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Science Project Strategies Gail Guzman Youth & Teen Librarian Kelli Staley Information Technology Specialist Lansing Public Library Science Projects… Teach you to manage time over a longer assignment. Teach you research skills when finding your information.

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science project strategies

Science Project Strategies

Gail Guzman Youth & Teen Librarian

Kelli Staley Information Technology Specialist

Lansing Public Library

science projects
Science Projects…
  • Teach you to manage time over a longer assignment.
  • Teach you research skills when finding your information.
  • Teach you to keep organized records of your experiment.
  • Teach you critical thinking skills.
our plan
Our Plan
  • Finding a topic
  • Researching your topic
    • Encyclopedias & Reference Books
    • Non-fiction books
    • Online Resources
  • Searching our catalog
  • Finding articles
books to give you ideas
Books to Give You Ideas
  • Science Fair collection
  • Science Experiments binders
magazines to give you ideas
Magazines to give you ideas
  • Discover
  • Discovery Kids
  • Mother Earth News
  • Popular Science
  • Science
  • Science News
http school discovery com sciencefaircentral scifairstudio ideas html
http://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/ideas.htmlhttp://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/ideas.html
using project idea websites
Can give you lots if ideas for your project.

Can help you decide what interests you.

Remember, a good idea may still be difficult to research, depending on equipment needed, or time required.

Using Project Idea Websites
ways to find a science fair project idea 1
Ways to find a science fair project idea #1

Look at the different science categories and pick one you are interested in.

Next, narrow it to a specific project. If you are interested in recycling, try a project about composting in backyard gardens!

ways to find a science fair project idea 2
Ways to find a science fair project idea #2

Use your experiences Remember a time you noticed something and thought "I wonder how that works?" or "I wonder what would happen if..." then turn that into a project.

ways to find a science fair project idea 3
Ways to find a science fair project idea #3

Think aboutcurrent events. Look at the newspaper. People are hungry in Africa because of droughts - a project on growing plants without much rain, which types grow ok with little water? Or the ozone hole over Antarctica - how can we reduce ozone? -a project on nonaerosol ways to spray things. Or oil spills. how can we clean them up? -a project on how to clean oil out of water.

keep it specific
Keep it specific!
  • Make sure your project is well defined.
  • Pick a project that is age appropriate.
  • Pick a project that you can accomplish.
  • Make sure you have enough time to complete your project!
sample topics
Sample Topics
  • Idea:
    • What freezes faster, water or juice?
  • Better Idea:
    • What freezes faster, water or orange juice?
sample topics16
Sample Topics
  • Idea:
    • Do plants grow if you feed them?
  • Better Idea:
    • Do plants grow if you feed them sugar, or salt?
sample topics17
Sample Topics
  • Idea:
    • What makes mold grow?
  • Better Idea:
    • What makes mold grow on bread?
sample topics18
Sample Topics
  • Idea:
    • Solar panels
  • Better Idea:
    • Solar panels: are they efficient, and why?
sample topics19
Sample Topics
  • Idea:
    • Batteries
  • Better Idea:
    • Build a battery.
sample topics20
Sample Topics
  • Idea:
    • Transporting electrical currents.
  • Better Idea:
    • Transporting electrical currents through vegetables.
scientific method
Scientific Method
  • Purpose: What am I trying to discover or prove?
  • Research.
  • Hypothesis: What do you think will happen?
  • Procedure: How will I do this? Your steps of an experiment.
  • Results: What your experiment showed. Organize your data into charts or graphs.
  • Conclusion: Evaluate results into a summary. It’s OK if your hypothesis was wrong if your results prove your experiment.
research searching for information on your topic
Research-Searching for Information on Your Topic
  • Sometimes, terms are obvious
    • For plants, you can look at how they grow
  • Often search terms require critical thinking
    • For solar panels, look up sunlight and energy as well.
how to get started an example
How to get started…an example
  • Project topic:Why do nails rust in water?
specify your topic
Specify Your Topic
  • Define the topic:
    • Why does an iron nail rust in water?
    • Why does an iron nail rust in salt water?
    • Does an iron nail rust faster in a 25% salt water solution or a 50% salt water solution?
    • Does an iron nail rust faster in ice water, 60 degree water, 100 degree water, or boiling water?
check the dictionary
Check the Dictionary!
  • Rust (noun) 1. Any of various reddish-brown oxides formed on iron and iron containing materials by low-temperature oxidation in the presence of water. 2. Any of various metallic coatings formed by corrosion.
decide on your search terms
Decide on Your Search Terms
  • Water
  • Iron
  • Chemical interaction
  • Corrosion
  • Oxidation
  • Rust
background reading
Background Reading
  • Explore the library resources to find information on the general concept that your science project investigates.
dewey decimal system how the library is organized
Dewey Decimal System:How the library is organized
  • Science materials have call numbers in the 500s-600s.
  • General Science 500
  • Chemistry 540
  • Botany (plants) 581
  • Biology 574
trusted websites
Trusted Websites
  • Lansing Public Library
    • www.lansing.lib.il.us
  • Illinois Clicks!
    • www.illinoisclicks.org
  • Internet Public Library
    • www.ipl.org
  • Librarians’ Internet Index
    • www.lii.org
wikis collaborative websites
Wikis: Collaborative Websites
  • A wiki is a group of Web pages that allows users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows others (often completely unrestricted) to edit the content.
wikis edited by a wookie
Wikis: Edited by a wookie?
  • Caution!It may contain unreliable, unverified information, and may not be the best source for information.

Image: http://swg.stratics.com/content/lore/personas/images/chewbacca.gif

5 tips for success
5 Tips for Success
  • Start as soon as your teacher assigns a project.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Ask Librarians if you need help finding information.
  • HAVE FUN!
thank you for coming

Thank you for coming!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.