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2013 CARVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SCIENCE FAIR PACKET … · 2013 CARVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SCIENCE FAIR PACKET ... notes about everything you have learned, ... follow the scientific method

Apr 21, 2018




  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 1

    Name: __________________________________________

    Grade/Teacher: __________________________________________


    Welcome to the world of wonder and science! Through a Science Fair project, you can learn

    about science and experiments. We hope you will find this project interesting and rewarding. In this

    packet you will find information on how to select, conduct, display, and present a project.

    The Carver Science Fair will be held on Tuesday April 2nd

    in the Carver Gym.

    The following is a proposed schedule of the event:

    April 2 8:15-9:15 am - Science projects may be set up in the gym

    April 2 ALL DAY - Projects on display and judging

    1:30-3:30 pm--Classroom visitations

    6:00-7:30 pm--Science Fair Open House, visitation by public

    7:30 pm -- Clean up and take projects home

    If you have any questions, please contact Holly Rome (651-714-5115, or

    Lisa Swanson (651-702-8276,

    This packet as well as additional Science Fair information will be posted on the Carver Website.

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 2


    Science1 is defined as a branch of study concerned with observations and classification of facts.

    A Science Fair is an exhibit of student-made projects in the area of science. Deciding to

    participate in the Carver Science Fair is the first step in developing your science project. The next steps

    are as follows:

    Select a science topic of interest and develop a project about that topic. Your science project topic may be anything that you are interested in learning more about. Your project type may

    be an experiment, demonstration, model, science collection, report, or invention.

    Gather information by reading, experimenting, observing and/or talking with adults and recording that information. Keep a Laboratory Notebook.

    Construct a display with accompanying graphs, diagrams, models, pictures, and written/typed materials to describe the project and findings.

    Bring your project to the Carver Science Fair.

    During the Science Fair you will be asked to discuss the project with judges, teachers, and fellow students.


    This may be the first time you have attempted a long-range project, so it is very important to

    make a schedule and stay organized. Science fair projects often require several weeks for completion.

    Dont let a due date that is many weeks away throw your planning off--there are many things to do.

    There is no substitute for good planning. So, set a schedule, get organized, and have fun.

    Throughout your project keep a journal - your journal is like a diary of your scientific

    investigation. This journal can be a spiral notebook or loose-leaf paper in a 3 ring binder. Write down

    notes about everything you have learned, document your observations, the problems you encounter and

    the progress of your investigation. Record the books or web sites where you obtained your information.

    Your journal contains your rough notes and is not to be redone. Bring your journal to the fair and have

    it with your display. The judges at the Science Fair may wish to look through your journal. Your journal

    should include:

    1. Your topic, purpose, hypothesis (if doing an experiment) 2. The goals of your project and the steps you are going to take to complete your project 3. Detailed day-to-day notes on the progress of your project

    a. What you are doing each day (observations, progress, etc.) b. Problems you have with your investigation c. Things you would change if you were doing this investigation again

    4. Step-by-step instructions of your work 5. Lists of materials needed and used 6. Record notes from references (bibliography) books, magazines, web sites, and people and a

    record of the locations where you obtained this information.

    7. Any drawings or photos that you arent using on the display that might help explain your work

    1 Definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 3


    There are two main things you need to decide on when you are choosing a Science Fair project: a

    project type and a project topic. There are six project types you can choose from for your science


    1. Experiment answer a question or solve a problem. If you choose an experiment, be sure to follow the scientific method

    2. Demonstration of a scientific principal explain how something works or why something happens the way it does.

    3. Model create a model of a scientific area (i.e., solar system, human eye). 4. Collection display a scientific collection. 5. Report research a scientific topic and compile a report on the topic 6. Invention create a product for which you see a need


    The best science project for you is the one you are interested in and excited about.

    Make a list of ideas that interest you in your journal - brainstorm and think of everything. Then

    start looking project ideas for these areas. Cross out the ideas you decide not to do and add more ideas

    as you find them.

    Once you have narrowed down to one idea, start on a clean page in your journal and start writing

    down the steps you are going to go through to complete your project. As your project is carried out, you

    will observe, experiment, and draw conclusions based on your results.

    Safety should be kept in mind when you pick a project. You should not plan to use poisons,

    explosives, high voltage, or harmful bacteria. Experiments on animals are all right as long as the animal

    is not injured or harmed in anyway. You cannot dissect, starve, or mistreat any live animal. If you want

    to include any live animals as part of your presentation at the actual science fair, you must get

    permission to do so ahead of time. Contact Ms. L. Swanson at or 651-702-8276.

