Enjoying simple science projects and experiments is a great way for kids to learn about science in a fun, interactive way. When you want to take things a step further and develop an idea into a full science fair project there are a number of things to keep in mind that will help ensure your project follows a process called the Scientific Method. The Scientific Method helps scientists create credible investigations that feature well supported evidence. Check out the following steps that will help you create great science fair projects of your own.
Steps of The Scientific Method
Your science fair project starts with a question. This might be based on an observation you have made or a particular topic that interests you. Think what you hope to discover during your investigation, what question would you like to answer? Your question needs to be about something you can measure and will typically start with words such as what, when, where, how or why.
Talk to your science teacher and use resources such as books and the Internet to perform background research on your question. Gathering information now will help prepare you for the next step in the Scientific Method.
Using your background research and current knowledge, make an educated guess that answers your question. Your hypothesis should be a simple statement that expresses what you think will happen.
Create a step by step procedure and conduct an experiment that tests your hypothesis. The experiment should be a fair test that changes only one variable at a time while keeping everything else the same. Repeat the experiment a number of times to ensure your original results weren’t an accident.
Collect data and record the progress of your experiment. Document your results with detailed measurements, descriptions and observations in the form of notes, journal entries, photos, charts and graphs.
Describe the observations you made during your experiment. Include information that could have affected your results such as errors, environmental factors and unexpected surprises.
Analyze the data you collected and summarize your results in written form. Use your analysis to answer your original question, do the results of your experiment support or oppose your hypothesis?
Present your findings in an appropriate form, whether it’s a final report for a scientific journal, a poster for school or a display board for a science fair competition.