If your goal is to get an A+ on your project, win awards at the science fair, and learn many new things about science, then choose a topic that interests you. If you find after some work that your topic is not as interesting as you originally thought, if possible stop and select another one. Since it takes time to develop a good project, it is unwise to repeatedly jump from one topic to another. But if you are required to stick with your first choice, make the best of it. After all, a scientist’s work—and you are a scientist—isn’t exciting all the time. There is the grunge work –they even clean their own equipment and hit their fingers with hammers—YIKES!! But the reward, no matter how long it takes, makes it all worth while. Approach your project with the idea that you are going to uncover some very interesting facts that you didn’t know. Your reward for your good work just might be that A+.
Things to consider:
The objective of a science project is to learn more about science
Successful projects do not have to be complex
Excellent projects can be developed that answer simple questions by doing simple experiments
Common Science Fair Categories and Topics
Agriculture. The science that deals with farming and raising livestock.
Astronomy. The study of celestial bodies.
1. Celestial motion. The study of the motion of celestial bodies.
2. Natural satellites. Celestial body that moves in a circular path about another. Earth’s natural satellite is the Moon.
3. Artificial satellites. Manmade objects that move in a circular path about celestial bodies.
4. Stellar science: The study of stars, including their composition, magnitude, classification, structure and groupings.
Biology. The study of living things.
1. Botany. The study of plants and plant life. Subtopics include the following:
a. Anatomy. The study of the structure of plants, such as seeds, flowers, leaves, and stems.
b. Behavior. The study of actions that change the relationship between a plant and its environment, such as responses to light, gravity, and touch called respectively phototropism, geotropism, and thigmotropism.
c. Physiology. The study of life processes of plants, including germination, transpiration, transportation of nutrients, and plant growth.
2. Ecology. The study of relationships of living things to other living things and to their environment.
3. Food science. The study of food, including the causes of food decay and the nature of food, such as nutritional value.
4. Microbiology. The study of microscopic organisms.
5. Reproduction. The study of reproduction, either sexual or asexual.
6. Zoology. The study of animals and animal life. Subtopics may include:
a. Anatomy. The study of the structure and use of animal body parts, including eyes, heart, lungs, ears.
b. Behavior. The study of actions and reactions of humans and animals using observational and experimental methods.
c. Physiology. The study of the life processes of animals including respiration, circulation, nervous system, and metabolism.
Chemistry: The study of what substances are made of and how they change and combine.
1. Chemical changes. The study of the changes made when the particles of one or more substances combine or break apart and recombine in a new way to produce one or more different substances.
2. Physical changes. A change that only affects the appearance of matter but has no effect on what it is made of.
a. Crystallography. The study of the formation of crystals as well as the crystals themselves.
b. Mixtures. The study of the properties of the whole and/or parts of a mixture, which is a combination of substances in which each part retains it own identity.
c. States of matter: A study of how the particles of a substance change forming three common states on Earth: gas, liquid, solid.
d. Viscosity. The study of how easily fluids can flow.
Earth Science. The study of the parts of Earth: the atmosphere, the lithosphere, and the hydrosphere.
1. meteorology: The study of weather, climate, and the earth’s atmosphere.
2. oceanography: The study of the oceans and marine organism.
3. physiography: The study of the physical features of Earth’s surface.
Engineering: The study of applying scientific knowledge for practical purposes.
1. chemistry technology engineering: The branch of engineering concerned with the application of chemistry in the production of goods and services that mankind considers useful.
2. food technology engineering: The branch of engineering concerned with the application of food science to the selection preservation, processing, packaging and distribution of safe, nutritious, and wholesome food.
3. product-development engineering: The branch of engineering concerned with designing, developing, and testing new products.
4. structural engineering: A branch of engineering concerned with designing as well as testing the strength of structures, including building, bridges, and dams.
Mathematics: The use of numbers and symbols to study amounts and forms.
1.angular apparent measurements: A measurement in degrees of how far or how large objects appear to be.
2. ratio: A pair of numbers used to compare quantities, such as speed.
Physics: The study of forms of energy and the laws of motion.
1. energy: Energy is the capacity to make things change, and the process of making them change is called work, which is accomplished when a force (F) (a push or a pull on an object) causes an object to move, which also means the process of transferring energy. Subtopics may include the following:
a. heat: The energy that is transferred between objects because of differences in their temperature.
b. radiation: Energy in the form of waves that can travel through space; also called radiant energy.
c. sound: Waves produced by vibrating material that can only travel through a medium (any solid, liquid, or gas).
2. mechanics: The study of objects in motion and the forces that produce the motion. Subtopics may include the following:
a. buoyancy: The upward force of a fluid on an object placed in it.
b. periodic motion: Any type of motion that successively repeats itself in equal intervals of time.
It is important that you enter your project in the correct category. Since science fair judges are required to judge the content of each project based on the category in which it is entered, you could be seriously penalized if you enter your project in the wrong category.
Some topics can correctly be placed in more than one category; for example, the study of bacteria could be biology, food science or microbiology. If you are in doubt about the category of your project, find the topic in a text book to identify the category it is listed under. If you still have doubts, ask for professional help, such as your teacher or me here—-ASK JANICE
|Janice VanCleave’s Guide to More of the Best Science Fair Projects|