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How to Organize a Science Fair Project

Updated on January 15, 2011

Participating in a science fair can be a lot of fun and a great learning experience. Use these tips to create and organize the very best science fair project.

Choosing a Science Fair Project Topic

By far, the very most important thing to consider when deciding on a topic for your science fair project is: interest. Does the chosen topic interest you, excite you and motivate you? Is it too general? Ask yourself is there ample information on the topic and where will you find it. Is it original?

Ask whether the end result will either verify or disprove your hypothesis. After making your decision, be sure to obtain approval from your parents and teacher, and then you’re ready to begin! Keep a notebook along the way to document your research. You may be asked to put it on display at the fair.

Researching the Project Topic

One of the most important parts of any science project is the research. Television, the internet, magazines, newspapers, textbooks and your school library are all places to find information for your project. Discussion with parents, peers and teachers also sparks ideas and provides information and perspective.

Organizing the Research Paper

Use the Scientific Method when writing up your paper. Organize the project as you would any research paper, with these components:

  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Abstract
  • Background research
  • Purpose/problem
  • Hypothesis
  • Materials
  • Procedure
  • Observations/results
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Acknowledgements

Formatting the Presentation

All science fairs will have somewhat different rules on what you’ll display, the size and other components of the board, but these are some general guidelines to go by. Be sure to adhere to the rules of your specific fair, and always ask before doing anything “different.”

Create a poster board that displays the project, and have on display any useful props. The poster board should be 3-sided, 36” tall 48” wide and stand on its own. It should include all of the information listed above.

Use a minimum 16-point font that can easily be read from across the room, with the title being the largest. Arrange the information from top to bottom and left to right, laid out like a newspaper, so that it can be easily read. A photograph in the center is great to grab attention, which is your goal, after all!

Use some colored construction paper to catch the eye of judges, and diagrams and pictures to properly communicate your purpose. All of the research you’ve done, the display board is how you express and exhibit your idea, so give it your best effort.

Here’s a gallery of sample science fair poster boards:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_gallery.shtml

 

Some supplies you’ll need to construct your board are:

  • White poster board found at office supply stores or a cardboard box
  • Glue sticks and scotch tape
  • Cover stock 67# or cardstock #110 in place of paper for non wrinkling when glued on
  • Colored construction paper

Image Credit: oddharmonic, Flickr

 

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