Headed for the science fair? You're going to want to consider science projects that will not only be fun and interesting but will impress the judges as well. At first it might seem like a tall order, but the science fair is a great chance for you to gain new knowledge about almost anything you can imagine. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to win the fair, it just takes planning, some creativity, and a little work. Follow these four simple tips and yours will be one of the science projects that wow friends and judges alike!
1. Get interested! -This is the most important thing you can do to make this a fun and successful project. Forget those projects from school, this one is your own and can be about anything you choose. Think about what you like to do and how you could learn more about it through the scientific method. Start by pointing the question you want your study to answer.
For example, if you're interested in planes you might research which shape of wing creates the most lift. Or, study your friends and family by researching how they react to a set of different musical styles or running a blind taste test.
Is the outdoor where you love to be? Get outside and run an experiment in the garden or at the local park!
Whatever it is you enjoy that makes you curious is sure to make a great science project, all you have to do is ask the right question.
2. Keep it simple-Being creative is important, but the best scientists know how to ask direct questions which lead to useful results. You do not want to ask too broad a question and end up with an incomplete project on the day of the fair. Suppose you want to work with food since you love to cook. A study to find out which is the best type of dessert is going to be way too much to handle, there are just too many out there and everyone has their own favorite. A better question would be "How does wrapping an object in foil affect cooking time?"
A simpler topic will be easier to present at the fair, you should always be as clear as possible about your research methods and findings. Anyone who comes to see your project should be able to understand and enjoy it. Presenting your project is as important as doing the study, so be prepared to show what you discovered. Finally, make sure that the topic is an appropriate one by checking with an adult before getting started.
3. Do your own work – The more of the project you do yourself the more you will learn and can use again in the future. Sure, there may be certain aspects of building the display where someone good a using power tools can help out. Maybe you and a friend can team up to collect some data; cases like these are not cheating and are fine. What is important is that you are part of every step of the process and follow through with your original idea.
Avoid cutting and pasting information from the internet or from books, doing this is illegal and anyone is allowed to place information online. The judges will ask questions about your project on the day of the fair. If you have not done your own work you may not be able to tell them about your project, how do you think that would look?
4. Do not wait till the last minute – If you do, you're only cheating yourself. Good science projects require careful planning and more than one try to really learn all you can. Remember, a good experiment can be done over any number of times with nearly the same results, that's how a scientist can be sure of what he discovers!
Give yourself a number of weeks to put together your project and aim to have it ready for presentation a few days before the fair. These extra days are for taking care of little things you may not have thought of or just had no idea could happen. Once your project is ready, you can use the remaining extra time to practice presenting it.