Keep a journal. It is interesting for others to read about how you arrived at your ideas, experiments or designs, and conclusions. This will also help you when you get to the presentation part of your research. You might even like to read this 3 years from now!
Mentor and student meet to discuss research ideas. OCTOBER
Choose a topic that REALLY interests you. This is important! Examples: Machines, Bridges, Rockets, Robots, Simulations, Solar Heat, Windmills, Circuits
How could I make something (design) or how could I do something in a new way (re-design)? Examples: Machines –Can I make a light switch accessible for small children?
Review published materials related to your Quest to see what has already been done. Have a least 3 bibliographies related to your topic. Sources: Journals, Text books, Encyclopedias
Mentor and student review progress. NOVEMBER
Before testing, your research plan must be submitted to the Science Fair office for review and approval. This is for your protection. All scientists and engineers must do this in the workplace (Covestro PRSEF Guidebook, p. 2-Required Forms).
Test different designs. First, try putting a chain on the light switch, but this was not good because the chain could get caught on something and then the light could not be turned off. The chain could also be dangerous for a small person. The next idea was to use a dial rod which seemed valuable and worth building a prototype to test.
Mentor and student review progress. DECEMBER
Retest and design as necessary. Build a finished model.
Mentor and student review progress. JANUARY
Using your journal, write a research paper. Using a presentation board (Covestro PRSEF Guidebook, p. 7), display your work to showcase at a science fair in February/March (see matrix). This could be showcased in a library or school.
Mentor and student review progress. FEBURARY
You have made a difference in the world by being a Engineer!