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Your Science Fair Project
Transcript of Your Science Fair Project
University of Southern Indiana Step 2: Background Research This is necessary so that you understand your experiment and know how to design it. Step 3: Construct a Hypothesis A hypothesis is an educated guess about what you think will happen. Step 4: Test Your Hypothesis Key Elements of the Experimental Procedure Where do I start? Your Science Fair Project Ask a question about something that interests you.
How, what, when, where, or why?
In order for the scientific method to answer the question it must be about something that you can measure, preferably with a number.
Need help thinking of a topic? http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/recommender_register.php
Can you design a fair test to answer your question? A "fair test" requires that you change only one factor (variable) and keep all other conditions the same. If you cannot design a fair test, then you should change your question. Adapted from sciencebuddies.org. Identify key words in your question.
Make a table of your "question words."
Identify mathematical formulas that you will need to describe the results of your experiment.
Research the history of other experiments similar to yours.
Find and contact people that may be able to help you with your experiment. "If _____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ will happen." It is important for an experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same. Description and size of your control groups
A step-by-step list of everything you will do to perform your experiment
How will you change your independent variable? How will you measure the change?
How will you keep all other variables from changing? (location, temperature, light levels, etc.)
How many times will you repeat your experiment? (at least 3xs)
Human subjects: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Soc_participants.shtml
A good experimental procedure ensures that others can reproduce it exactly as you did the experiment.
A very detailed materials list! Record, Record, Record Your lab notebook will be your most valuable tool!
Question you are trying to answer
Changes to your experimental procedures
Detailed materials list
Data table (create prior to running your experiment) *Be consistent, careful, and accurate when recording your data.
Pictures of your experiment (use later in your display) Step 5: Analyze your Data Use your measurements to determine if your hypothesis was true or false. Review your data. Is it complete? Did you forget anything? Do you need to collect more data? Did you make a mistake?
Calculate an average of the different trials.
Make sure you have completely labeled all tables and graphs. Don't forget your units of measurement. Step 6: Draw a Conclusion Summarize how your results support or contradict your hypothesis. A few sentences to support your conclusions.
Include key facts from your background research to help explain your results.
State the how the independent variable affected the dependent variable.
Talk about the effectiveness of your experimental procedure.
Suggest changes to your experimental procedure.
If your hypothesis was wrong, IT IS OKAY! Just explain why you think it didn't go as you expected. Experiments that don't go as planned can lead to very significant discoveries.
Examples: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_sample_conclusions.shtml Step 7: Communicate Your Results Abstract Introduction
Conclusion Display Board