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Science Project Strategies

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  1. Science Project Strategies Gail Guzman Youth & Teen Librarian Kelli Staley Information Technology Specialist Lansing Public Library

  2. 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.

  3. Our Plan • Finding a topic • Researching your topic • Encyclopedias & Reference Books • Non-fiction books • Online Resources • Searching our catalog • Finding articles

  4. A Galaxy of Ideas…Where Do You Start? • Books • Magazines • Websites

  5. Books to Give You Ideas • Science Fair collection • Science Experiments binders

  6. Magazines to give you ideas • Discover • Discovery Kids • Mother Earth News • Popular Science • Science • Science News

  7. http://www.lansing.lib.il.us/scienceproject.html

  8. http://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/ideas.htmlhttp://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/ideas.html

  9. http://www.ipl.org/div/kidspace/projectguide/

  10. 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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. Sample Topics • Idea: • What freezes faster, water or juice? • Better Idea: • What freezes faster, water or orange juice?

  16. Sample Topics • Idea: • Do plants grow if you feed them? • Better Idea: • Do plants grow if you feed them sugar, or salt?

  17. Sample Topics • Idea: • What makes mold grow? • Better Idea: • What makes mold grow on bread?

  18. Sample Topics • Idea: • Solar panels • Better Idea: • Solar panels: are they efficient, and why?

  19. Sample Topics • Idea: • Batteries • Better Idea: • Build a battery.

  20. Sample Topics • Idea: • Transporting electrical currents. • Better Idea: • Transporting electrical currents through vegetables.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. Let’s Pick a Topic!

  24. How to get started…an example • Project topic:Why do nails rust in water?

  25. 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?

  26. 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.

  27. Decide on Your Search Terms • Water • Iron • Chemical interaction • Corrosion • Oxidation • Rust

  28. Background Reading • Explore the library resources to find information on the general concept that your science project investigates.

  29. Beginning Your Research

  30. Rust

  31. Oxidation

  32. 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

  33. Reference Collection

  34. General Collection

  35. Lansing Library Catalog

  36. Sorting & Limiting

  37. SWAN

  38. SWAN

  39. SWAN

  40. SWAN

  41. EBSCO

  42. EBSCO

  43. EBSCO

  44. Internet Research

  45. Can’t trust everything on the internet

  46. 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

  47. Lansing Library Website

  48. Illinois Clicks!

  49. Internet Public Library

  50. Librarian’s Internet Index