Science Fair Project Ideas

Choosing a science fair project idea

Picking a science fair project idea may seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Since you will be working on your project for many weeks, it's important to pick a science fair topic you find interesting.

Start by asking yourself some simple questions. What school subjects are your favorites? Biology? Chemistry? Physics? Or is it gym class? What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing? What books do you read? What are your special talents or skills? You may get some ideas by looking through magazines and newspapers, or visiting libraries or museums. "Brainstorm" as many topics as possible, and write them all down.

Once you have a general subject you are interested in, you must narrow it down. For example, you may have a biology science fair idea, but that is much too general a subject. Even plants is too general a science fair topic. Narrow it down to something more specific, for example: "Which type of plant food produces bigger tomatoes?" Put your question into a form like: What happens when....? or Which is bigger, better, faster, easier....? or Why does something happen? or Can changing this cause that to change? Remember, the more specific the question, the better.

After you determine your question, you need to develop a hypothesis, which is your best guess about the answer to your question. For the tomato example, your hypothesis might be: I think the plant food with the most nitrogen will produce the biggest tomatoes. Or it might be: I think the plant food with the most trace minerals will produce the biggest tomatoes. It is a good idea to do a little bit of research so that you can make an "educated guess" when deciding on your hypothesis.

There are two other things that are important to consider when choosing your science fair project idea. First, make sure the experiment is do-able: Are the information and materials for your topic available? Is there enough time? (Growing tomatoes will take several months, which would be a problem if you only have a few weeks until the fair.) Can you do the project yourself, or will you need a lot of help? And the second thing to consider is to make sure that it will be safe to do your experiment.


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