1. Science Rules.
Ask your teacher for all the science fair rules before you begin. No matter how great your project, you could be disqualified if you forget to follow the rules. For regional and national competition rules, visit the ISEF Web site.
2. Dive In!
Start your research! Visit your local or school library, hop online or interview an expert to learn about your chosen topic.
3. That's a Good Question.
Find an interesting question that you can answer by doing an experiment. Get specific! A good question will not just have a yes or no answer.
Don't just ask, "Will a heavy rocket fly higher than a light one?" Instead, ask "How does the weight of a model rocket affect how high it flies?"
4. It's Design Time.
Think about all the variables that could affect your experiment's results. Figure out which one you want to change and how to keep everything else constant.
If you change the rocket's weight, keep the shape and engine the same.
5. Got a Hunch?
Write down your hypothesis - what you think will happen during your experiment.
" I hypothesize that the lighter my rocket is, the higher it will fly."
6. Let the Experiments Begin!
Repeat your experiments as many times as you can. Change only the variable you selected, and keep everything else constant.
7. Stay on Track.
Take lots of notes and measurements, snap some photos and sketch pictures of your observations. Careful records lead to accurate findings, and they make your final display look great!
8. Analyze This!
Make charts and graphs of your data. Then, review your findings. Did your results support your hypothesis? If not, don't worry! Discuss why that might have happened. That's part of the scientific process too!
9. Tell the Story.
Write a report about your investigation. Include plenty of data, and organize your observations into well-labeled tables.
10. Show the World.
Create a neat and eye-catching display that showcases your work. Include information about all the stages of your investigation - your research, plan, hypothesis, procedure, results, conclusion, report, and charts. Include pictures and drawings if you have them.
11. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Tell people about the experiment. Rehearse your presentation in front of your friends, family or even a mirror. Ask for pointers, and you'll be ready to roll the day of the science fair!
12. Have Fun!
You've done the work. Now, be proud of what you've accomplished, and don't forget to tell us about your project. You might get a chance to show off your discoveries on DragonflyTV!