So, it’s that time again! The Science Fair is looking for contestants and you made a commitment. Whether you decided to participate because the teacher was so convincing, or even better, you actually enjoy science, we have prepared five easy steps to help you complete this project:
1. Choose the field
With passion, things are easier. Science might not be your favorite subject, but maybe you enjoy video games, or cooking, or exploring. Decide on a topic that speaks to you first, even if it seems far from turning it into a scientific experiment. If video games is your thing, grab 5-6 friends and observe their behaviors, or heart rate while playing, and compare with behaviors or heart rate while playing sports for example; then analyze the findings. You might discover that playing inside offers the same excitement as an outdoor recreational activity. Or maybe not??
2. Seek advice
We recommend choosing an advisor to guide you a bit; someone you can easily talk to and can connect with to report your findings. This is a smart idea that will save you time. You might go off track and not even realize it, or miss an important detail that can take your project to the top! A teacher or an advisor can not only offer objectivity but can also help keep your eyes on the ball (that is, on the project).
3. Come up with a plan
Now that you have someone to help, make sure you have a rough game plan in place. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of my project? What am I trying to prove? Is this useful in any way? How can I make my findings as clear as possible? After you answer these questions, envision the project from start to finish and write down the plan. Even if things might shift and you find that you need to move things around, that’s ok; this is also part of the learning process. Just go with it.
4. Test your experiment
If your project involves a hands-on demonstration, make sure you have tested and tried it at home first. This avoids dealing with unpleasant surprises during the big day of the fair. Not to mention that “practice makes perfect,” and you want everything to run smoothly. You do want to impress the judges and get the recognition that you deserve.
5. Present your conclusions
Your idea and experiment process can be flawless, and your presentation should be along the same lines. Make sure everything is spelled correctly; be careful with the choice of images and their quality; if you need to engage in some sort of craftwork, pay attention to the details and to the overall display. The way you present your idea is just as important as the idea itself.
Now that you know how to tackle a science fair project, have some fun with potential topics. Go for the least expected field and see what you can come up with. You might be surprised by your own creativity!