science fair what is a science fair? how can you help your child?

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  • Science Fair What is a science fair? How can you help your child?
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  • Why a Science Fair Project? 1.Work across the curriculum. 2.Conduct independent research. 3.Utilize the scientific method. 4.Develop writing skills. 5.Employ mathematical and analytical skills. 6.Give oral presentations. 7.Find the answers to their own questions. 8.Carry an idea through to completion.
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  • 9. Work to deadline. 10. Respect humane and safety considerations. 11. Document procedures. 12. Create artistic displays. 13. Integrate into one activity all of the skills that are usually taught separately. Why a Science Fair continued
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  • What Does a Science Fair Project Contain? 1.A Notebook. 2.A display/backboard. 3.Apparatus.
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  • Rio Seco Science Fair Project Guide RSSFGuide2009-2010.doc
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  • How Do I Start? One of the hardest parts of the science fair project is coming up with the idea. What are you interested in? Is there a question youve always wanted to know the answer to? Is it testable? Is it measurable? How to get ideas: 1. Look on the internet on science fair idea websites..
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  • Science Fair on 2. Look in the science textbook. Many labs can be converted into science fair projects. a. Are You Getting Your Vitamins? (8 th grade textbook P. 324) testing beverages for Vit. C. b. Which antacid neutralizes stomach acid with the smallest number of drops? (8 th grade P. 280) c. What factors affect the speed of rotation of a lawn sprinkler? (8 th grade P. 423).
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  • d. How can cut flowers stay fresher for a longer period of time? (7 th grade P. 27). e. Is there a relationship between exercise and the amount of carbon dioxide you exhale? (7 th grade P. 128). 3. Go to the Santee library and check out a science fair ideas book. 4. Borrow a science fair book from Dr. Shevinsky.
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  • Whats Next? Once you have picked the project youre interested in its time for background research. What is the science behind your project? Use the science textbook, encyclopedia, and then, maybe, the internet. Students must use at least two print resources for their research. If you have used an idea from the textbook the background research is the chapter and section where the idea was found.
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  • Some good web sites: For chemistry experiments:
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  • Plan the Experiment What materials do you need? What procedure are you going to follow? a. Plan a controlled experiment with only one manipulated variable. b. There must be at least one responding variable which is measurable. c. What is the control? d. How many times will the experiment be repeated? (number of trials?)
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  • Does temperature affect a chemical reaction? Problem: Does changing the temperature of a solution affect the amount of carbon dioxide produced when mixing baking soda and vinegar? Hypothesis: Suggested Materials: Baking sodaIce cubes VinegarThermometer BottleMeasuring spoons Balloons Microwave
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  • Procedure (Suggested, can be modified) 1.Take a 1 liter bottle, add 500 ml room temperature vinegar to the bottle. 2.Add 5 ml. baking soda to a 9 balloon. 3.Put the balloon on the bottle and shake the baking soda into the vinegar. 4.After the solution stops bubbling measure the circumference of the balloon in cm. 5.Repeat steps 1-4 9X at room temperature. 6.Repeat steps 1-4 10X at 50C. 7.Repeat steps 1-4 10X at 5C.
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  • Perform the Experiment. At home, under adult supervision. Forms are needed for: Hazard form to use bacteria, mold, fungi, chemicals, fire anything which not handled properly can cause injury. Certificate of compliance of research involving humans for projects involving human subjects/interviewees. Forms at No experiments using vertebrate animals (can be discussed).
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  • Present the Experiment 1. Charts data must be quantitative (NUMBERS), units must be METRIC (cm., grams, mL, C). Temp.Circum. Of balloon
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  • 2. Graphs-manipulated variable on x-axis, responding variable on y-axis. Responding Variable (what was measured) Circum. Of Balloon (cm) Manipulated (what was changed) Variable (Temp.)
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  • Results A narrative of the data, written in complete sentences. A retelling of the numbers in the charts and graphs. For example: At 25C the average circumference of the balloon was
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  • Conclusion An explanation of the data. Was the hypothesis supported by the data or not? Were any problems encountered while performing the experiment? Explain the data using what was learned from the background research. For example: There was more CO 2 produced at room temperature than in the cold. Most chemical reactions work faster at warmer temperatures than cold temperatures because molecules move faster at warmer temperatures than cold temperatures.
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  • Works Cited At least 5 references. Listed in alphabetical order according to MLA standards. (See Science Fair Project Guide.)
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  • Standards for Judging 1.Creativeness originality of problem, uniqueness of approach, ingenious use of equipment and materials. 2.Scientific Thought depth of study and effort in employing scientific procedures in the solution of a clearly defined problem. 3.Thoroughness the study is complete within the scope of the problem. Scientific literature has been searched, experiments have been repeated, careful records have been kept.
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  • Timeline AssignmentDue Date: 1. Idea for projectOctober 27 2. Background ResearchNovember 15 3. Problem & HypothesisNovember 19 4. Experimental DesignNovember 29 5. DataDecember 6 6. Results & ConclusionDecember 13 7. AbstractDecember 15 8. ReportJanuary 18 8. BackboardJanuary 31 9. Rio Seco Science FairFebruary 3-4 10. Judging for GSDSEFFebruary 14-15 11. SSD Science FairTBA 12. GSDSEFMarch 22-27
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  • Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair Projects to Avoid Ideas for projects Rules and regulations Standards for judging
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  • E-mail:


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