support your hypothesis.

      • How could you modify your experiment to get more useful data and get more conclusive results?

    Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


    Discussion

    • In this section, you need to interpret your findings…

      • Discuss any trends your data revealed and what those trends may mean

    • … and discuss their significance in the “big picture”:

      • Impact on society as a whole

      • Impact on a particular branch of study (e.g., medicine and health, microbiology, botany, etc.)

    • Some students elect to combine their Conclusion & Discussion into one section.


    Acknowledgements

    • This section provides an opportunity for you to thank everyone who has assisted you with developing and/or completing your project.


    Bibliography/References

    • This section is an alphabetical list of books, articles, internet sites, etc. that were referenced in the development and completion of the STEM Fair project.


    References

    Click here to return to the beginning of the presentation.


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