    To help you narrow down a topic, this section includes a list of some of the fields of science and

    project ideas. The intent of this list is to help spark an idea for an area of interest, feel free to use one of

    these ideas or create your own. Make sure the project is age appropriate, not too easy or too hard.


    1) Formal Sciences Mathematics & Logic

    Make a logic puzzle

    Compare English and metric units

    How do scientists measure very small or extremely thin items?

    2) Natural Sciences a) Biology

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 4

    Select and identify a tree in your backyard or neighborhood to study

    Read all about growing and caring for plants

    Make your own terrarium

    How is the growth of beans affected by different fertilizers?

    Label the parts of a flower.

    Set up and study an ant farm

    Find some birds nests and study the different kinds

    Which dog food does your dog like best?

    Study gerbils in a maze

    Investigate and learn how plants help animals

    Observe animals and write a report

    Study a wild animal; study animal habitats

    Find and observe different spider webs

    Study butterflies

    Classify the fish found in Minnesota lakes

    b) Chemistry

    Make silly putty

    Make slime

    How could you blow up a balloon with household products?

    Which detergent removes grass stains best?

    Which detergent removes grease best?

    c) Physics

    How is sound produced?

    Write a report on airplanes

    Pick a planet and read and report all about it

    What type of material is the best insulator?

    Make a model of our solar system

    Study the planets, sun, or other astronomical feature

    Study how the rotation of the earth makes the sun appear to change its position in the sky

    Find out the history behind the constellations and draw some pictures or make models

    Study the composition of the stars and find out about the different kind of stars

    Is there life on other worlds? Create your own imaginary world and the life on that world

    Journal your familys electrical use; how can you save energy?

    Compare past and present electrical inventions

    How does a microscope or a telescope work?

    How does a camera work?

    d) Earth Science

    Grow some crystals

    How does the temperature of water affect the freezing time?

    Why does it rain?

    What shape of glass causes water to cool off fastest?

    Display your rock collection; label your rocks and where they are from

    Study the effects of carbon dioxide on the environment; how can we reduce our CO2 output?

    What causes air pollution? How can we reduce it? What is smog doing to our environment?

    Whats in the soil?

    Study how things decompose and how long it takes for our garbage to decompose

    How much water do you use in your home in a day, a week, a month?

    How can we conserve water?

    What is acid rain?

    Test a variety of water and/or a variety of ways to remove contaminants from the water

    Develop a model showing the water cycle

    Study how rain forests affect our water supply

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 5

    Study the rainfall in different areas and what type of vegetation grows there

    Study the formations found in caves

    Study dinosaurs

    Study earthquakes; what is plate tectonics?

    Make a model volcano

    3) Engineering and Technology

    Demonstrate how a bicycle works

    Build a rocket and launch it

    Build a circuit to run a fan

    Develop an electrical circuit to turn things on and off

    Research an automobiles energy usage

    Explore alternative energy sources

    Make a robot

    How does a computer work? How does an analog clock work?

    4) Medical and Health Sciences

    Study fingerprint types and identify your type

    Write a report on the food pyramid and give examples of healthy meals

    How does the heart work?

    What medicine works best for headaches?

    What is your immune system and how can you improve it?

    Study and identify the different minerals we eat and drink

    How does the respiratory system work?

    How does the heart work?

    What is genetics? What is DNA? What are recessive and dominate genes?

    What are the best foods to keep you healthy?

    What causes tooth decay?

    5) Agricultural Sciences

    What does a forester do?

    How do foresters help forests?

    What is deforestation?

    6) Social Sciences

    Collect your recycles for 1 week and weigh them at the end of the week

    What is in your garbage and how can you reduce your garbage?

    7) Humanities

    Study an ancient civilization and write a report

    What languages are spoken in the USA?

    What languages are spoken in other countries?

    Are TV commercials louder than regular programs?

    Measure the frequency and length of TV commercials during your favorite shows

    Study ancient civilizations

    What was it like to live in Ancient Greece, Medieval Europe?

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 6


    The best source for an extensive list of science project ideas is the World Wide Web. If you do a

    search on Science Fair Project Ideas, you will find web sites dedicated to science projects. Some web

    sites will even give you step-by-step procedures for conducting science projects. Here are a few of the

    web sites:



    We encourage every student to consider an experiment project type. Experiments are fun to do,

    talk about, and show off. When conducting an experiment, you need to follow the scientific method.

