Need help getting started on your science fair project?
For fun, I made up a story about Emma, a 5th grade girl, who is working on a science fair project.. Emma is being guided by her science club directors, Ms. Janice and Cosmo.
Ms. Janice: Emma, before you start working on your project you need to know that kids who enter projects in a science fair are called science fair contestants. A science fair has rules. Did your teacher give you a copy of the rules for your science fair?
Emma: Yes, but I left them at school.
Ms. Janice: That’s OK. We can get started without them, but you need to bring them to our next club meeting.
Cosmo: Emma, it is a good idea for you to keep all of your science fair project papers in a binder. Use dividers to organize the information. Your first divider can be called Rules.
Emma: Can my binder be red?
Cosmo: Check with your teacher about the color of the binder. Also ask if it is OK for you to decorate it.
Emma: Cool! I’ll ask Ms. Tyler about that tomorrow.
Ms. Janice: Emma, I want to make sure that you understand that a science fair is like a contest and contest have rules.
Emma: Yea! Ms. Tyler told us all about that stuff. She said that its like a sport, if we follow the rules we can score points. I want to make an A+.
Cosmo: Have you decided what you want your project to be about?
Emma: I want to make a model or maybe collect plants or rocks.
Cosmo: I have already checked with your teacher and only experiments may be done by your class.
Emma: Experimenting sounds hard. I thought this was going to be fun and easy.
Cosmo: It can be fun. As to being easy, that depends on you. I like to garden. It is lots of fun and since I enjoy it, the work is easy for me.
Ms. Janice: Emma, you will enjoy your project if you learn the steps needed to complete it. First of all, study the tips for a success project. These tips will help you to make your work enjoyable.
Emma: OK. I want to do something so I can experiment like a real scientist. My brother wants me to blow stuff up but I don’t like explosions.
Ms. Janice: You can experiment like a real scientist without blowing stuff up. In fact, designing and developing your science fair project is much like the work of real scientists. Scientists make plans, look for clues, keep records, analyze data, and share their findings.
Emma: Sounds more like we are going to be detectives instead of scientists.
Cosmo: Emma, scientists are detectives. They look for clues about things that they want to know more about.
Ms. Janice: Emma, think about things you would like to know more about. Make a list of five or more topics. I have lists of topic ideas on my website.
Cosmo: Emma you mentioned collecting plants or rocks. Plants and rocks can be two of your topic ideas. Come to our next club meeting with your ideas and we will help you select a science fair topic that is just right for you.
Cosmo: Don’t for get the rules.
Emma: I’ll be here with a binder, tabs and the rules.
Ms. Janice: Anything else?
Emma: Paper and pencil?
Ms. Janice: You need to bring those things every time, but I am reminding you to bring a list of topics you like.
Emma: OOPS! I better write that down now so I don’t forget.
Cosmo: Good idea. See ya later.
FYI: The rules used in writing this information are common to most science fair. You are responsible for following the rules in the fair that you enter.