Keeping a LOG BOOK
• Keep a log book from day one.
• Use diary entries to record what you do, what you see
and what you ﬁnd. Every step of your investigation
needs to be recorded - even any mistakes or accidents,
this is all part of being a scientist.
• Your log book should show how much time you’ve spent
on your investigation and how extensive it has been.
• All detailed information can go into the log. E.g. letters
written & replies received, newspaper articles, research
into the topic, photos. etc.
Choosing a TOPIC
• Base your project on a topic you are interested
• Have you ever come across something and
wondered - Why? Science Fair is your
opportunity to investigate the answer.
• There are many categories you can enter under...
plants, environment, consumer science,
electricity, electronics, communication, energy,
light, count, heat, physics, innovations,
chemistry, and more!
Thinking about your
• Brainstorm ideas and key words
to do with your topic. Organise
these into a mind map.
• Use your mind map to formulate
questions you have about your
• Find out more about your topic.
Use magazines, books, library,
internet or experts to ﬁnd more
ideas or learn more about your
• Record in your log book.
Decide on a KEY
• What is it that you want to ﬁnd out?
• What are you going to investigate?
• Write your question as an aim. E.g. My
aim is to ﬁnd out...
• Your hypothesis is like a prediction. What do you think
the answer might be to your question?
• What is the most likely outcome of your experiment?
What is the expected result? Why do you think this will
• Record your hypotheses before you start the investigate.
• Remember that your original hypothesis may not be
correct and may lead to further investigations. This is all
part of the scientiﬁc process.
• This is your method for answering your question and testing
• To make a test fair you need to think about VARIABLES. What
are you actually measuring? What will you need to keep the
same to conduct a fair test? What will you change?
• Your method is what you are going to do, the procedure.
Remember when writing your procedure to include a list of the
materials and equipment needed to conduct the experiment.
• Your method needs to be written so that anyone could read it
and repeat your experiment exactly and gain a similar result.
• Your results are your observations and/or measurements.
• In order to record your results you need to ask yourself, what am I
observing or measuring?
• How will you record your results so that your data is organised and easy
• You may decide to use a table, diagrams or graphs. For some experiments
you may wish to take photographs to show changes over time.
• Remember that you need to also record the conditions in which you
conducted your experiments. E.g. What was the weather like?
• It is important to REPEAT EXPERIMENTS in order to double check your
results or to ensure results are consistent.
• What do your results tell you?
• What patterns or trends did you
ﬁnd in your data?
• You need to explain your data.
• You need to have collected
enough data to support a
• Your data needs to be organised
into appropriate tables, graphs
• What did you ﬁnd out?
• Stand back and think about what you have achieved.
Have you solved the question you originally thought
• How do your results compare with your original
hypothesis? Were they different?
• Use scientiﬁc ideas to explain your results. Why did
you get the results you did?
• REMEMBER TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION!
• What difﬁculties did you experience during your
• How could you improve your investigation? Eg.
Fairness, accuracy … etc.
• How could your ﬁndings be applied or used?
• Has your investigation given you ideas for
• Where to next?
Helpful HINTS #1
• Start early - Don’t leave it until the last minute.
• Judges are looking for originality and
• Make sure your investigation is
a fair test.
• Avoid investigations involving animals.
• Make sure you are familiar with the judging criteria.
• Your display needs to be eye catching. Data needs to
be displayed in a way that leads the eye easily from
one stage to the next.
Helpful HINTS Cont.
• Keep a detailed and thorough log book.
• Make sure that your display board doesn’t look
• Repeat your experiment more than once.
• Answer your question.
• Find out as much as possible about your topic –
especially the scientiﬁc concepts relating to your topic.
• Keep all your information and data together in a box, so
you don’t lose any of your hard work.