Sylvan Elementary School 2015

Sylvan Elementary School 2015
Sylvan Elementary School
Science Fair Guide
Name: ___________________________________________________________
Teacher: ______________________________________________________
Science Project Management Form
Check List
Project Topic/Hypothesis, September 11, 2015
Materials & Procedure, September 25, 2015
Data Table, October 9, 2015
Results/Conclusion, October 23, 2015
Report/Abstract Draft, November 6 ,2015
Map of Project Board, November 20, 2015
Final Project (paper & board), December 4, 2015
Sylvan Science Fair, December 4, 2015
Important Reminders:
1. Projects must be on a school level and be approved by the teacher.
2. Each step is due on the specific due date given above.
3. A very good website for science fair project tips is and
4. ABSS Science Fair Symbaloo found at
Safety Contract
I, ________________________________________________, I agree to follow the safety guidelines listed
below, and I will take every necessary precaution to operate safely throughout my
1. I will follow the safety guidelines of my teacher and my school.
2. I will keep my work area neat and free of unnecessary papers, books, and
materials. I will keep my clothing and hair neat and out of the way, and I will wear
a safety apron and/or gloves if necessary.
3. I know the location of all safety equipment (such as the fire extinguisher and
first-aid kit) and the nearest telephone.
4. I will wear safety goggles when handling chemicals, working with a flame, or
performing any other activity that may cause harm to my eyes.
5. I will not use chemicals, heat, electricity, or sharp objects until my teacher or
parent instructs me to do so, and I will follow the adult’s instructions carefully.
6. I will be especially careful when using glassware. Before heating glassware, I will
make sure that it is made of heat-resistant material, and I will never use
cracked or chipped glassware.
7. I will wash my hands immediately after handling hazardous materials. I will clean
up all work areas before I leave the laboratory, put away all equipment and
supplies, and turn off all water faucets, gas outlets, burners, and electric hot
8. Any use of animals in an experiment must be approved by my teacher before I
begin. I will not harm any animals.
I understand and agree to the above and all other safety precautions presented to
me in class. I am hereby ready to undertake my science project using safety as a
primary guideline
Student’s Signature
Parent’s Signature
Student’s Progress Report
For each step of the 5 phases of the science
Phase 1—Generating an Idea
Check List
I brainstormed three possible topics.
I came up with two investigative questions
for each topic.
I consulted with my teacher and parents
about project
I chose a suitable topic and question.
I formed a hypothesis.
I discussed topic and hypothesis with my
teacher and
gained approval.
HOORAY! You’ve completed Phase 1—now you’re on your way!
Phase 2—Researching and Planning
Check List
I researched my hypothesis.
I recorded all details of my research in a
bibliography in my science project journal.
I confirmed or changed my hypothesis based
on further research and then gained teacher
I listed all the materials I will use in my
I wrote down the procedure for my
I created a data table to record my results.
WAY TO GO! You’ve completed Phase 2—give yourself a pat on the back!
Phase 3—Data Collection and Analysis
Check List
I conducted the experiment safely.
I performed several trials of my experiment.
I collected data accurately.
I recorded all data and observations in my
data table
I graphed or charted data and looked for
I prepared a written conclusion supported by
the data.
ALL RIGHT! You’ve completed Phase 3—you’re halfway there!
Check List
Phase 4—Writing a Report
I answered the suggested questions.
I prepared an outline and discussed it with my
I prepared a draft and discussed it with my
I revised the draft according to my teacher’s
I turned in the final draft of my written
FANTASTIC! You’ve completed Phase 4—you’re almost done!
Phase 5—Creating and Exhibiting a Display
Check List
I sketched possible designs for my display.
I displayed the results in a clear and
interesting manner.
I gave an oral presentation as practice for
the science fair interview.
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve completed your science project!
Phase 1: Come up with an Idea
What are you interested in learning more about by doing research?
1. brainstorm three possible topics
2. come up with two investigative questions per topic
Project Topic/Hypothesis:
Look at the topics on your list. How can you turn one of those interests into a
scientific study (a question to explore) that you will enjoy and that will capture the
interest of those who view it?
Make your topic into a question that you will answer by conducting an experiment.
Make a hypothesis – predict what you think the answer to your question might be.
Rephrase the question into an “If …. then” statement.
Phase 2: Research and Planning
Use a variety of sources to find out more about your topic. Use books,
magazines, internet, and journals.
Talk to people with expertise.
Learn about community resources.
Start researching right away!
Media coordinator
Curriculum specialist
Science Teacher
Local businesses
Professionals (Doctors, Dentists, Engineers)
Begin your background research. First, make a list of questions that you need to
find out about your topic:
Keep a record of all the places you find information.
How to Cite a Reference
Record the title, author, publisher, copyright date and pages of each source that
you use. For internet sources also record the URL and the date that you visited the
website. If you perform an interview, record who you spoke to, what you discussed,
and when and where the interview took place.
Independent vs. Dependent
You need to have an independent variable. An independent variable is
the one thing you change in your experiment. You can only change
ONE thing!
What is your independent variable?
You also need to have a dependent variable. A dependent variable is
what you are measuring. It is the results of your experiment.
What is your dependent variable?
Write a summary of the relationship between the independent and
dependent variables in your project. (Do we need to say more?)
(improve it if necessary)
Experiment variables
1) Independent = ___________________
2) Dependent = ____________________
3) Constants =_____________________
4) Control = ______________________
Constants. Constants are the things that stay the same during every trial. If
you were measuring temperature, you would use the same thermometer during
each of the trials.
Control. The control is what you are going to use as a standard for comparison.
For example: If you were testing the amount of light needed for a plant to grow,
then one plant would be put in an area with no light. The plant growing with no
light would be the control.
Procedure Check List
Independent Variable
Dependent Variable
Constant Variables
Plan Your Procedure
(Write more on the back if you need to)
Plan ahead and make sure that you can actually get
what you need for your experiment. The materials list
is a complete list of all materials including details
(not clear…) and amounts. Be sure to include
quantities (how much), length, volume, and mass. List
these in metric units. Be specific in your description
of the items needed. Include photos or drawings of the
materials if it helps the person to identify the
material used in the project.
The Material List should follow these rules:
Be specific to amount, size and length.
Listed in metric units where appropriate.
Example of a Material List:
Bad Material List:
Good Material List:
20 Liters of Water
2. stop watch with second hand
metric Ruler with millimeters
3 cubic meters of potting soil
Fill in the blanks below to create a quality materials List.
If in doubt, list the item.
D a t a Ta b l e: Design a data table (chart) that you will use to record
the results when you conduct the experiment. Sketch it here first so
you have an idea. You can use a software program to design your final
Conduct the experiment you have
designed in the procedure section. Take notes and keep careful
records of everything that is done.
Recording accurate data is the key to a successful project!
Write down everything you do.
Keep it all in the same notebook.
Take photographs of each step to use with the display.
Be sure to repeat the experiment in order to confirm the results.
Save information carefully and always have a written copy of the information in your
computer files.
Keep your files and charts organized.
Sources need to be written down correctly from the start.
Make sure that you give others credit for helping you with your research.
Do not procrastinate!
Results, Graph and Conclusion:
Attach your completed data table.
Graph the data.
BAR GRAPH: Use a bar graph if you want to compare different types
of data.
LINE GRAPH: Use a line graph if you want to show how the dependent
variable is affected by changes in the independent variable or if you
want to show how data changed over time.
PIE CHART: Showing percentages is easy to do with a pie chart, a
round chart that looks like a sliced pie. You can quickly see which
group has the biggest slice and therefore contains the most data.
2. After you’ve gathered all of your data, you’ll want to analyze your
results. Ask yourself, “What is the data telling me? What trends do I
see in my graphs? Is the data for the control group different than
the data for the experimental group?”
3. Write a conclusion. In your conclusion, state whether the
hypothesis was proven or not. Explain the results. How would you
change the investigation if you did it again? What are some
questions that came up as a result of this investigation?
What were the results of your experiments?
Did the data prove your hypothesis right or wrong?
What did your experiment show?
How is what you have learned important?
What questions came up during your experiment, and what
further research could you do to answer them?
Phase 4-Writing a Report:
Put Your Ideas on Paper
Before you begin, answer the following. When you are through, you may
have a better idea of how to start on your written report.
1. How did you first decide on your idea?
2. What was your favorite aspect of the experiment?
3. What was something new that you learned?
4. What was something unexpected that happened?
5. What were the ups and downs of the whole process?
6. What did your data show?
7. What would you do differently next time?
Report Outline
If you follow these guidelines, use proper spelling, good grammar, and
include all the requirements, you should do well.
Give the purpose of the experiment. Be sure to give the hypothesis
and write it in the correct format.
Explain your procedure for the experiment. Do not list steps. Write it
in paragraph form and include amounts, when necessary, in the
procedure. Tell how many trials you conducted. Be sure to explain
your control, independent variable, dependent variable and constants.
