First, get yourself a spiral notebook to be used as your journal. All science fair projects need to have notes taken as you work though them. This notebook is where you will record your topic research and your project research. It should have your ideas as well as those you get from printed information or from other people. It will also need to include descriptions of your experiment along with diagrams, graphs and other recorded notes of your results.
You will want all information written in the journal to be as neat as possible and make sure to include the date. This will be your complete and accurate record of your project from beginning to end. The information in the journal will be used to write your written report. Your journal will be displayed with your completed project.
Selecting a Topic
You want to get the best grade possible on your project, win awards at the fair and learn anything new about science you can. Judges will evaluate the science fair projects on a number of criteria. You will be able to achieve some or all of these as long as you spend the time working on your project it needs, so you will want to choose a topic you are interested in. If you can, it is best to choose a topic and stick with it. Don’t bounce around from topic to topic.
Look at the World Around You
By using an exploring question you can turn things you see everyday into a science project. For an example, the grass in your neighbor’s yard is always greener than in your yard. Why is his grass greener than ours? You have a question about plants. Could you turn it into a project? If you keep thinking about it, you might start to realize there is some nutrient in his soil that is not in yours.
If you keep your eyes and ears open and you start asking more exploring questions, you will find numerous things that could be turned into a project. You may wonder about the difference in paints. There are many questions you may have, but you don’t always ask them.
Find a Topic in Science Magazines
If you find a topic in a science magazine, do not expect them to come with instructions on how to do the experiment. You will have to come up with that one on your own. Just look at facts that seeming interesting to you. If they lead you to ask and exploring question, you may have a project topic. You can even try looking into a science fair project book or Science Experiment Books.
Three Steps to a Topic
You have decided to enter a project into the science fair, but you really don’t know where to start. The first thing you have to do is come up with a project idea. Start with a topic that interests you will have fun and learn something while working on this project. Here are a few hints for coming up with a project idea.
Look at these ideas and find a topic that interests you.
There are many projects you can come up with using any one of these topic ideas. Come up with a question you have about one of these topics. You can start off with a simple question and make it a better question. Such as, “Why does it rain?” You want to get more specific about your question. So then you expound on it to become “How much rain did California get last year compared to 5 years ago?” Good topics for science fair projects include anything that you can do an experiment on to see if it is true or false.
Categories of Topic Ideas
Check with your teacher, but usually every fair has a list of categories. You may need to ask the advice of your teacher to find the right category for your project. You must have your project entered into the right category to win. If your project happened to get entered into the wrong category, you can be penalized because the judges are required to judge a project based on its category. For a list of categories, check out the resources on the web site below: