So you’ve been assigned a 10th grade science project and you don’t know where to start. Well the best place to start is by reviewing projects that have done well in the past. You can find these projects online and in science fair books. However, while these project examples will help you to develop a project that is on the same level as past winners, this will not guarantee that your project will be a winner. The key to winning a science fair project is to outperform your competition. To do this you will need to take added steps when developing your science fair project.
Learn About Science Project Reports
If you want to see how professional scientists write up their project reports then you will want to head to your library. Here you will want to select peer reviewed science journals, not magazines. The journals will have published scientific studies that you can review. Each published article will include a write up of the steps in the scientific method that the researchers took to complete their project. Read four or five of these reports and photocopy one report to use as a model for your report.
Select a Topic
The next step is to select a topic that you are interested in and that can be developed into an interesting science fair project. You can find topics by brainstorming ideas, by reading headlines in newspapers and by browsing through the index of your science textbook. You can also select a topic based on things that you are interested in like sports, psychology, paleontology or music.
Background research is the next step to take after you have selected a topic. This will include retrieving information from reference books, journals and documentaries. IF you want to improve the quality of your research you can also conduct an interview with an expert on your topic. If you select this research option you need to be careful that you don’t rely on the expert to do your project for you. They will only be used as a resource of background information, or supervision using special tools.
Developing a Hypothesis
Before you can build a science fair project you need to develop a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a prediction of how one variable will impact another variable. This component of your science fair project will be worded in the form of a statement. It is sometimes easier to develop a hypothesis if you first ask questions about your topic. For example, you may ask, “Does radon impact your health?” From this question you would conduct background research that will lead you to make a prediction such as, “radon increases your chances of developing lung cancer.” This prediction will be your project’s hypothesis.