Science Fair Project Weaver Middle School
Purpose of the Project • To use science process skills including observation, classification, communication, measurement (metric), prediction, inference, and collecting and analyzing data • To design and conduct a scientific experiment that identifies the problem; distinguishes manipulated,responding and controlled variables; collect, analyze, and communicate data; and makes valid inferences and conclusions • To use traditional reference materials and current technologies to explore background, historical, and current information related to a science concept
Lab Report Title Page Introduction Materials/Procedures Experiment Data/Discussion Conclusion Science Fair Project Choose a Problem Research the problem Develop a hypothesis Write Procedures Experiment Collect data; Discuss Report Results (Research Paper) Comparison of the Writing of a Lab Report versus the Science Fair Project
Special Projects are projects involving any of the following: • Human Subjects • Non-Human Vertebrate Animals • Human and Non-Human Vertebrate Animal Tissue • Microorganisms (Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi) • Hazardous Chemicals or Devices • Recombinant DNA • Controlled Substances
Due to recent changes in SSEF and ISEF Rules and new liability issues, school SRC/IRBs will NOT be recognized. ALL SPECIAL PROJECTS MUST BE REVIEWED and APPROVED BY REGIONAL SRC/IRB before research begins.
Seven Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project Select a Topic Research Purpose and Hypothesis Experiment Research Paper Exhibit Judging
Seven Steps to prepare a Science Fair Project Step 1: Select a Topic Select something that is of interest to you! Go on Internet and search for articles on those topics Only check valid web sites (universities, research labs, etc) Look for questions in that area that might be worth exploring Be as specific as possible. Time and resources may be limited. Write it as a question that you want to answer.
Seven Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project Step 2: Research This means you look for any and all information associated with the topic you have chosen. Use any and all sources of information available to you.(Books, magazines, Internet, interviews, etc.) Keep a Working Bibliographyin your Log Book. Write a Research Plan that includes a problem, hypothesis, procedures, and bibliography. This is to be submitted for approval of your project. Identify any equipment that you may need. Obtain all necessary forms. Use the informationto establish a time line of events.
Seven Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project Step 3: Purpose and Hypothesis The Purpose is a description of what you will be doing and why. This is part of the introduction of your Research Paper and must capture the attention of the reader. The Hypothesis is the conclusion of the introduction. It is a testable, educated guess that answers the question posed by your topic.
Seven Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project Step 4: Experiment List materials and procedures to be followed How will the equipment be used? Identify the control and experimental groups. Identify all Safety Concerns Provide a detailed description of the experiment being performed Take detailed notes of measurements and observations. Record these in your Log Book! Upon completion of the experiment, provide a detailed discussion of the experimental results and any sources of error .
Seven Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project Step 5 The Research Paper • Compile your work into a comprehensive report that presents: • The background and history of your topic • Any information collected • Complete description of your experiment • A discussion of your findings • A conclusion that refutes or accepts your hypothesis
Seven Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project Step 6 The Exhibit • This is your visual presentation of your project. It should be an organized, eye-catching, attention-grabbing presentation from the title of your project to the construction and presentation. • It must contain:It Cannotcontain: Log Book Moving parts Research Paper Living or dead specimens Photographs LASERS Charts Live electrical devices(unless approved by SRC) Graphs Photos or Visuals of vertebrates in Abstract other-than-normal conditions Required Forms Chemicals including water • It is restricted to a specific size. Depth: 76 cm (30 in.) Width: 122 cm (48 in.) Height: 274 cm (108 in.) [Floor Display] 198 cm (78 in.) [Table Display]
Seven Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project Step 7 Judging • You will be asked to present your topic to a group of qualified scientists. Therefore, know your project! • Judges will evaluate you and your project on: • How well you followed the scientific method. • The detail and accuracy of notes. • Whether tools/equipment were used in the best possible way. • How well thought out the research was. • How freely and confidently you can speak about your project. Be prepared to answer questions outside the scope of your project. • The appearance and presentation of your display.
Areas Of Concern Bibliography Project Notebook Log Book Research Paper Abstract Appendices Forms
Bibliography • This is defined as a listing of the resources and references used during the research phase of your project to develop your hypothesis. • The bibliography should be written in the APA Style. This is the prescribed style for scientific papers. The APA Handbook is available in most libraries. Your English teacher can assist in this format as well.
Web Site Example Iguchi, L. (2003, February 3). Japan warfare. History of Japan. Retrieved March 11, 2004, from http://book.edu/japan Drums from Africa. (2002). Retrieved May 17, 2005, from http://www.abcd.com/africa/b2k
Project Notebook Contains the Originals of the following: Abstract on the Official Abstract Form Form (1) Teacher/Sponsor Checklist Form (1A) or Team (1A) Research Plan Form (1B) Approval Form Any additional forms as required by your project Research Paper The sheets can be found at www.uga.edu.oasp
Log Book • Your log book should contain detailed and accurate notes of everything you do. • Requirements: • All entries should be dated • It must be written in ink only (blue or black). No computer generated log books will be accepted! • It must be in a composition notebook that is bound (glued and stitched). • It must be divided into sections and each page numbered, • It must contain your Working Bibliography. • It must contain the rough draft of your Research Plan. • It must include your raw data and your thoughts about the results obtained.
