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Science%20 Fair%20projects

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  • 1. What Makes a Good Science Project? Dr. Susan Landon-Arnold & Dr. Jodie Ramsay Northern State University Northern State University What Makes a Good Project? • 1. You are interested in the topic - it's something you like to think about. • 2. You can do a test to find an answer to a question. • 3. You can do it with only a little help from parents, teachers and friends. • 4. It doesn't hurt or scare people or animals, including you. • 5. It's a project that, even when you are done with it, makes you think of new things you want to know. Northern State University 1
  • 2. Good Science • Where do ideas come from? – Observations – Lab experiments – Product testing/originality • Hypothesis Northern State University Try putting different words in these blanks... • What is the effect of ____________ on _______________? detergent germination of seeds temperature the volume of air • How/to what extent does the _____________________ affect ___________________? humidity growth of fungi color of a material its absorption of heat • Which/what __________________ (verb) __________________? foods do gerbils prefer detergent makes the most bubbles Northern State University 2
  • 3. Good Science • Experiment – Planning – Data • Controls • Sample size • Replications Northern State University • Control Group This is the set of test items that are treated as in a parallel experiment except for omission of the procedure or agent under test and which is used as a standard of comparison in judging effects. • Experimental Groups The is the set of test items that undergo the various manipulation of variables. Northern State University 3
  • 4. • Large Sample Size Use at least 5 test items per experimental group. The greater the number used, the better. • Repetition Repeat your trials many times (at least 3) to collect enough data to average and to demonstrate the validity of your method. • Test, Redesign, and Test Again (for Engineering Projects) You want your prototype to be successful and to meet your goal. Northern State University Good Science • RECORD YOUR OBSERVATIONS – Data tables – Written observations Northern State University 4
  • 5. Good Science • Results – Analysis • Graphs Northern State University Northern State University 5
  • 6. Northern State University Northern State University 6
  • 7. Good Science • Results – Analysis • Statistics – Descriptive » Mean » Median » Etc Northern State University Good Science • Results – Analysis – Student T test – Null hypothesis » No difference between the Averages Northern State University 7
  • 8. Northern State University Good Science • Conclusions – Summarize results Northern State University 8
  • 9. Northern State University Presentation • Story Board • Titles • Layout • Stress the importance of grammar, spelling, scientific notation, etc. Northern State University 9
  • 10. Sample titles from ISEF • Effect of UV Irradiation on Untreated Water • Investigations of the Fern Life Cycle and its Implications • Lichens as Bioindicators of Air Quality in Juneau, Alaska • An Investigation of Cold Tolerance in Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem) Northern State University Presentation • Results – A picture is worth a thousand words and – A graph is a “picture” – Less is More!!! Avg • Avg, Avg, – Data table – Graph Northern State University 10
  • 11. Northern State University Web sites: • All Science Fair Projects Science Fair Projects with Complete Instructions • Experimental Science Projects: An Introductory Level Guide • Science Fair Central Northern State University 11

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