This month will be devoted to everyone's favorite winter activity, Science Fair! Below you will find tips to help you complete your project, places around Jackson to find boards to display your project, and some great project ideas.

What things will help me complete a better science project?

  1. Get started early! Don't try and wait until the week or night before to try and decide on a project. A good project can take several weeks, even months. Both you and your parents will be unhappy if you wait until the last minute.
  2. Choose a topic that interests you! If you try and do a project about something that you don't really like, you probably won't do your best work. If you can't think of something that you like, look at some of the ideas suggested in the sites below and go to the library and read about them. Maybe that will help!
  3. Do plenty of research and keep a good bibliography! Read all you can about your topic and your project and document everything you read as you go for your project bibliography (which you do need). Knowing lots about your topic will help you avoid problems later, and will make you very knowledgeable when it comes time for your project to be judged.
  4. Make a list of supplies and materials! Getting all your materials together ahead of time will save headaches later. For example, if you will need to take pictures of your project, knowing you have the camera and film ready will save last minute trips to the store.
  5. Keep everything together! Have a place set aside at home where you keep everything related to your project so you don't lose valuable pieces of information.
  6. Document everything as you go! The more information you have about what happened during your project, the better. Remember, it will be difficult to remember what happened weeks earlier if you don't have it written in a good project journal. Also, you must keep track of any data you collect as you go so your project will be accurate, and honest!
  7. Don't try to make your project too complex! The purpose of a science project is to help you learn about a specific science topic, not win a Nobel Prize. It is better to pick an easier topic, do a thorough project, and be able to speak confidently about your project and what you learned, rather than trying to do a complex project you really don't understand. Remember, when it comes to science projects, sometimes you learn more from what didn't happen in your experiment than what did happen. Your hypothesis may not always be true, but that is OK as long as you understand why.
  8. Follow the rules! Know all the rules that apply and make sure your project has everything it is supposed to have, and meets all the required criteria.
  9. Do your own work! It is OK to get help, but be sure to acknowledge who gave you help.

Follow the steps listed below and you will have a bang up science project!

  • Make an initial observation - Write down what you notice about something you see that makes you wonder why it happens or how it works.
  • Gather information - Investigate and read about what you want to know.
  • Choose a title - It should summarize what your investigation is about.
  • State your purpose - What do you want to find out?
  • Make your hypothesis - What do you think will happen? Your hypothesis must be stated in a way that can be tested in an experiment.
  • Write down your procedures - What did you do and how did you do it?
  • Make a list of materials.
  • Do the experiment and write down all measurements and/or observations.
  • Write your results - Summarize what happened in your experiment.
  • Write your conclusion - Was your hypothesis correct? If your hypothesis was incorrect, what did you learn and what questions do you have now?

Other Goodies

Where can I find a back board for my project? In Jackson, the best places to look are Fads and Frames, Michael's, or Office Depot. Prices range from $5 to $10. Check with your teacher at school before you buy. Some schools sell them to students at a discount.

I can't think of anything I like, and I need a project. What can I do? Use the links below to help you find an idea!

The Ultimate Science Fair Resource
Whether you are a student trying to find an idea for a project, a parent or teacher looking for information on building displays, or you have a question you just can't answer, this site will help.

Conducting an Experimental Science Project
This site lists and describes in detail all the steps required to complete a science project as well as project ideas and helpful suggestions on completing an effective project for students in grades 3-6.

Science Fair Resources from the Internet Public Library
Get advice on science fair projects, ideas for successful projects, and use the links they provide to get even more help!

International Science and Engineering Fair
This is the official site for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Use this site for official rules and project forms.

Discovery Channel School-Science Fair Central
This site has it all! Lists of projects, tip sheets to help you complete a winning project, and even links for parents and teachers.

Science Fair Projects at the Homework Spot
Lots of great project ideas! There are also links to pages that explain how to do your project from start to finish.

Ideas for Science Fairs at Fun Science
Even more ideas and suggestions for projects.

Science Fair Central at the Learning Network
Lots more ideas for winning projects! Tips in this site are divided into elementary, middle, and high school to help you better prepare.

The Science Fair Companion
This is comprehensive site full of links to other pages about science fairs.


Jackson Public Schools

Homework Help On-line is an initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation - Comprehensive Partnerships for Math and Science Achievement (NSF-CPMSA). For more information about this and other JPS-NSF initiatives, contact the NSF Project Director.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9625139. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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