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What Is a Science Fair Project?

Introduction to Science Fair Projects

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Are you ready to do science?

Are you ready to do science?

Ryan McVay, Getty Images
You may have to do a science fair project or help with one, but might be unclear what exactly one is. Here's an introduction to science fair projects that should help clear up any confusion.

What Is a Science Fair Project?

A science fair project is an investigation that is designed to solve a problem or answer a question. It is a 'science' fair project because you use a procedure called the scientific method to answer the question. The 'fair' part takes place when everyone who has done a project gathers together to showcase their work. Usually a student takes a poster to a science fair to explain the project. For some science fairs the actual project accompanies the poster. Projects and presentations are evaluated and grades or awards may be given.

Steps of the Scientific Method

The point of using the scientific method is to learn how to systematically and objectively ask and answer questions. Here's what you do:
  1. Observe the world around you.
  2. Based on your observations, ask a question.
  3. State a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement that you can test using an experiment.
  4. Plan an experiment.
  5. Perform the experiment and make observations. These observations are called data.
  6. Analyze the data. This gives you the results of the experiment.
  7. From the results, decide whether or not your hypothesis was true. This is how you reach conclusions.
  8. Depending on how your experiment turned out, you may have ideas for further study or you may find that your hypothesis was not correct. You could propose a new hypothesis to test.
You can present the results of your experiment as a report or poster.

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