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Slingerlands Science Fair proposal form due Tue., Jan. 16

Filed in Slingerlands by on January 4, 2018

What exactly is the Slingerlands Science Fair?

The science fair is an event where students can share some aspect of science that they learned about.  Children may work alone or with a small group of other students to explore or demonstrate some aspect of science learning.  Students can solve problems, make discoveries, report on a scientist’s life or do an experiment.

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How do you get started?

The first step to your science fair adventure is choosing a project that works for you.

  • What kind of science interests you?
  • What do you want to learn about?
  • What special hobbies or talents do you have that you could use in a project?
  • Do you want to work by yourself or with a friend?

Type of Projects

There are many different types of projects.  Below are four types of possible projects you could do.

  1. A Descriptive or Demonstration Project – Describe what something is like, how it lives, or show us how it works.  Students might keep a diary of the growth of a seedling; describe and show pictures of a day in the life of a wombat; tell how a bike is constructed, or demonstrate how gears work.
  2. Comparisons – These projects will follow the same basic steps as the descriptive or demonstration project, but will push it one step further to compare two or more things. Explorations might include how the growth of a snap pea is different than a tree or how wombats and kangaroos are different as well as similar.
  3. Experiments – These projects will attempt to answer questions about ‘what happens when,’ and to test students’ guesses about how and why things work.  The goal of the experiment is to generate a testable hypothesis – a guess that one can then challenge to see if there are instances when it is true or false.  For example, students might make guesses about how well different laundry detergents work to remove chocolate stains (for example, Tide works better than All) – then test to see if these guesses seem correct.  It’s okay if your hypothesis is wrong; we still learn a lot! Finally, students try to explain what they found.
  4. Present a Biography of a Scientist – We want to learn about the stories of scientists that students find interesting.  Students can tell us about a scientist or inventor and what they discovered or created; what they were like growing up; how their discoveries or inventions came about; how the discovery or invention changed the way people thought or acted; and timelines that show major events in the scientist’s life.  See all the scientists listed at the end of the packet that you could choose from.

What’s Next?

Once you have decided on the type of science fair project you want to do, you should complete the Science Fair Proposal Form.

Please completely fill in all the blanks on the form.  If you are working with a group, you need to only complete one form.  Please provide a brief description of what your project will be about.  You might tell us about…

  • What you decided to study
  • What you hope to learn or find out.
  • How you are going to find these things out.
    • Will you use books and the Internet?
    • Are you going to take pictures and keep a journal?
    • Are you going to build a model?
    • Will you visit a museum?
    • What will your experiment involve?

Complete the Science Fair Proposal Form and return it to your teacher by January 16th.


Doing the project

  1. You should begin by setting up a timeline to plan out your work. 
  2. The next step is to turn your idea into a research question.  For example, if you are interested in studying laundry detergents, your question might be ‘What laundry detergent does the best job getting grass stains out of your pants?’  An example of a descriptive question might be, ‘What is laundry detergent made of?’
  3. Make a guess or hypothesis about what you think will happen.  Your guess should be simple enough to test… “I think Tide is the best detergent to remove grass stains.”
  4. Begin your work!  How do scientists investigate a question?  Sometimes scientists make discoveries by accident.  Other times, they carefully develop a plan to test a guess or hypothesis about how something works.
  5. If you are doing a descriptive study or demonstration, you can still make guesses about how something works, an animal lives, or seasons change, even though you won’t test them using an experiment.  Think about what questions you would like to answer about your subject.
  6. To test the guesses and ideas, scientists often conduct experiments and use the results or date to begin answering their questions.  As part of your plan, you should describe what you plan to do during your experiment.  List all materials you will need.  If you are doing a descriptive study or demonstration, list the resources you will use.  Will you create or collect pictures?  Will you make a diagram or model?
  7. Next, write down everything you will do.  Other scientists should be able to repeat your experiments by reading your procedures.  You can use the “Tracking your Progress” form if you find it helpful.  As you perform the steps, you should keep track of your observations – what you see.  These are data.  You should report only what you actually see.  You may want to organize your data into a chart or table.
  8. If you are doing a descriptive project, you can see if the information you read agrees with your guess.  Do you find any of the information surprising?
  9. After you have made observations and collected data, you will want to make a conclusion about what you have learned.  Think about:
    • What did you learn?
    • Do you still have any questions? What are they?

Important Guidelines

Our goal is for everyone to have fun and be safe.  It is important that you follow these guidelines.

