Easy Steps to Science Fair Projects (Part II)

Wow – thank you to everyone who gave us feedback on the Part I! We received not only emails but phone calls, basically asking for the rest of the article NOW, because they already know they’ll need it soon! You are welcome to leave your comments below so everyone can see them – it’s okay – we’re all friends here and it helps others to see the comments we’ve been hearing from you. We aren’t afraid of feedback, as we know it only helps us get better!!

So… enough of that – let’s get on with another portion of the article. Here are a few more excerpts – and yes, let me know what you really think.

…Part (II)

Here is the basic recipe for science fair projects across the globe:

The Scientific Method
1. Ask a question/Think of an idea
2. Do background research (if possible)
3. Construct hypothesis/Plan your experiment
4. Test with an experiment (This is the fun part, and you can do steps 4 & 5 together)
5. Gather, collect, and record your data and analyze the results
6. Does the hypothesis and results match? If not, go back to step 3.
7. Reach a conclusion

Tips and Tricks for Great Experiments
Repeat good results. If you get the result you’re after, then do the experiment again to make sure you can duplicate what happened. And again. And again.

Remove yourself. After you’ve listened to music during a test, ask your friends to do the same thing. This checks to make sure that this phenomenon is not just linked to you, but can work for everyone. You are introducing several other variables here (other people), so you can cut down on these pesky variables by asking half the class to take a test with music, and the other half without, and then switch next time. This way, you’ve got music and non-music taking the same test twice. As for number of kids to test it out on, scientists usually aim for sample sizes of over 30, but work with what you’ve got.

End with recommendations. This is a personal favorite, not a requirement, but I always like to report on the things I would do if I were to continue experimenting. You can easily make three, four, or even five future experiments that you would consider doing that would further refine your conclusion by drawing on the results you found and the experience you gained.

If you can produce consistent results for not just yourself, but for the whole class, and not only that but plans for future areas of study and relate it back to why this was important enough to study in the first place, now you’ve got an experiment worthy of a blue ribbon.

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