Good science fair projects don't have to be time consuming, or super expensive, or multi-step. Although, science fair projects do have to be well thought out. They aren't something you can do the night before it is due. If you wait till the last minute to do this project, than it will be obvious to others. A good science fair project has a good plan to go along with it.
What is my question?
This is the essential question during the project. Every experiment, research, or test you do within your science fair project, the outcome MUST answer this question. This is the question or problem that you are trying to figure out. I like to think of this as the basis for your entire project.
What is a hypothesis?
Once you have determined your question, than you will probably already be thinking of a solution, or a prediction. Your hypothesis is whatever you predict the outcome of your experiment, research, or test. A hypothesis is NOT an "I predict...." sentence or an "I think..." sentence. Here is an example of a good hypothesis when talking about plants and the amount of sunlight they need.
Plants that get direct sunlight will grow better than plants that do not get direct sunlight.
If a plant gets direct sunlight, then it will grow better than those plants that don't get direct sunlight.
What is my procedure?
This is the part that you explain STEP BY STEP what you are going to do during your experiment, test, or research. It is VERY important that you write down ever step you do, and don't forget a single one. This is so anyone else that would like to do this experiment after you have done it, they can just follow your directions. You need to have a list of materials that you used as well as a number list of steps.
Once you have done all these steps, you are ready to start the fun part of a science fair project. You may start your experiment, test, or reasearch.
What do I do while I am doing my experiment?
While you are doing the experiment, you need to be keeping track of ANY important data. You may use charts, tally charts, bar graphs, and/or a line graph to help keep track of your information. Below are examples you may use, but are not limited to:
What goes in my results? This is where you will explain your data. In this section you will explain to the reader the actual numbers or total you got during your experiment. You will not put any graphs or chart in this sections. All graphs and charts will go in the data/graphs section. This is the section that you explain those charts and graphs. Also, this is not the section to talk about your question or hypothesis.
My chart and graph showed, the plants that recieved more sunlight grew to the taller than the plants that did not have direct sunlight. My first plant with sunlight grew 12 inches, my second plant with sunlight grew 5 inches, and my last plant grew 2 inches. My first plant without sunlight only grew to 2 inches tall, my second plant grew 3 inches, and my last plant only grew about 1 inch.
What goes in my conclusion?
In this section you will start off by stating if your hypothesis was right or wrong. Also in this section, if your hypothesis was wrong, then you need to make a new hypothesis. This section is also the part where you will talk directly about the question and your results. This is where you will explain how your results supported the outcome of your question.
In this science fair project, my question was "do plants need sunlight to grow". My hypothesis was, "Plants that recieved direct sunlight will grow better than plants that don't recieve direct sunlight." After doing this experiment I have found that my hypothesis was correct. All the plants that recieved direct sunlight grew taller than those that did not. With this information I can conclude that plants do need sunlight to grow.
What is my recommendations?
In this section, you will explain what you learned from this experiment. Also, summarize what you would do next time if you had the opportunity to do this experiment again. What would you change about this experiment? What would you like to test next time? Would you like to try something different? Do you have any questions that you thought of during this project?
From this experiment I have learned that to grow lima beans I need to give my plant direct sunlight. After doing this experiment I still wondered, do ALL plants need sunlight to grow. If I were to do this experiment again I would try several different plants, instead of just one type. This way I would know better if all plants need sunlight just like the lima bean did.