• How to Do a Science Fair Project

    Posted on September 24, 2013 by in Homeschooling 101


    Every fall Eagles Home Educators hosts a science fair for local homeschoolers.  This year will be the 13th annual fair! <<<—Click to find out more and sign up!

    The question I hear most often each fall is “How do we do a science fair project?”  The answer is far simpler that most expect.  It’s ALL about the experiment! That’s right – you pick a fun experiment and center your project around it.  For example:

    Your 5 year old wants to enter the science fair.  (Or you want them to :)  Believe me – some of the younger siblings BEG to be part of the fair!!) You want a simple project that THEY can do – on their level.  One project I have seen in the past was based on the power of helium.  The experiment was determining how many helium balloons it would take to lift a Barbie doll to the height of a table.

    Your 2th grader is studying bacteria in science.  For their project they might determine the most germ covered item in your household.  To do this they would swab the items and grow a bacteria culture in a petri dish and then determine which one grows the most bacteria by counting the colonies and comparing.

    Your 5th grader is interested in cooking.  For their project they may determine the best leavener to use in baking bread. They would need to research the different leveners and then make bread multiple times trying different combinations out.

    Your 8th grader is studying chemistry this year.  For their project they may want to explore the the science of emulsion and making the most absorbent hand cream.  They might collect samples of available lotions and see what ingredients seem to be prevalent.  They then could test the lotions to see which ingredients seem to be the “best.”  Finally, using that knowledge they would create their own hand lotion and test it against the store bought ones.

    Your 11th grader is studying biology.  They might decide to grow bacteria cultures found in your house, and attempt to identify the cultures using gram staining.  They could then see what natural remedies are most efficient against each known (or unknown) colony.  Using this data they could suggest how to best protect your household from unwanted germs.

    The key is making sure the project is not only on the students level and appropriate – but also make it something they are interest in and have a passion for!  Let them help decide. (all the above project have been done through the years!) As students get older the projects should become more sophisticated and have more steps.

    So, once you have an plan and appropriate experiment then determine the question you are trying to answer and follow the scientific method.  (Yes, moving a little backwards here :)  You can go in the appropriate order if its easier!)

    The Scientific Method

    • Ask a Question (You want something that can’t be answered with a Yes or No)
    • Do Background Research (a report isn’t required – but a few paragraphs or some copy work is helpful!)
    • Construct a Hypothesis (Best when in the form of a IF / Then statement)
    • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment (It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. A “fair test” occurs when you change only one factor-variable- and keep all other conditions the same.)
    • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion (data is NUMBERS and observations – For older kids keep a separate notebook)
    • Communicate Your Results (Graphs are great!! Also add pictures, videos etc.)

    Here is what a good project contains:

    ** A clearly stated topic/subject (visible on the presentation board)
    ** 1 or more experiments for the stated topic
    ** Highly suggested that experiments must be displayed either physical or in photo representation. (Or video)
    ** Experiment data log
    ** Hypothesis – clearly stated within the project
    ** A written report (typed or hand written)
    ** Result statement – clearly stated within the project
    ** It is highly suggested that projects contain written text in the students handwriting.
    ** All supplemental information must be presented in a neat binder format

    For older students include a list of sources (bibliography  — Check out EasyBib to help out with this!!)

    Of course you will want the “setup” – the project board, table examples and the project binder all displayed in a neat orderly fashion the day of the science fair.

    For more helps and hints visit:

    Science Fair helps and hints: