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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

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STEM Fair Project Walkthrough

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

choosing a topic and title1
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
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!
also avoid choosing consumer projects
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
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
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.
choosing a topic and title2
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
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.

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formulating a hypothesis
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
Background & Research
  • Research the topic of your question/problem
  • Find out what is already known about your topic

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designing an experiment
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
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

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collecting displaying data
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.

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results
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.

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drawing conclusions
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?

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

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