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How to Create a Science Project

Choose a Topic - Make sure that your topic interests you! The best topic is the one that you are excited about or is something you’ve always wondered about.

Start Early - Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to do the project well. You may find your research and experimentation naturally takes you in a different direction than you thought it would in the beginning. Leave yourself plenty of time to follow these leads and you will have a more complete project.

Gather Information - Read books and magazines, search the internet, or ask professionals to learn about your area of study. Keep notes in your log book of what you learn, and keep track of where you get your information.

State the Purpose of the Project - What do you want to find out? Write a statement that describes what you want to do.

Make a Hypothesis - Make a list of answers to the questions you have. This can be a list of statements describing how or why you think the observed things work. Remember, hypothesis must be stated in a way that can be tested by an experiment.

Design Your Experiment - Make a step-by-step list of what you will do to answer your question. From this list you will write your experimental procedure. Remember:

  • Select only one thing to change (variable) in each experiment
  • Tell in the procedure how you will change your variable
  • Explain in the procedure how you will measure the amount of change (your result)
  • Design your experiment with a ‘control’ (one that you don’t change) so that you can compare and see what affect the variable has.

Obtain Materials and Equipment - Make a list of the things you need to do your experiments, and collect these materials. You may be able to borrow some equipment. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Do the Experiment and Record Data - Do the experiment and record all numerical measurements made. Data are things such as the amount of chemicals or materials used, a quantity of time, a measure of temperature or electricity, or anything that you can vary and measure. If you are not making any measurements, you probably are not doing an experimental science project.

Record Your Observations - Keep all of your research, observations and data in your log. Keep careful notes of everything you do and everything that happens. Observations are valuable when drawing conclusions, and useful for locating experimental errors.

Make Your Calculations - Perform any math needed to turn raw data recorded during your experiments into the numbers you will need to make tables and graphs or draw conclusions.

Summarize Results - Summarize what happened This could be in the form of a table, graph or a written statement of what occurred during the experiment.

Draw Conclusions - Using your experimental data and observations, try to answer your original questions. Is your hypothesis correct? If your hypothesis is not correct, don’t worry! State that your hypothesis is not correct, and then state the conclusion that your data and observations lead you to.

Answer Related Questions - Several new questions may have occurred to you while doing your experiments. You may have also discovered how your question relates to something in another field of study. Questions lead to more questions which lead to additional hypothesis that can be tested. You might even get the idea for your next science project!

Prepare Your Report - Make your display, write your report or work on your presentation; whatever is required for your final project report. Remember to make your graphs and other visuals clear, and include enough information to support your conclusion. It is always a good idea to let someone unfamiliar with your experiment take a look at your report, to make sure that everything is stated clearly.

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