Science fair projects are an examination, which uses scientific method to learn an answer to a scientific problem. Understanding the scientific method is one of the first things you must learn before starting on a science fair project.
One of the tools scientists use is the scientific method. It is way they answer questions. When you want to find an answer to a scientific question, you will use a scientific method to think through the possible solutions to a problem and you will want to test every possibility to find the best solution. The scientific method utilizes these steps: researches, identifying the problem, establish a hypothesis, conducting a project experiment, and reaching a conclusion. These are the steps that should be a part of all science fair projects.
Research is collecting information from your experience, knowledgeable sources, and data from experiments. Right now you are researching to find a project topic. This is also known as Topic Research. Once you have decided on a project idea you will do project research. Project research will help you understand the topic, find the problem, suggest a hypothesis, create an experiment to test the hypothesis.
This is the problem you will be trying to solve with the experiment. This type of question is considered to be an open-ended question because the answer is a statement and not just a yes or no answer. Set limits for your problem, and choose a problem that can be solved with an experiment.
Suggesting the Hypothesis
If you have an idea about the solution to a problem and you have based your solution on research it is considered to be a hypothesis. The hypothesis is the basis to a successful project. As you are doing your research you should have the goal of stating a problem, suggesting an answer to the problem, and creating the experiment to prove your theory. Just remember the hypothesis should never be written down before the experiment has begun. Make the basis of your hypothesis include facts from your experience or what you have seen. This is the part of science fair projects where we clarify what we want to find out.
You need a way of testing your hypothesis and the project experiment is the method you use. Anything that has an effect on the outcome of the experiment is called a variable. There are three different kinds of variables. The independent variable is the variable you change for whatever your reason. The dependent variable is the variable is the part of the experiment that changes because of the independent variable. Some variables can not be changed and they are called the controlled variables. You only want to have one independent variable in an experiment. Repeat the experiment a couple of times to ensure the results. Have a control variable included in your experiment. You can even have more than one control variable in the same experiment. Make sure you organize you data.
This is your summary of the results of your experiment and a statement related the results to the hypothesis. To the end of the conclusion you can add any ideas you might have for further experiments to be performed in the future. After the results of your experiment are written down, do not change your hypothesis if the results don't match. If some of the results do not match the hypothesis don't leave them out. You can give a reason for the difference between the results and your hypothesis. You can give ways that you should change your experiment for the future. Science fair projects should always end with a summary of results, as well as future questions to examine.