    The Scientific Method3

    The scientific method is a process for experimentation that is used to explore observations and

    answer questions. Scientists use the scientific method to search for cause-and-effect relationships in

    nature. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to

    vary in a predictable way. These carefully selected changes are called variables.

    The scientific method will help you to focus your science fair project question, construct a

    hypothesis, design, execute, and evaluate your experiment. Even though we show the scientific method

    as a series of steps, keep in mind that new information or thinking might cause a scientist to back up and

    repeat steps at any point during the process. Your results may even cause you to rethink your

    hypothesis. That is okay, it is all part of the scientific process.

    Also, dont ever think of your experiment as a failure. It your results do not match your

    hypothesis - that is okay. Sometimes they dont. That is when a professional scientist will go back and

    rewrite their hypothesis and start experimenting again. There is no such thing as a failed experiment.

    They are all successes as long as you follow a well thought-out and developed process.

    2 Examples in this section were pulled from Science Fair Materials from Meadowview Elementary by Craig Evenson 3 Excerpts from:

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 7

    Steps of the Scientific Method

    1. Ask a question (Topic and Purpose):

    The scientific method starts when you ask a question about something that you observe: how,

    what, when, who, which, why, or where? In order for the scientific method to answer your question, it

    must be about something that you can measure, preferably with a number. This question is the topic of

    your project and it becomes the title for your project.

    During this step you should also define the purpose of your project. Write one to three sentences

    explaining why you are doing this investigation.

    2. Do background research (Bibliography/References):

    Rather than starting from scratch in putting together a plan for answering your question, you

    want to be a savvy scientist by using library and internet research to help you find what has already

    been done in your topic, to find the best way to do things, and to insure that you don't repeat mistakes

    from the past.

    Keep track of your references. You will need to put these together in a Bibliography and

    include it in your final project. List alphabetically all books, articles, people, or other sources used for

    researching. Some examples of how to write a bibliography are as follows (list alphabetically by


  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 8

    Authors Last name, first name, title of book, city, publisher, date published

    Authors Last name, first name, article title, magazine, pages, date issued

    Web site address, title of web site article, date the web site was accessed

    3. Construct a hypothesis:

    A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work. Ask yourself the following question:

    "If I do this, then this will happen."

    You must state your hypothesis in a way that you can easily observe and measure. Your hypothesis

    should be constructed in a way to help you answer your original question. Here are some examples of

    some hypothesis for different questions.

    Question: Does light affect the way plants grow?

    Hypothesis 1: Plants will grow toward the light. OR

    Hypothesis 2: Plants will grow away from the lights. OR

    Hypothesis 3: Light will make no difference in the way plants


    Question: What materials will a TV remote penetrate?

    Hypothesis 1: Solids, such as wood, cardboard, or metals will not allow penetration of a

    TV remote. OR

    Hypothesis 2: Flexible solids, such as plastic bags or fabric, will allow penetration

    4. Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment (Materials, Variables & Procedure):

    Your experiment tests whether your hypothesis is true or false. It is important for your

    experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change only one factor

    (variable) at a time while keeping all other conditions the same. You should also repeat your

    experiments several times to make sure that the first results weren't just an accident.

    When setting up an experiment, pay attention to the following items:

    a) Materials b) Variable c) Step-by-step directions (Procedure)

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 9

    a. Materials

    List all of the material used in your investigation. Include what, how much, and what kinds of

    materials you used. Keep track of the quantities of each item that you used. The following table is an

    example of a good material list and a poor material list.


    3 15x15 cm square each of Brawny, Gala,

    Scott, and generic paper towels

    Paper towels

    250 mL graduated beaker Measuring cup

    750 mL water at 20o C Water

    1 20 x 20 cm square cake pan Container

    Celsius thermometer Thermometer

    Clock with a second hand Clock

    b. Variables

    A variable is the factor that you will be changing during your experiment to help answer your

    question and ultimately help to prove or disprove your hypothesis. There are three different types of


    1. Manipulated variable this is what you change on purpose in an investigation 2. Responding variable this is what changes by itself because you manipulated (changed)

    something in your investigation

    3. Variable Held Constant everything else in your investigation must be held constant (kept the same); this is also called control

    Make sure you are only changing one manipulated variable at a time. Keep everything else

    constant and determine what the response is. The response will be the results of your experiment.

