It’s never too early to start planning for a science fair project. Here is a quick checklist so that you, as a mentor/parent, will know you have all the parts and can complete the project efficiently and successfully:
First, keep in mind the basic FORMULA FOR SUCCESS:
Scientific method (45%) + Creative idea (45%) + Random intangibles (10%) = SUCCESS!
Accordingly, the project must apply the principles of the scientific method to a creative idea to be successful. The last 10% (random intangibles) come into play at higher levels of judging and competition and are impossible to predict. So – don’t worry about them – focus on the first two parts, since they are worth more.
Next, review the BASIC GAME PLAN:
BEFORE the project, you (as the parent/mentor) should…
1. determine what type of student you have
2. get the proper equipment (starting with a notebook, later you will need a backboard)
3. learn/review the scientific method (see tab on home page)
4. learn the general rules (see tab on fatal flaws – know these ahead so you don’t start down the wrong path)
5. complete the practice experiment (skip if it’s the night or weekend before the project is due)
6. help student find a creative idea
DURING the project, you should…
1. be ready to ask the right questions (see tab on judging tips)
2. pace the project by setting realistic milestones/deadlines
3. help prepare them for grading/judging
Finally, remember that the scientific method is the framework by which we teach science. It will be important for you child’s project to have its basic parts including: question, hypothesis, experiment with controls, dependent and independent variables, data analysis, conclusion.