Have you ever wondered how theexperiments for electricity were done?Or why someone wanted to do them inthe first place.
Start with a Fresh Idea• Are there things you are curious about?• Make a list of those topics.• Do background research on each topic to narrow down the list.• Further research on the most appealing topics to see what studies have been done and how they were tested.• Develop research plan with possible testing methods.• Make final topic selection.• Review research plan with instructor.
Now it’s time to develop the project• Start with your fresh idea stated as a purpose or problem statement• Develop a Hypothesis• Design the Experiment• Test and Collect data• Analyze the results• Make conclusions• Prepare a report, abstract, project display board and oral presentation
SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT In this project you will not simply readabout science. You will become actively involved in ascience fair project.You will conduct experiments.You will create a satisfactory projectreport and display of your project to bedisplayed at the science fair.
Scientists ask . . . WHY? Anyone can ask why, but it takes a true scientist to answer WHY!
Research• Use a variety of resources to study the problem. Library, internet, field experts, government officials.• Research will develop into the foundation for your report.
Research Plan• The research plan for all projects is to include the following:• A. Question being addressed• B. Hypothesis/Problem/Engineering Goals• C. Description: Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection. Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data that answer research question or hypothesis• D. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major references (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your library research.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHODThe scientific method is a special way to look at and SOLVEPROBLEMS. There are at least 4 main parts to solving theproblem. QUESTION: stating the problem HYPOTHESIS: deciding on an answer to your problem PROCEDURE: establishing a method of investigation or experiment RESULTS: collecting and analyzing data CONCLUSION: decide on the outcome by drawing conclusion from the RESULTS of your investigation or experiment.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHODLet’s look at a simple example of the SCIENTIFIC METHOD using:Step #1:QUESTION & HYPOTHESIS: Crissy wanted to find out . . .Which brand of bubblegum would make the biggest bubbles?Step #2:PROCEDURE: She bought samples of every brand of gum shecould find and divided them into equal sizes, according to weight.She then chewed each piece of gum exactly 150 times and blewbubbles. She repeated this procedure many times.
Step #3:RESULTS:Crissy had a friend measure the size of each bubbleshe blew. These measurements were written down in anotebook.Step #4:DRAWING CONCLUSIONS: After a careful study ofthe data, Crissy found out which gum was best forblowing bubbles.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD HYPOTHESISStating the PROBLEM and forming a HYPOTHESIS:A problem arises when you see something happen andwonder about it. You might wonder why leaves changecolor, or how strong ants are or why moss grows only onone side of a rock.A HYPOTHESIS is your explanation or solution to aproblem.• It does not have to be right, but it should be a goodguess based on what you observe.• It should not be a WILD guess.Later on you will test your HYPOTHESIS with MORETHAN ONE experiment.
Hypothesis• Hypothesis is an educated guess on how to solve the problem.• Should be stated as an if/then statement.
HYPOTHESISDIRECTIONS: You are to write as many science fair problems aspossible in the next 15 minutes. You will receive one point forevery 3 problems that require experimentation and that boysand girls your age can do with the available materials.MODEL #1How does ________ affect ____________?MODEL #2What is the effect of ________ on _______?MODEL #3Which ____________ is _____________? consumer product strongest…lasts longest…is best, etc.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD PROCEDURENow let’s look at the 2nd step of the SCIENTIFIC METHOD. Now that you have learned how to state a PROBLEM andform a HYPOTHESIS for a science fair project you are ready forthe 2nd step . . . the PROCEDURE.After a HYPOTHESIS has been formed or a PROBLEM stated, anexperiment needs to be designed to test the HYPOTHESIS orsolve the PROBLEM.
In a science fair project this is called the PROCEDURE.Certain rules MUST be followed: 1ST - Keep careful records of everything youdo. You must keep these records so carefully thatanother person could read your notes and do yourexperiment without any trouble. 2ND - You need to consider all of the thingsthat can affect an experiment’s outcome. These thingsare called VARIABLES.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD VARIABLES Whenever you do an experiment,you must control the VARIABLES! Remember, the variables are thethings that can affect the outcome of an experiment.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD VARIABLES Let’s say you wanted to find which brand of plastic cement is thestrongest. You first buy two of the most popular brands - Super Stick andMighty Stick. Next you get four pieces of plastic. You take two of the piecesand put a lot of Super Stick on them and squeeze them together for 5minutes. Then you take the other two pieces of plastic and put a small dabof Might Stick on both pieces and squeeze them together for 3 minutes. In the morning you try to pull the pieces of plastic apart. First youpull on the pieces that were joined together by Super Stick. You cannot pullthem apart. Then you pull on the pieces held together by Might Stick andthe two pieces easily come apart. Super Stick held the plastic together, butyou do not know if it held longer because the glue was better or because youused more glue than the other brand. Maybe Might stick would have heldjust as well if you used the same amount of glue as you did with Super Stick.You also held the pieces of plastic glued with Super Stick together longerthan you did the pieces held together with Mighty Stick. Perhaps this is whySuper Stick held better. AND HERE’S THE POINT . . .
