Choosing Your Project

You do not have to find a cure for cancer to participate in science fair! Any experiment that is new to the student would make a good science fair project, and, in fact, most K to 5 projects are fairly simple and straightforward. Keep in mind, however, that students earn points for creativity, so try to avoid copying someone else's project directly. If you find a question you'd like to research from a book or from visiting a science fair, try to make it original -- perhaps a new way of testing it or an innovative experimental design. Don't be afraid to try something unusual because you think it may not work. The judges will still notice your ingenuity and scientific thought. (Points are not taken away for a failed experiment!) Need some sample project ideas?

When designing an experiment, consider several things:

You must be able to perform a controlled experiment using a scientific method.
There is a different between experiments and demonstrations or models.
Examples of demonstrations Examples of experiments
a model of the brain the effect of caffeine on concentration
a rock collection the effect of rock type on window damage
drawings of wildlife found in your back yard which foods attract the most birds to the bird feeder?
Make sure you have (or can get) the equipment you will need to do your experiment. (Sometimes having access to unusual equipment -- like a solar panel or a centrifuge -- can lead to an interesting project.)
Make sure you have enough time to complete the experiment and that it is the proper time of year to do such an experiment. For example, if you want to study the productivity of vegetable plants, do your experiment over the summer, not in January. (Remember: experimenting with living things always requires extra time!)

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Questions? Contact the GPHSF Director. Last modified: 31 August 2004