    Repeat this scenario several times to make sure you receive the same results. After you have completed

    one group of experiments with a set of manipulated variables, you may conduct a second set of

    experiments with a different manipulated variable. The following is an example of what the different

    variables mean in an experiment:

    Question: Do all brands of paper towels absorb the same amount of water?

    Manipulated Variable: Brands of paper towels

    Responding Variables: Amount of water that is absorbed by each towel

    Variables Held Constant: Size of paper towel

    Amount of water poured on each towel

    Temperature of the water used

    Container towels are placed in

    Method of pouring

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 10

    c. Step-by-Step Directions

    Write the step-by-step directions of your experiment. These directions are like a recipe and

    anyone who reads them will be able to duplicate your experiment and have the same results. Here is an

    example of step-by-step directions:

    Question: Do all brands of paper towels absorb the same amount of water?


    1. Cut 3 15 x 15 cm squares from each brand of paper towels 2. Label each cut piece with brand name 3. Pour 50 mL of 20o C water into 20 x 20 cm square pan 4. Place one square of generic brand paper towel into water and pan 5. Leave for 30 seconds 6. Remove paper towel 7. Measure water remaining in pan and record 8. Dry the cake pan 9. Repeat steps 4-8 for each brand of paper towel 10. Repeat entire process twice more for each brand of paper towel

    5. Analyze your data and draw a conclusion (Results and Conclusions):

    Once your experiment is complete, you need to collect your measurements and analyze them to

    see if your hypothesis is true or false.

    To help you analyze your results, draw graphs, charts, or illustrations. Consider taking photos

    during your experiments and use them to help analyze your results and for your display. When drawing

    a graph, plan your graph carefully so that your data will be evenly distributed across the horizontal and

    vertical axes. You may use bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, or any other drawing that shows your

    data best.

    When you feel your experiment is complete, it is time to write your conclusions. Before you

    start writing your conclusions, carefully examine all of your data, graphs, charts, tables and photos. Ask

    yourself the following questions:

    1. Did I get the results I expected to get? 2. Were there any unexpected problems or occurrences that may have affected the results of my


    3. Did I collect enough data? Were there enough trials? Enough samples? 4. Do I need to revise my original hypothesis? (If you write a revised hypothesis, DO NOT use it

    to replace your original hypothesis for this project!) Keep your original hypothesis and talk

    about your revised hypothesis. This is part of learning the scientific method.

    Your conclusions should include:

    1. A statement of support or of non-support of your original hypothesis 2. A description of any problems or any unusual events that occurred during your experiment 3. What you would do differently next time 4. A revised hypothesis if your experiment results did not support your original hypothesis.

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 11

    An example of a conclusion is as follows:

    Question: Do all brands of paper towels absorb the same amount of water?

    Hypothesis: The cheaper the paper towel, the less water it will absorb.

    Conclusion: The data collected does not support the original hypothesis. The cheapest paper

    Towel (generic) did not absorb the least amount of water. The higher priced

    paper towel (Brawny) did not absorb the most. My revised hypothesis is the

    price of the paper towels does not affect the amount of water absorbed.

    6. Communicate your results:

    To complete your science fair project you will communicate your results to others in a display.

    Good Experiment Topics vs. Poor Experiment Topics

    Be careful and selective when choosing a topic. Make sure that you choose a topic that will allow

    you to answer some very clear and specific questions that you have asked. Here are some examples of

    some good topics and some poor topics.

    Good Topics Poor Topics

    1. Do different colored mints dissolve at the same


    This is a good topic because it requires

    experimentation that you can do yourself. You

    must use the scientific method in completing this


    1. How volcanoes erupt?

    This topic will not allow experimentation without

    visiting real volcanoes. Making a model that

    erupts is a model and demonstration, not an


    2. What surface do mealworms prefer?

    This topic suggests the use of an experimental

    method. Asking a question is a good approach

    toward developing your topic.

    2. Microscopes

    The topic is too general. Telling how a

    microscope works is a report, not an experiment.

    3. Do all brands of paper towels absorb water at

    the same rate?

    This is an experiment where only one variable is

    being manipulated at a time.

    3. Do different brands of paper towels soak up

    different temperatures of water at the same rate?

    This topic needs to be narrowed down to one

    investigation. Only one variable should be

    manipulated in an experiment. (Or at least only

    one at a time).