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD VARIABLESYou can’t be sure which brand of glue is better unless you havecontrolled all of the VARIABLES.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD: VARIABLES• Remember, the VARIABLES are the things that can affectthe outcome of an experiment.• In order to control the VARIABLES you must: • use the same amount of glue • as well as the same size and shape of plastic • you must hold the pieces together for the same amount of time • you must pull with equal force when you try to separate the pieces.• All of these things that you try to keep the same are calledVARIABLES.• The only variable that is not the same is the brand ofplastic cement you are testing. If one holds better thananother, you can say it is a stronger brand of plastic cement .. . because you CONTROLLED all the VARIABLES.
Experiment• Design an experiment to test hypothesis.• Make a list of needed materials.• Verify that experiment is step by step.• Design experiment to test for only one variable at a time.• Gather needed materials.• Perform experiment.• Repeat experiment to verify results.
Results• Use all senses to collect and record data from experiment.• Results should be quantitative and qualitative.• Organize data into charts and graphs.• Only present facts not opinions.
Qualitative Data• Deals with descriptions.• Data can be observed but not measured.• Colors, textures, smells, tastes, appearance, beauty, etc.• Qualitative → Quality
Quantitative Data• Deals with numbers.• Data which can be measured.• Length, height, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, humidity, sound levels, cost, members, ages, etc.• Quantitative → Quantity
Quantitative data:• Qualitative data: • picture is 10" by 14"• blue/green color, gold frame • with frame 14" by 18"• smells old and musty • weighs 8.5 pounds• texture shows brush strokes • surface area of painting is of oil paint 140 sq. in.• peaceful scene of the • cost $300 country• masterful brush strokes
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD RESULTS = COLLECTING DATA Throughout your experiments you will have many observations tomake. These observations usually fall into 3 categories. Measurement Observation Counting
MEASUREMENT: Here youwould measure things like temperature height weight distance speed time.
OBSERVATION is one where you use yoursenses. SEE HEAR FEEL SMELL TASTEas they relate to your experiment.Brenda wrote in her notebook that the beans growing in the sand were apale green and yellow. While Crissy was experimenting with gum, sheobserved a change in color and taste. She also noticed the gum becamestickier the more she chewed it. During an experiment you may use allthree kinds of observations or only one.While making your observations,you need to keep careful records in some kind of notebook.
COUNTING: You might count thenumber of worms found in certainkinds of soil, or the number ofanimals living in a small pond.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD RESULTS COLLECTING DATA Another way to record information is with a data sheet. There are many ways to make a data sheet. Make sure that all important Data is recorded. Here is the important thing to remember: KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS AND NOTE THE OBSERVATIONS YOU MAKE DURING THE EXPERIMENT.
Conclusion• Based on the results what did the experiment prove or disprove?• Was the hypothesis correct or incorrect?• What was learned?
Sample Conclusion• All of our tests proved that the actual meteorite would have moved the Coosa River changing its flow and direction. It also would have changed the topography of central Alabama. Our hypothesis was correct.
Abstract• 250 word summary of project• Should include purpose, hypothesis, brief experimental procedure, results and conclusion
Sample Abstract• The purpose of this project was to prove that the meteorite that hit the Wetumpka, Alabama area changed the course of the Coosa River and the topography of central Alabama.• If we use our experiment as a guide, then we will be able to determine the effect the meteorite had on the Coosa River flow and direction as well as the topography of central Alabama. We believe the meteorite changed the course of the river and the land structure of central Alabama.• Procedure: construct stream table. Soil was added to form a the land and a river was etched in similar to how the Coosa River might have looked before the meteorite hit. Add water created a shallow sea on one end of the stream table. Launched the rock representing the meteorite at a low angle trajectory to create the impact crater zone. Test was repeated until correct angle trajectory was achieved. Results were recorded.• In every test, the “meteorite” changed or moved the river. We threw the rock in at several angles but always with a low trajectory because the actual meteorite came in at a low angle. Every time it formed a crater and moved the river several centimeters.• All of our tests proved that the actual meteorite would have moved the Coosa River changing its flow and direction. It also would have changed the topography of central Alabama. Our hypothesis was correct.
Model• Model or visual display of items add interest and can be used during discussion with judges.
ReportAll the parts of your paper are listed inyour packet along with a rubric for thegrading of your report.Take the time to read over the handoutso you have a clear understanding ofwhat should be in your paper.