Abstract: Short (250 words) summary of your entire project. It should summarize the purpose, procedure and results. Most fair requirements will describe your abstract format.
Background Research: This is how you learn about your topic by reading books and articles, viewing media, and interviewing knowledgeable people. Typically, a middle school student will gather five to six pages of research for a project. Remember to write your project in 3rd person: no "I, we, or you".
Display Board: The cardboard or other type backboard used to display your containing (problem, purposes, hypothesis, data, graph, materials, procedures, variables, results and conclusion)
Data Hand Book: It is the draft of your work where you write in it all your thoughts, trials, experiments, conclusions and all data you get from any were. A project data hand book is your most treasured piece of work. Accurate and detailed notes make a logical and winning project. Good notes show consistency and thoroughness to the judges and will help you when writing your research paper. Make sure you date each entry.
The Scientific Method: 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.
Just as it does for a professional scientist, the scientific method will help you to focus your science fair project question, construct a hypothesis, design, execute, and evaluate your experiment.
• Ask question
• Do background research
• Construct hypothesis
• Think! Try again
• Test with an experiment
• Analyze results, draw conclusion
• Hypothesis is true
• Hypothesis is false or partially true
• Report results
Problem: Usually stated in the form of a question regarding the scientific phenomenon to be investigated in your project.
Hypothesis: An educated guess presuming the outcome of an experiment. Written in an "if-then" format, the hypothesis follows the definition and research of the problem.
Materials: A complete list of everything used during the experiment or project, including equipment, chemicals, organisms, etc.
Mentor: A guide and reliable, accessible human resource assisting you with the background and implementation of your project; usually one with experience in the field of science studied for the fair project.
Procedure: Step-by-step instructions describing the entire project. Steps should be explained so another person could repeat your work. Any changes you make should be added as an addendum to your stated procedure.
Bibliography: A listing of all of your research sources. There is a standard format for a bibliography. Look in any scientific book and article for an example.
Conclusion: A written summary of findings. It is where the hypothesis is evaluated, extraneous variables are identified, changes are proposed, and applications and benefits to real-life situations are listed.
Sponsor: Any person or entity that supplied financial or other support for your project.