8 Steps to a
Great Science Fair Project!
For your child, making the decision to enter the science fair is a very exciting thing. Tackling questions and finding solutions through experimentation goes hand in hand with the development of your child’s left brain thinking. A science fair project can teach your child to find answers through responsibility, commitment, and diligent work. Your willingness as a parent to help this process along will be enjoyable time spent with your child and will bring back fond memories of your own scientific discoveries!
Sit with your child and make a list of topics of interest. If you need help with coming up with specific ideas, go to your local library or search the Web for books and lists of science fair projects.
For the older child, have him/her do research on his/her own. Ask him/her to present ideas to you. Science Buddies is a great tool to help you and your child come up with a list of projects that relates to his/her interests!
- Turn the idea into a science fair project
Once your child comes up with an idea, determine what question will be answered through the project. In other words, a question needs to be posed and then a hypothesis needs to be made (i.e., a guess as to what the results will be). How your child goes about answering this question becomes the project. If you're not sure what is a good science fair project question or just a demonstration take a look at Steve Spangler's video that explains the difference between a real science fair project and just a science demonstration. We want your student to go past the demonstration phase and come up with a real science fair project question.
Don’t forget to consider the age of your child, the safety involved with the proposed project, how elaborate and time consuming the project will be, what materials will be needed, and so on. By understanding your child’s capabilities, you can help your child choose a project that is right for him/her. Remember that learning should be fun rather than stressful for both of you.
Timeline for 2020 Science Fair Projects
January 17th, 2020
Introduction sent home
Begin to look for an experiment; identify problem and determine your hypothesis.
Project plan due to homeroom teacher.
February 10th - 16th
Get started! Gather materials and design your procedure.
Conduct experiment, record observations, and complete project
February 26th- Mar 3rd
Design your backboard; attach charts, tables, graphs, drawings, etc.
Projects can be brought to school.
Projects due by 9:30! SCIENCE FAIR in gym.
Projects taken home!
Science Fair Rubric
Student Name: ___________________________________
Grade Level: _________ Homeroom: ________________
Content demonstrates all steps of the Scientific Method.
Content demonstrates partial use of the Scientific Method.
Content demonstrates little or no use of the Scientific Method.
Green Ribbon Participation Ribbon for all students
Received for earning all 3's in all areas
Judge's Choice Medal
Each judge will choose one top presenter out of the White Ribbon earners.
Display shows time, effort, and pride in work. Display is neat, organized, and easy to read.
Display is generally neat and organized but could be improved.
Display is sloppy, appears hurried, and/or shows little effort.
Illustrations are detailed and related to the project; they show time, effort and pride in work. Internet generated images must be cited.
Illustrations are complete but may not be relevant to work: quality is lacking. Internet generated images are partially or incorrectly cited.
Illustrations are poor in quality, unrelated to the project, unfinished, or missing altogether. Internet generated images are not cited.
Editing is thorough and capitalization, grammar, and punctuation use is correct. No more than one editing error.
Some (2-3) editing errors are present but don't detract from the overall readability of the project.
Multiple editing errors (>3) are present. Readability is compromised because of editing errors.
Student can clearly explain the process and outcome of the project to the judges and answer relevant questions about his/her project without prompting.
Student is able to explain the project to judges but needs prompting.
Student can not explain the project and outcome to the judges, even with extensive prompting.
q Optional Report
1 2 3 4
TO EARN A 4: In addition to everything required for a 3, your child must write a 1-2 page paper explaining his/her use of the Scientific Process and how it is related to their project. Student must also cite his/her sources (see attached paper for more details). Teachers will use the judge's score and review the report to determine an overall 4 score.
Additional Notes: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
How to Score a 4 on your Science Fair Project
Science Fair Research Paper
Requirements for a Score of “4”
The purpose of your research paper is to provide the information to understand and explain why your experiment turned out the way it did. It must be 1-2 pages and also explain how you used the Scientific Process.
In order to receive a score of “4” on the science fair project, you must meet the requirements to earn a “3”, and you will need to submit a research paper that is formatted as follows:
- Your paper must have at least 3 sections:
- Title Page (with the title of your project, your name, and the date.)
- Your completed Report.
- Your completed report should include:
- Definitions of all important words and concepts from your experiment.
- The history of similar experiments or inventions.
- Bibliography—Use the reference on the back of this page as a format to go by.
Teachers will use the judge’s score and review the report to determine an overall 4 score.
Sample Elementary Bibliography Style Sheet
Author(last name, first name). “Name of article.” Name of Encyclopedia.
City: Publisher, Copyright Date.
“Bats.” World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, Inc. 2005.
Last Name, First Name. Name of the book. City of publication: Publisher’s name, Copyright Date.
O’Henry, John Space. New York: Scholastic, 2001.
On-Line Magazine Article
Author. “Title.” Journal Date. Date you visit the URL, URL address
Halls, Kelly. “Juggling History.” U.S. Kids June 1997 March 2000.
Author. “Title of article.” Name of magazine, date, pages.
Markham, Lois. “A Gallery of Great Native Americans.” National Geographic for Kids, August 2001:6-7.
World Wide Web
Author. “Title” Group Title. Date created. Institution.
Date you saw it. URL
The Victorian Web. Ed. George Landow. June 2000. Brown University. 25 Feb. 2004