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 12


    The purpose of your exhibit is to show the results of your project to the public and the judges as

    clearly and attractively as possible. Plan your display as carefully as you have planned your project and

    your oral presentation. Your science projects will rest atop tables or may be on the floor if they are very

    large. The following list contains items that must be present in your display area.

    Your display must include:

    o The title of project o Your name, grade, and teacher o An explanation of your project (purpose) o Hypothesis (if doing an experiment) o The procedure you took to answer your questions - list of materials used, step-by-

    step directions, variables, include a bibliography

    o The results of your project o Your conclusions o Charts, diagrams, graphs, or pictures helping to explain your project

    Additional Display Suggestions:

    The display board construction should be durable. Use stiff cardboard, wood, or tag board. The tri-fold cardboard displays sold at most craft stores are a good choice.

    Your display should cover only one specific topic.

    Make the title large. The title should be very noticeable.

    Your display should be neatly organized and easy to understand.

    Your display should be accurate and as complete as possible. Check for spelling errors.

    Make the display attractive. Use color.

    Place your display items in front of your display board. These might include your collection, model, demonstration, etc.

    Place your journal and written report (if one has been written) on the table.

    Your project should explain itself through the pictures, diagrams, and other data on display.

    Display some of the equipment or specimens, if possible.

    Below is a diagram of one possible display layout.

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 13


    The Science Fair Projects will be judged. However, the main purpose of this Science Fair is to

    provide an opportunity for you to showcase your interest in science. The judging will be in three main

    areas: 1) oral presentation, 2) display, and 3) content. Every participant will receive a ribbon for


    During the judging you will present an oral presentation on your project. Have fun with it and

    show the judges how much you learned. Your presentation should begin with introducing yourself and

    your project to the judges, then continue with a description of your project, and conclude with what you

    learned. The judges will ask you questions about your project during and after your presentation. Be

    friendly and smile, speaking clearly and loudly enough for the interviewer to hear; remember you are the

    expert on your topic. Practice your presentation at home and write some notes to help you remember

    what you would like to say.


    Check when


    Suggested Steps to a Successful Science Project

    Choose a topic and Project.

    Decide on the purpose of your project.

    Describe what you will do (Do you need to check with an adult? )

    Write an objective title.

    State a hypothesis.

    Keep a journal of your thoughts

    Research: Collect information and research materials and record your sources.

    Collect materials needed for your project or experiment

    Conduct Experiments make sure you plan on enough time to conduct each


    Take notes in your journal.

    Collect and check your data (answers) to see that your experiments are working.

    Write a rough draft of what you have done.

    Get opinions from a parent or other adult on what you have done.

    Chart your results. Graph your data. Look for patterns in your answers.

    Take notes in your journal in what you have done and on what you have learned.

    Write a summary of your experiments, research or invention..

    Finish your reports. Write a conclusion about your results.

    Create a display Be Creative.

    Make sure the topic and your results are easy to understand.

    Prepare a 1-2 minute oral presentation of your project for the judges.

    Practice, practice, practice your presentation. Have others ask you questions about

    your project.

    Bring your project to school to set up.

  • 2013 Science Fair Packet Page 14

    May my parents help?

    The majority of the work for a science project should be done by you, the student. You should do

    all of the research, reading, experimenting, observing, and writing. However, your parents may

    encourage, advise, provide assistance, and offer suggestions regarding technical matters. Parents should

    help clarify complicated information and/or redirect to more simplified research. Also, parents should

    help you follow standard safety practices when working on these projects. Parent approval and

    supervision is required for these projects. But, above all, this is meant to be a fun, family activity.

    Safety Rules & Regulations, Use of Animals

    Safety should be kept in mind when you pick a project. All projects should be safe for yourself,

    for the visitors to the Science Fair, and for the subjects of your experiment if it involves live animals.

    The best rule is to use common sense and, if not sure, ask Ms. L. Swanson at or

    651-702-8276. Below is a list of safety dos and donts:

    1. You should not plan to use poisons, explosives, high voltage, or harmful bacteria. 2. Experiments on animals are all right as long as the animal is not injured or harmed in any way. 3. You cannot dissect, starve, or mistreat any live animal. 4. You must get permission before bringing live animals to the fair. For permission, contact Ms. L.

    Swanson at or 651-702-8276.

    5. Please make sure any liquids are in tightly sealed containers. 6. While at the fair, if your demonstration involves liquids, make sure you bring tarps and towels to

    protect and clean up the gym floor.

    7. If you are exhibiting spoiled foods or any type of cultural growth, make sure they are in a sealed plastic container.
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