Division Number of pages Title Page 1 Table of Contents 1 Review of Literature 5-10 Description of Experiment 5-10 Materials 1-2 Data 3-6 Conclusion 2-5 Bibliography 2-3 Divisions of the Log Book
Log Book (Example of how a page should look) Table of Contents Page Review of Literature…………………………….. ? Description of the experiment…………………… ? Materials…………………………………………. ? Data………………………………………………. ? Conclusion……………………………………….. ? Bibliography……………………………………… ?
Log Book(Contents of each Division) Review of Literature [Daily Log] • Working Bibliography • Notes • Sketches • Additional questions • End with a rough draft of the introduction for your Research Paper
Log Book(Contents of each division) Description of Experiment • Step-by-Step listing of Procedures • Identify all Safety Precautions • List all materials and equipment to be used(include quantities, qualities, dimensions, etc.)
Log Book(Contents of each division) Data(Daily Log) All notes, observations, sketches, drawings, precautions, comments, etc. are to be recorded in this section. There should be a Discussion of the Data at the end of this section.
Log Book(Contents of each division) Conclusion Revisit your hypothesis. Restate it. State whether you accept or refute your hypothesis. State specific facts, associated with your data, that support your conclusion.
Log Book(Contents of each division) Appendices (This is any information that you refer to, but did not have room to place it in the document.) Photographs Charts Graphs Data Tables Acknowledgements
Log Book(Contents of each division) Bibliography You may use the MLA guidelines taught in your English courses. It is highly recommended that you use the APA format. (a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is available in most libraries)
Research Paper A paper describing your research is required, and should be displayed in your Research Project Notebook, along with any necessary forms, or other relevant written materials A good research paper includes these sections: TITLE PAGE Project title, name, address, school and grade TABLE OF CONTENTS Number each section as you finish writing ACKNOWLEDGMENTS/CREDITS Credit assistance received from mentors, parents. teachers. And other sources
Research Paper INTRODUCTION The introduction should explain the background information about your topic and the reasoning behind your choice of study Refer to previous research as well as your own experiments. Establish a strong rationale for the study by emphasizing unresolved issues or questions Conclude by stating the research hypotheses MATERIALS & PROCEDURES Describe in detail the methodology used to derive your data and observations Use photographs and drawings of your equipment to describe your experiment further. Include a precise description of the sample, any apparatus that was constructed or modified for the study, and methods of data collection
Research Paper RESULTS Present the data collected in the experiment in tables and graphs; summarize the data in narrative form Include statistical analysis of the data Do not include raw data Include only information collected during the current year's study DISCUSSION Your results and conclusions should flow smoothly and logically from your data. Be thorough Compare your results with theoretical values, published data, commonly held beliefs and/or expected results. A complete paper should include a discussion of possible errors or problems experienced CONCLUSION Briefly summarize your results. Discuss if your data supported of your hypothesis and what your next steps in experimentation may be
Research Paper REFERENCES/BIBLIOGRAPHY Your reference list should include any material that is not your own (ie, books, web sites, papers, journal articles and communications cited in the paper) Follow the prescribed bibliographic style manual
Abstract PREPARING AN ABSTRACT When you finish your research and experiments, you are required to write a (maximum) 250-word abstract on the Official Abstract Form. An abstract is a concise summary of the entire research project. The following elements should be included in a proper abstract: TITLE The title should be brief and descriptive. The title must be used for all forms and display. The Title is limited to 65 characters and spaces. PROBLEM The statement of the problem tells the reader what specific questions are addressed in the study. The variables and limitations are identified. The intent and objectives of the research effort are made explicit in this statement.
Abstract PURPOSE The purpose states the usefulness of the study. It answers the question why the project was undertaken. HYPOTHESIS The hypothesis is an educated guess that shows the relationship between a set of observed facts and a theory. The hypothesis limits the scope of the investigation and unifies the research design. Oftentimes it is an IF/Then statement. P ROCEDURE The procedure provides a brief summary of what was done. CONCLUSIONS The conclusions provide a concise statement of the outcomes of the investigation. They should be written in nontechnical language and be related directly to the hypothesis. The conclusions should identity unsolved aspects of the original problem or any new problems identified.
Abstract RULES FOR ABSTRACTS: .The abstract must be typed on the Official GSEF Abstract Form, in Officifical Rulebook and also found on the web site. .The abstract is limited to the square on the form. Do not include cover sheets, graphics, etc. .The abstract must be 250 words or less. ONE Copy of the abstract must be attached to the GSEF registration form and the original placed in your notebook or on your Exhibit Board.
Abstract HELPFUL HINTS: .Use past tense and third person .Use correct spelling and sentence structure .Try to avoid use of highly-specialized words or abbreviations .Restrict procedure to identification of method or type of process employed .State results, conclusions, or findings in clear, concise fashion