Space

  • On the Science Fair Proposal Form you are asked to identify your space needs.
  • Do you need table, floor or wall space? If you need all three, we will do our best to accommodate you.
  • Do you need an electrical outlet?
  • You will be allotted a 2’ X 3’ table space. NO EXCEPTIONS!

These items are NOT allowed at our science fair:

  • Dangerous chemicals
  • Breakable objects
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Drugs
  • Body parts from animals
  • Materials that explode or catch fire or flames
  • Dry ice
  • Live animals – including fish
  • Sharp objects
  • Glass containers
  • We will limit the number of volcanoes

**Please note: You may not do a project that involves any taste testing.  You may not give out food or candy.

Display

  • Make your display interesting and creative. Use visuals such as pictures, charts and diagrams to enhance your presentation
  • Use your very best handwriting or type your text so it is easy to read.
  • If your project is messy, please bring materials to clean your space before you leave. You are responsible for this.
  • Clearly label your project with the title and your name

Helping your child with their science fair project

Can parents help?

Of course!  We encourage children to work with their parents on their project.  This is a great opportunity for families to learn together.  We just ask that children fully understand their project and they are able to explain it.  Below are some tips to help your child with their science fair project:

  • Help your child to pick a project that is doable and not too frustrating.
  • Give encouragement, support and guidance. Be positive.
  • Make safety a priority.
  • Feel free to work with your child and learn together.
  • Help your child with research skills such as: locating resources, organizing materials, collecting, reporting, demonstrating,
  • Develop a schedule or plan so your child finishes on time
  • Help your child proofread his/her work.

Resources

You can find helpful materials at bookstores, libraries, museums, hospitals and websites.  On the following pages you will find resources and websites that may be useful.

Book Sources

Slingerlands School Library

Backyard Science Experiments, Q. L. Pearce                                                   507 Pea

The Ben Franklin book of Easy and Incredible Experiments                          P 507.8 Fra

Great science Fair projects, P. Kratz and J. Frekko                                          507.8 Kat

Kitchen Science Experiments, Q. L. Pearce                                                       507 Pea

More Science Experiments You can Eat, V. Cobb                                            507 Cob

Robert Gardner’s Favorite Science Experiments, R. Gardner                                    507.8 Gar

Science Fair Success Secrets: How to win Prizes, have fun and

   Think like a Scientist, B. Haduch                                                                       507 Had

Science in Seconds for Kids: Over 100 experiments you can do

   In 10 minutes or less, J. Potter                                                                           P 507.8 Pot

Science Magic, 101 Experiments you can do, O. McGill                                 P 507 McG

Science Projects about Electricity and magnets, R. Gardner                         537 Gar

Science Secrets, R. Supraner                                                                               507 Sup

Scienceworks: 65 Experiments that introduce the fun and wonder of

   Science, Ontario Science Center                                                                      507 Sci

The Thomas Edison Book of easy and Incredible Experiments, Thomas

Alva Edison Foundation                                                                                         507 Tho

Also check out…

The Bethlehem Public Library

I Love Books


Internet Resources

General Hints and Ideas for Science Projects:   

An exchange of ideas and information as well as supplies you can purchase

http://reekoscience.com/

Source of free science projects and experiments                                        

http://school.familyeducation.com/childrens-science-activities/parents-and-school/33574.html

Tips and project ideas

http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/

Science Fair Projects for all levels

http://www.madsci.org/experiments 

Mad Science link

http://www.funsci.com  

Fun with Science

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com

Home and school science project ideas & easy experiments

http://www.doscience.com/act_archive/index.html

Fun experiments with food

http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral

Science fair projects from Discovery Channel


Possible ideas to get you started

Demonstrations and Things you can Make:

  • A magnet                                                                  
  • Candy
  • A bat or bird house                                                 
  • Cheese
  • A model of a volcano                                             
  • Yogurt
  • Animal Habitats                                                      
  • A tundra
  • A sundial                                                                  
  • Compass
  • Salt crystals                                                             
  • Sugar crystals
  • Model of the Solar System                                    
  • Parts of a flower
  • Parts of the eye or ear                                           
  • Miniature greenhouse
  • Simple circuit                                                                       
  • build a small electric motor

Descriptive projects:

