State Fair Recommendations
All grade 6-12 students that advance to the Hoosier State Science and Engineering fair are expected to have the following items as part of their science fair project display:
- Logbook: The logbook contains a dated account of everything that concerns the project. Every student is required to keep detailed notes, original observations and data from the experiment in the logbook.
- Research Paper: This part of the project is approximately ten pages long. It must be typed or written in ink. It is based upon the information that was kept in the logbook and it also includes the review of literature that was conducted before the experiment began.
- The following format is to be used for organizing and writing the research paper:
Title Page: Project Title, Your Full Name & Date Submitted
Purpose/Question: What question will your project be trying to answer? Should be in the format of an If....then statement. (Example: Will changing the temperature of a honey cause it's viscosity to change?)
Variables, Constants and Control: You need to list your Manipulated variable (what you change), your Responding variable (what you measure that changes based on your change) , your constants (what must stay the same) and the control group (what you are comparing the experimental group to).
Research Section: Before you begin your experiment, even before you make your hypothesis you should find out as much as you can about the related topics and underlying scientific principles that will be involved in your project. The purpose of this section is to show that you understand the branch of science this topic falls under, the related science concepts and specific vocabulary. This is a retelling in your own words of what experts know about the topic. Keep track of the sources you use and include them in the works cited page. This section of the paper may be at least 3 to possibly 4 pages long.
Hypothesis: On this page the purpose of the project is stated. The purpose should include what you plan to do, the reason you chose the topic, and what you were hoping to learn. The hypothesis is a written statement that concerns your prediction as to how the manipulated variable will affect the responding variable.
Materials List/Procedures (Experimental Design): The material list should include everything you used to complete your project. The procedures should follow a step by step format. The procedures should be detailed and explain all safety protocols that were followed to protect the experimenter and the community. If chemicals are used discuss the safe handling and disposal of the chemicals. This section of the paper may be one to two pages long.
Data & Graphs: Once the experiment starts all possible data should be collected and recorded in the logbook. For the report, organize this data into charts, tables and graphs. Use line graphs whenever possible and the metric system at all times. This section of the paper may be one or more pages long, depending on the amount of data collected.
Conclusion: Follow a three paragraph format to ensure the conclusion is thorough.
The first paragraph is a discussion of the hypothesis and data. Restate the hypothesis and decide if the data supported this statement or did not support it. Retell the data using the numbers, and/or your analysis of the numbers such as the mean, median or mode. State your inference concerning why the data turned out the way it did. The second paragraph discusses the problems or concerns you had during the experiment. Include new ideas that came to you that you might use as the basis of a science project in the future, or ways to change this idea to use in the future. The last paragraph states what you learned as the result of this project. Include any observations you made as to how this information can be applied to real life. This is one page.
Works Cited: Using MLA style, document all books, magazines or electronic information sources that you used for your review of literature. The first entry should be the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair rules, which you should read at the following internet site http://www.societyforscience.org/document.doc?id=312
- Exhibit Board: The purpose of the display is to show what the student has done. It includes elements from the research paper and these parts should be displayed in the order presented in this handout. The exhibit should be visually appealing. Photographs that are dated and labeled are useful to relay the progress of the experiment, and/or the outcome of the experiment.
- Abstract: a one-page summary (250 words) that states the purpose, hypothesis, procedures and conclusion of the project.
- Approval Form: This form is included with the junior division forms and/or the ISEF required forms.