Every year, parents try to help their child decide on what they should do for their high school science fair projects. No one wants to duplicate someone else's project, and coming up with a unique idea can be difficult. While the level of difficulty depends on the science background of the student, there are many science project proposals to choose from.
Planning High School Science Fair Projects
A lot of planning must go into the preparation for a science fair project. Since the design usually determines a final grade in a student's science class, care must be given in choosing and executing the project. It is important to select a plan that the student is interested in and one that can be done within a predetermined budget. The length of time it will take to complete the project must also be taken into consideration.
Steps to Creating a Science Project
Creating a science fair project requires a student to follow a tried and true formula. The basic steps for planning and executing the perfect venture are as follows:
- Decide on a topic. The topic should be one the student feels comfortable with. The end goal is to answer a science question.
- Gather information on your topic from various reliable sources such as magazines, reference books, documentaries or specialists in a particular field.
- Use the scientific method. This includes clearly stating the purpose of the experiment, writing a hypothesis, affirming how things will be measured and selecting variables.
- Begin the experiment and keep very detailed notes.
- Use graphics to create charts and graphs.
- Create your exhibit using lettering and background colors that are attention grabbing, but not ones that clash.
- Write a report that details how you followed the scientific method, and include the graphs and charts that you created. Copies of your report should be included in your fair exhibit for visitors to read.
- Practice your presentation to the judges. Do a dry run in front of your family, friends or other relatives.
- Come to the science fair and have fun!
Science Fair Ideas
There are many sites on the Internet that offer hundreds of science fair project ideas. Students can use these ideas as a jumping off point, or they can follow these plans step by step to complete a project.
- All Science Fair Projects - This site has over 500 ideas for high school science fair projects, as well as tips for students, parents and teachers.
- Science Fair Projects - Offers step by step information on creating a science fair project as well as many topic ideas.
- Science Fair Central - A collaboration between Home Depo and Discovery Education, students are offered investigation, steps and presentation information.
Things to Avoid
Planning and running a science fair project can be a lot of fun, but it can be stressful if proper preparation isn't done. There are a few tips that should be followed to help students keep on the right track with their projects.
- Choose a topic that you feel comfortable with and know you can complete.
- Don't choose a topic that may be too time-consuming. Remember that you will have other classes that put a demand on your time as well.
- Never wait until the last minute to start your project. As soon as you have chosen a topic, obtain all of the necessary items for the project, including the final display.
- Parents should avoid stepping in and doing the project for their students. Teachers usually know when a parent has done the majority of the work for a student.
- It is a bad idea to wait until the last minute to create the display. Begin making the display at least a week before the fair.
A great science fair project depends on the topic chosen and the skill level of the student. Selecting a topic early will allow students to begin their project in able time before the fair. This allows plenty of time to create a display and the final report of the experiment's findings. Finally, remember to have fun at the science fair. Check out other student's displays, especially those that judges really like. This will help you prepare for next year's event!