How do I get started on my science fair project?
1. Select an experiment about a topic that you are interested in or pick an experiment that looks like it might be fun.
2. Read the experiment and any explanations about the science the investigation is about. For the selected experiment, the science topic is HYGROSCOPIC.
Hygroscopic is the property of materials that attract and absorb water from the air. Table salt, is sodium chloride, and it is hygroscopic.
Some materials are more hygroscopic than others. Hygroscopic materials that absorb large quantities of water and dissolve in the absorbed water are said to be deliquescent.
3. Perform the experiment.
Purpose: To determine if table salt is hygroscopic. (Since you know that table salt is hygroscopic, by performing the experiment, you will discover how a hygroscopic material appears when exposed to humid air.)
(1) Place about 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) of table salt in a saucer.
(2) Spread the salt grains as much as possible.
(3) Set the saucer in an area with high humidity, such as a bathroom with a shower.
(4) Use a magnifying lens to observe the surface of the salt grains for the presence of water. Make your observations periodically for 2 or more days.
4. Look at each step and list things that could be changed.
Step 1: amount of table salt, size of the container, type of salt
Step 2: how the salt is placed on the saucer
Step 3: where the testing material is placed
Step 4: how the presence of water is identified
5. Select one step at a time and ask yourself questions, such as these:
Step 1: Would changing the amount of table salt affect the results of the experiment?
Would changing the size of the container affect the results of the experiment?
Would changing the type of salt affect the results of the experiment?
Step 2: Would changing how the salt is placed on the saucer.
Step 3: Would changing where the testing material is placed affect the results of the experiment?
Step 4: Would changing how the presence of water is identified affect the results of the experiment?
6. Pick one of the questions from step 5 that most interest you. My choice is:
Step 1: Would changing the type of salt affect the results of the experiment?
independent variable: Something that you choose to change. For my selected question, the independent variable is the type of salt.
dependent variable: Something that changes in response to changing in the independent variable. What could change if the type of salt was changed? Table salt absorbs water from the air because it is hygroscopic. If you change the type of salt, then possibly the property of being hygroscopic will change.
The Science Fair Project Question could be:
What effect does the type of salt have on a salt being hygroscopic?
8. So, what do you think? Will using different kinds of salt affect it being hygroscopic? Your guess about the answer to the science fair question is called your hypothesis, and it can be written like this:
Since a salt is a type of chemical, then using a salt other than table salt (will, will not) be as hygroscopic as table salt.
9. Experiment using the original procedure except repeat the experiment with different types of salts that you wish to test. FYI: The original test can be your Control.
Collecting and Analyzing Data, Conclusion and Display information can be found here,