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: Weather, Friction, Magnets, Plants, Temperature, Pollution, Microorganisms, Music, Conduction
How does something in nature work? Examples: Weather:Can Limestone Protect Plants from Acid Rain? HYPOTHESIS: Ask a good question about your topic. Then, state a hypothesis (educated guess) to this question. Basically, you answer the question and perform your experiment to prove or disprove your hypothesis
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 (see PRSEF Guidebook).
Test your Hypothesis. e.g. The limestone is the independent variable because it can be changed (that is the: amount of limestone to the soil is controlled by the researcher). The plant is the dependent variable because you are not changing it. Prepare experiments. Gather data and analysis the results. Do your results match your hypothesis?
Mentor and student review progress. DECEMBER
Review the results of your experiment and reach conclusions based on your data.
Mentor and student review progress. JANUARY
Using your journal, write a research paper. Using a presentation board (see PRSEF Guidebook), display your work to showcase at a science fair in February/March/April (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 Scientist!