  • Describe and display and insect collection
  • Describe how you know how old a tree is
  • Display a seed, rock or wood collection
  • Describe how a tooth decays?  Pictures would be great!
  • A day in the life of a bee, butterfly, grasshopper, ant or other insect
  • A day in the life of a rat, mouse, hamster, gerbil – use pictures!
  • A day in the life of a crab, lobster or other crustacean
  • What is cotton candy?
  • Describe the history of shells
  • How are ocean depths measured?
  • How are distance measured in outer space?
  • How does a traffic signal work?
  • Report on the plant and animal life around our school
  • Report on the plant and animal life in your backyard
  • Report on what grows in the winter
  • Describe what animals, plants or insects grow in trees
  • How are video games created?
  • How are earthquakes measured?
  • How is snow made?
  • How does a doorbell work?
  • How does a telegraph work?
  • Describe what makes the seasons change
  • How do canals and locks work?
  • What causes erosion?
  • Why are earthworms important to the soil?
  • Why does a submarine float?
  • What causes air pollution?

Comparison projects:

  • How do the insides of different fruits differ?
  • How are different kinds of tree leaves the same or different?
  • Compare different insects – which are the good guys, which are the bad guys?
  • Which is lighter, hot or cold air?
  • Compare packaging for an egg
  • Report on the differences between tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms
  • Compare different simple machines
  • Compare the hardness of different types of rocks and minerals
  • What is the best wing shape for an airplane?
  • Calculate and record length of days and nights over two weeks.  Why does the day length change?
  • Is the air temperature in the house the same at the floor level as near the ceiling?
  • Keep track of the temperature outside – when is it the coldest, when is it the hottest?
  • How accurate are the television weather forecasters at predicting the next day’s weather? Is one channel more accurate than another?

Possible experiments:

  • Do plants grow toward light?
  • Do detergents work best in cold or hot water?
  • What causes milk to spoil?
  • Which freezes faster – plain water, distilled water, salt water or sugar water?
  • How does temperature effect plant growth?
  • What is the effect of salt or sugar water on plant growth?
  • Compare which type of batteries last the longest?
  • Compare different dish detergents or bubble bath – which one makes more bubbles?
  • Which popcorn brand pops the fastest or the most?
  • How does light make a prism?
  • What makes static electricity?

Interested in Doing a Biography of a Famous Scientist?

Below is a list of scientists worthy of study:

  1. Buzz Aldrin – astronaut
  2. Andre-Marie Ampere
  3. Archimedes
  4. Aristotle
  5. Neil Armstrong – astronaut
  6. John Audubon – environmentalist
  7. Charles Babbage
  8. Leo Baekeland – chemist
  9. Alexander Bell – inventor
  10. Tim Berners-Lee – Computer science
  11. Elizabeth Blackwell
  12. Niels Bohr – physicist
  13. Robert Boyle
  14. Wallace Carothers
  15. France Anne Cordova
  16. Rachel Carson
  17. George Washington Carver
  18. Noam Chomsky
  19. Eugenie Clark
  20. Nicolaus Copernicus – astronomer
  21. Jacques Cousteau
  22. Marie Curie – chemist
  23. John Dalton
  24. Charles Darwin – biologist
  25. Thomas Edison – inventor
  26. Albert Einstein – inventor
  27. Euclid
  28. Michael Faraday – physicist
  29. Alexander Fleming – chemist
  30. Henry Ford – inventor
  31. Ben Franklin – inventor
  32. Galileo – astronomer
  33. Bill Gates – computer science
  34. Jane Goodall
  35. Elisha Gray
  36. Kurt Godel
  37. Stephen Gould – paleontologist
  38. Frederick William Hershel
  39. Hippocrates – medicine
  40. Grace Murray Hopper – computers
  41. Robert Hooke
  42. Edwin Hubble – astronomer
  43. Mae Jemison – astronaut
  44. Edward Jenner
  45. Edwin Land – inventor
  46. Louis  Seymour Bazett Leakey
  47. Maria Goeppert Mayer – physicist
  48. Margaret Mead – anthropologist
  49. Samuel Morse – inventor
  50. Sir Isaac Newton – inventor
  51. George Simon Ohm – physicist
  52. Robert Oppenheimer
  53. Louis Pasteur – chemist
  54. Linus Pauling
  55. Sally Ride – astronaut
  56. Ernest Rutherford
  57. Jonas Salk – biochemist
  58. Earl D. Shaw – laser technology
  59. William Shockley
  60. Percy Spencer
  61. J.J. Thompson
  62. Anton Von Leeuwenhoek
  63. John Von Newman
  64. James Watt
  65. Eli Whitney – inventor
  66. Daniel Hale Williams
  67. Ian Wilmut – biologist