Describe the results of your experiment. This data must be written in
paragraph form, no data tables. Make sure you include the correct
metric units, if needed. Include the results for all trials and the
This is your conclusion. Include comments about whether your
hypothesis was supported by the data. If it was not supported, give
some explanation for why you think it wasn’t. Explain any problems
you encountered. Explain how this experiment could be a benefit in
the “real world.”
Write the final version of your report.
The report should be revised from the draft that was checked by your
Section 5—Creating and Exhibiting a Display
Final Project: Report/ Project Board
create a display board
An Example: The illustration below is one example of how information
can be laid out on the display. You can do it differently, but remember
to place the information from left to right in the general order that
you performed each item.
give an oral presentation
will be done to the class/team.
Use this area
for Visual
attend the lms science fair
on january
8, 200
Give an oral presentation
Presentations will be done for the class/team.
Write an abstract—If you are selected to move to the county level, you
will have to write an abstract. The following pages have a general
outline of how one should be written. Science Fair Guide “Writing the Abstract"
What is an Abstract? The Abstract is a summary of your science fair
project. Your abstract is made up of a brief statement of the
essential, or most important, thoughts about your project. Abstracts
should summarize, clearly and simply, the main points of the
experiment. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, neatness, and originality
are important. It should be 100 to 150 words in length [no longer than 1
typed page]. It is the last part of your science fair project that you
will complete. It is an easy part if you are using a computer to record
and type your journal entries and other parts of the project. If you
are using a computer, then you will only have to cut and paste this
information into the abstract.
Include the following to create your abstract:
1. Your project’s purpose statement.
2. The hypothesis
3. A description of your variables and the control / constants.
4. A description of what variable you are manipulating (changing) in
your experiment.
5. How you went about measuring and observing the variables /
6. Your results and the data collected from your experiment.
7. Your conclusion statement.
Fill in the following lines to create a successful Abstract:
The purpose of my science fair project was
My hypothesis for this project
The constants and control in my experiment
The variable in my experiment was
The way that I measured the responding or dependent variable was
The results of this experiment were
The results show that my hypothesis should be (give brief reason why
to accept or not) _____________________________________________________
If I were going to do this experiment again in the future or expand on
this experiment I would __________________________________________________
Cover Sheet: Gives the name of the project (centered in the middle of the page) with
the student’s name, period number, teacher and date placed in the lower right-hand
corner of the page. It must include an illustration.
Lab Summary/Abstract: A shortened version of the paper which is no more than one
page long and summarizes the purpose, procedure, results, and conclusions; it is
written after the project is finished.
Introduction: A section which introduces some background for the project and the
purpose for doing it; this section may be brief or may involve a great degree of
detail. This section can be used to summarize the background information that was
used to form the hypothesis.
Hypothesis: A statement of what you think will happen in the experiment; it must be
written in 3rd person and should not include the words, “I think …” A hypothesis is
usually stated in 1 – 4 clear and concise sentences.
Materials: A specific list of materials used in the experiment itself; only those
items directly involved in the experiment. The list should include sizes, dimensions,
and quantities as they apply.
Procedure: A step-by-step listing of how the actual experiment was carried out. IT
MUST BE WRITTEN IN 3RD PERSON. Do not write in commands (2nd person). Drawings and
diagrams may be part of your procedure, but they should be placed in the appendix
of the final draft of the paper. Do not assume that the reader of your paper will
know that you performed certain steps unless you specify them!
Results: What actually happened in your experiment; hopefully you kept a written
account or log as a record of your results and proof that you actually did the
experiment. Results should be summarized in paragraph form, but may include
graphs, charts, and tables of data collected. These graphs, charts, and tables will go
in the appendix at the end of the paper.
Conclusions and Discussion: Your evaluation of what happened in the experiment and
your interpretation of the results. This section will reflect the research that you
have done, which may or may not support your results. Remember that it is ok for
your hypothesis to be incorrect; just explain where things went wrong as much as
you can. This section can also specify ways to improve the project or further
research extensions and applications of the topic.
Bibliography: A list of books, periodicals, websites, and sources used in researching
the topic and writing the paper; a format will be provided for correct procedures in
writing a bibliography
Acknowledgements: A list of people who have helped you with your project and a
statement of what they did followed by their signature.
Appendix: A section at the end of the paper that includes all of the charts, graphs,
tables, drawings, and diagrams used as resources in the writing of the paper.
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