How to Create a Science Fair Project
So your child has entered a science fair, but he’s not quite sure how to properly conduct a science experiment. Make sure that your child is doing an experiment and not just a demonstration, which means he needs to be testing something.
Do an Experiment Not Just a Demonstration
While science demonstrations can be super cool, a science experiment is about testing something, a factor. Your child should pick one factor she wants to test. You don’t want her varying more than one factor so that she can confidently say what caused the outcome.
An Example Experiment: Only Vary One Factor
So for example, your child may decide to test airplanes she makes. She could for example test if different designs make the planes fly different distances. If you are varying the design though you need to keep everything else CONSTANT. If you for example varied the designs AND you used a different material for each plane too, it will be hard for the child to know if the different design affected the outcome or the different material.
Steps for Creating a Science Fair Project
So in general the steps to creating a science fair project are:
1. Research ideas
Pinterest may be a good place to start. You can also do a project based on the child’s interest. Is she interested in cars, plants, or solar energy?
2. What outcome am I going to be measuring?
Once you have a general idea, figure out what you want to test. For example, are you trying to see which plane flies the farthest? If working with bridges, are you testing bridge strength? If working with plants, will you look at plant growth?
3. Decide what factor you will be testing
What are some different factors that you could vary. For airplanes, you could vary the design, the material used, etc.
4. Come up with a guess about what you think will happen.
Come up with an educated guess (for example based on prior experience or knowledge) about what you think is going to happen. This guess is called an hypothesis.
5.Do the experiment.
Make sure you are only varying ONE factor.
6. Record the results
The results should be measured and recorded. Figure out a way to nicely display your findings such as in a bar graph or pie chart.
7. Write your conclusion.
Write a summary of your experiment and the outcome. Was your hypothesis true? Why or why not?
8. Display Your Results
Display the different sections of your project such as an introduction to your experiment, your hypothesis, how you conducted the experiment, results, and conclusion. Try to think of ways to make your board look creative. I suggest having section titles also. Use a trifold board to display your results.
Science Fair Day
There are several things you will want to keep in mind for the day of the science fair.
1.You will also need to give your project a title. For the science fair I am helping to coordinate, project titles are due by February 15.
2. Check to see what time projects are supposed to be set up. You don’t want judging to begin and your child’s project hasn’t been set up! For our science fair, projects are to be set up between 9:30-10:30 am, with judging starting right after. We are hoping that judging will be over by about noon and awards will begin soon thereafter.
3. Also, you may want to check to see if there are any Don’ts for your particular science fair. For example, for the science fair I am helping to coordinate, we want every child’s project to fit within a trifold board.
4. Let those in charge of the science fair know as soon as possible if you will need an outlet as there may be a limited number of outlets available. In the case of the science fair I am helping with, there is a limited number of outlets available.
5. Make sure that your child is prepared to talk about her science fair experiment. Have her practice talking about it at home. Also, it would be great if you could pretend to be a judge, and ask the child questions about her project.
6. Very importantly, HAVE FUN creating your science fair project. Ask those in charge if it is ok for friends and family to come view your project. For our science fair, we would LOVE for friends and family to come see the projects!
The science fair we are hosting is going to be Friday, May 1, 2020. Make this science fair experience a fun one for your kids!
A List of More STEM Activities
Want More STEM Activities You Can Do with Your Kids? Check out Get Your Kids Involved in STEM Activities.
Encourage Your Child to be a STEM Problem Solver with STEM books
Do you want to encourage your kids to be little inventors? Check out the first book in a kids’ fictional STEM series that I wrote called Anna, Kid Engineer. Read about Anna’s experience in a science fair. Encourage your child to be creative, inventive, and to not give up!
Andre, Kid Aviator is the 2nd book in the STEM series for kids. In Andre, Kid Aviator, the STEM Club Andre is a part of is presented with a problem. Check out this book to see if the club is able to solve the problem. Encourage your kids to be problem solvers! You can purchase the ebook of Andre, Kid Aviator here.
The physical book of Andre, Kid Aviator is also available on Amazon.
Sign Up Form for Our Science Fair
For those participating in our science fair, please fill out the form HERE by March 1, 2020. Thanks