Honors Biology Science Fair Project Page 2


ii. Getting started
A. Select a topic – make it something you are interested in finding out more about.
Science fair projects fall under many different categories. Check the official rules website to identify which category
under which your project belongs.
***Warning: projects involving human subjects, non-human vertebrate animals, pathogenic agents, controlled
substances, recombinant DNA, or human/animal tissue require extra forms be filled out before the project
***For ideas for your project, visit the website and scan the lists provided there.
*** Do not just "replicate" an experiment you did in elementary or middle school unless you can justify why you are doing so.
(perhaps there were experimental errors that you can now rectify, etc.) Your level of participation and science expertise should have
matured with you. If you want to study the same thing you previously did in elementary or middle school, then it would be wise to
add more depth and/or research a different angle of that topic. (for example, if you studied the effects of different fertilizers on
plants, then perhaps this time you should study the specific effects of each micronutrient, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and iron.)
***Building a model of something is not research, unless you are testing some variable(s) in the process.
***Try to pick a topic that knowledge gained will in some way benefit mankind. Projects must answer a question or solve a problem.
B. Study your topic and begin your logbook (*note: skip the first few pages to add a title page and table of contents later!!)
Keep careful notes of information gathered.
Keep bibliographical data in your logbook to go with the information.
Use the library, internet, people, and other references to research your topic.
Logbooks do not have to be neat.
C. Organize and theorize about your topic
1. This is where your problem to research should emerge, if it hasn’t already. Ask yourself questions: what if? What
would this do? How can i improve this? Does this really have an effect? And so on.
2. Remember: record these thoughts in your logbook and date them!
3. Develop a hypothesis to be tested.
D. Follow the timetable the instructor has given you.
1. Remember: certain forms must be filled out and approved before you begin your actual research!
E. Write a research plan
1. What do you intend to do, and how will you do it?
2. Record this in your logbook
F. Consult your adult sponsor
1. Share your research plan
2. Get your sponsor’s signature on the appropriate form
G. Conduct your experiments
1. Keep careful records of data, measurements, observations, unexpected occurrences, etc., in your logbook.
2. Remember: change only 1 variable at a time while experimenting, and keep a control group.
3. Also, replicate your experiment at least 1 time. Some experiments will need many repetitions. Check with your
H. Examine your results
1. Organize your findings.
2. Look for sources of error.
3. Did you get what you predicted in your hypothesis?
Draw conclusions
1. Revisit your hypothesis and discuss what happened in your experiment.
2. Analyze your results, and propose the next research step that should be taken.
Prepare your report – for format, visit the website.
K. Write your abstract


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