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Presenting Results


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TABLES
Some data are best presented in a table format. Here are tips on how to correctly present a table. Remember to include a description that goes ABOVE the table.

Tips on presenting results in a table.

GRAPHS
Graphs come in many types: Line graphs, Bar graphs, Scatter plots, Pie charts, etc. The best fit for the data will depend on the experiment. Remember to include a description that goes BELOW the graph.

Tips for presenting results in a graph


26 Responses to Presenting Results

  1. Thomas

    Hey, Im not sure if i have variables or not. My project is about surface tension. I put objects on water and canola oil to see if surface tension holds them up or not. Please help me i only have a few days (2 days)

    • trent

      im not sure how i would start my research paper could someone give me a tip how to start it. Its about pasta and does pasta cook faster with salt or no salt

      • Dr. Maille Lyons

        Do some research (i.e. google it) on why someone would add salt when making pasta. Is it to improve the taste? Is it to raise the boiling point of the water? Is it to prevent sticking? Then figure out if/how using the salt affects the cooking. For example, adding salt costs money – the price of salt; it might also cost energy (if it takes longer to boil). So the focus of your paper becomes is adding salt worth it? Is it worth the money? Is it worth the outcome? or should people save their money, time and energy because it doesn’t really matter…. Look up the economics of the pasta industry and of the salt industry – make connections

  2. Dr. Maille Lyons

    Thomas – you do have variables!

    Your INDEPENDENT variable is the “thing” you varied or changed. It sounds to me like the objects were different ? so if you put different objects on oil and water then this was one of your independent variables. The other INDEPENDENT variable would be the liquids. Water (sounds like your control) and oil (your experimental situation)

    Your DEPENDENT variable is the “thing” you measured. It sounds like you either counted yes/no for if the liquid held up the object or maybe you timed how long it took before the object fell through? Either way, your DEPENDENT variable is the yes/no condition or the time.

    Cheers,
    Dr. Lyons

  3. Annette

    I am trying to show results for comparing popcorn popped. One is butter the other is extra butter. Can you give me some ideas on how to set up the results?

  4. Annette

    Should I include pictures?

  5. Quenmum

    My son science fair project is changing 3 ingredients in making cookies…adding more sugar, adding milk instead and by adding oil… Is this a bar graph and if so how? Thanks

    • Dr. Maille Lyons

      As long as you measured something that generated a number, then what goes on the y-axis with the “treatment” on the x-axis = 1 bar for each treatment (more sugar; milk no oil; third change).

      You could measure cookie diameter; cookie height; etc. it must be a number, not just “that one looks best”

      Good luck

  6. Melanie

    My daughter is doing a science fair project on added decomposers. The experiment she did was slicing an apple and having yeast added to some of the slices and nothing added to the other slices. How would we do an graph on something like this??

    • Dr. Maille Lyons

      What did she measure?

      Time to decomposition? Percent decomposition? Weight loss of Apple?

      Whatever was measured goes on the y-axis; you would make a bar graph with (nothing/control) as one bar and (yeast) as the other bar.

      • Melanie

        We have kept track of the time of decomposition, and have taken pictures to show the difference of the two apples slices ( one with yeast added and the other with nothing added) What would the experimental variable be and the controlled variable be?

  7. Melanie

    We have kept track of the rotting difference between the two apples one with added yeast and the other with nothing being added. We have taken pictures over a 2wk period. What would the experimental variable be and the controlled variables??

  8. Izabella

    I have recently won the district science fair and I’m about to go to region and after that hopefully state, but before I go, I wanted to redo my board. If you have any tips to help me gain the attention of my judges that would be swell! Thank you!

  9. Robin

    Hi Dr. Lyons,

    My 5th grader is doing an experiment on what object/item at school has the most germs. He is swabbing 10 items at school and measuring the growth of the bacterial colonies at 12-hour intervals, ending at 72 hours. What are his dependent and independent variable? Is this considered a science fair experiment?

    • Dr. Maille Lyons

      Yes, this is a science fair experiment – although check to see if microbiology projects are ok with the school; many have banned bacteria and fungi growing projects. He should swab each item 3 times (or 3 of that item) for proper replication. He could also look at the effect of disinfectant wipes. For example, swab the item; wipe the item and swab again. This would give each item its own control and would show how effective, if at all, the wipes are.

  10. Valery Santos

    I’m doing a science project for school “does music affect concentration”and it’s due in two days,but I don’t know what data or analysis is.Can you help me?
    I’m in middle school.

    • Dr. Maille Lyons

      Based on that question, you would need to a have a way to measure concentration and then you would measure it with and without music (or using many different types of music). You would then make a bar graph with music/no music on x-axis and whatever you measure for concentration on the y-axis

  11. Bela K

    I am doing a coding project and I don’t know if I should do it the normal way or the engineering and design way. Also if I do it the engineering and design way what am I going to tell the judge about my question and hypothesis?

    • Dr. Maille Lyons

      First, check if your coding project qualifies. Many science fairs now have an engineering category – in which you are expected to follow design principles instead of the scientific method, thus you won’t have to justify a hypothesis.

      If it does not, you could do a fabulous project and not get credit – especially if it is just a “I coded this, to do that” type.

  12. Krista

    My 4th grader is doing a science fair project on whether age affects reaction to taste of candy. She is using 3 age groups: 5 children, 5 senior citizens and 5 adults as test subjects. She will blindfold them and give them all each a sweet, sour and spicy candy and ask them to rate each one based on a scale from 1 to 10 how sweet/spicy/sour they think each is. We have no idea how to best display results. She has not conducted the experiment yet. She has to turn in the procedure page and the type of graph (if used) needs to be specified on it. Please help!

    • Dr. Maille Lyons

      First, make sure she has approval for this. Although it seems harmless, it uses human subjects and many schools have banned this type of project.

      If she does have approval… there will be many ways to display the results.

      She could make bar graphs with EITHER age or type of candy on the x-axis and average score on the y-axis and make them for each age or type of candy (whichever is NOT on the x-axis).

      So imagine a bar graph with “Age Group” on the x axis and “Average score” on the y-axis with a color coded bar for sweet, bar for sour and a bar for spicy for each age group. Or the flip – a bar graph with “Type of Candy” on the x-axis and a color coded bar for each age group (9 bars total either way).

      She can also make individual bar graphs for each age group and each type of candy to show the variability within the age/type of candy.

      • Krista

        Thank you for answering so promptly Dr. Lyons! This is very helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to help.

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