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Science Fair Project Success -- Sixteen Tips!

Aug 17, 2007
The secret to a winning science fair project is finding a project you will love doing. Here are some important tips to help you find just the right project:

DO choose an exciting topic that will interest and challenge you. It will be much more fun doing something you like.

DON'T be afraid to try something new. Just because it has not been done before is no reason for you not to do it.

DO spend a lot of time doing background research. The more you understand about your subject matter, the richer and more in-depth your project will be.

DO look for important concepts that explain why and how you arrive at your results. Do not just indicate your findings, but rather go into infinite detail of how you arrived at your conclusions.

DO keep a detailed notebook about everything you do. It will help to keep you organized and from repeating procedures. Even if you do something negative, put it in the book.

DON'T get discouraged if you run into problems. Overcoming problems is the best training for everything you will do in your future. It develops character, courage, and the will to succeed.

DON'T be afraid of doing simple projects. A simple project well done will be better than a complicated project that is not really complete. You are better off going into infinite detail on a simple subject than just skimming the surface of a difficult project.

DON'T pick a project that will not take too long to do. No sense starting a project that will not be finished on time for submission.

DO have your notebook in good order. The judges may ask to see it. It should be neat and tidy and as complete as you can make it. Do not be afraid to include lots of details.

DO create a well-designed procedure. It will serve your best interests. It will also help you to avoid problems as you do your experiment.

DON'T be afraid to take lots of photographs to illustrate your display. You may take photos of different stages of the experiment, not just of the final results

DON'T get discouraged if your subject matter is too difficult to understand. You may have to read an article a few times before you understand it. Extend yourself to the limit of your understanding. Do not walk away from your subject matter saying it's just too hard to understand. Look up more background information that may be easier for you to grasp. If you get discouraged, walk away, and come back later when you feel refreshed. Get tough. Do not give up.

DO as many trials as possible. The more trials the more credible the data and your findings.

DON'T stop your project if the findings are not what you expected them to be. If your hypothesis does not prove to be correct, that's ok. You will still get credit for having done the experiment properly.

DON'T give up if you do not understand something. Keep at it. Ask your teacher. Look it up in the library or on the internet. Be resolved, do not accept failure.

DO write in-depth explanations about your procedures and the results. Do not be skimpy. Judges like details.
About the Author
Mort Barish is co-founder of Terimore Institute, Inc. Terimore provides hundreds of science fair projects with step-by-step guides for children in grades K-12 to help them successfully compete in science fairs. Find fun, easy and award-winning science fair projects at www.terimore.com!
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