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Science Project Definition

by Ron Kurtus (22 December 2015)

As a student, you may be required to develop a science project as a class assignment or to present in a science fair.

A science project is an educational activity involving experiments or construction of models in one of the science disciplines. The project may be the construction of a device, demonstration of a principle, or seeing what would happen if something changed.

To present the science project in class or at a fair, you need a display unit, the exhibit materials, and a written report.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Purpose

The purpose of a science project assignment is to get you to investigate some area of interest and then share the results of your investigation. Through the development of a science project, you learn how scientists work and make discoveries. Following the scientific method is usually required in a project.

The science project may be displayed in class or it may even be presented at a science fair competition.

Types of projects

Depending on your teacher's requirements, your science project may be construction of a scientific device, a demonstration of a scientific principle, or answering a scientific question.

Construction of a device

You might construct a device that is used to measure physical properties.

For example, you could make a barometer that can measure atmospheric pressure.

The device might act as a stand-alone science project or might be used to demonstrate some principles.

Demonstration of a principle

You can select some scientific principle and them show or demonstrate that principle in action. You might use some available device or even make a device for your demonstration.

For example, you could show how the atmospheric pressure changes each day. You could do that with a school barometer or one that you have constructed.

Your results could also become part of an experiment that answers a question.

Experiment to answer a question

If you are curious about what would happen if you changed some parameters in a demonstration, you could state a hypothesis (or guess) and then perform an experiment to verify your hypothesis.

For example, what would happen if a barometer was submerged in water? Would changes in atmospheric pressure show up on the submerged barometer?

Typically, an experiment is the only project type that would be presented in a science fair competition.

Components to present project

Science projects consist of three essential components: the display unit, the exhibit materials, and the written report. Together, these elements present a complete and thorough examination of an area of interest, a collection of new knowledge, or the results of a self-initiated experiment.

Display unit

The display unit is usually a three-part board that will stand on a table and allow you to present information about your project.

Exhibit materials

Exhibit materials can be pictures, hardware, or devices that show your project.

Written report

The written report explains materials used, steps you took in the project, and conclusion you have drawn from the project. Your teacher or instructor usually provides a desired format. Judges in a science fair competition use the report in their judging process.

Summary

A science project is an educational activity involving experiments or construction of models in one of the science disciplines. The project may be the construction of a device, demonstration of a principle, or seeing what would happen if something changed.

To present the science project in class or at a fair, you need a display unit, the exhibit materials, and a written report.


Think of a good idea


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

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Books

Top-rated books on Science Fair Projects

Top-rated books on Experiments


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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