Science Fair Student Guide

 

Dear Families, 

Your child is about to begin his/her science fair project! It should be a fun learning opportunity for your child. This guide may be helpful during the next several weeks. Please remember:

·         As a parent, your job is only to assist. This is an opportunity for your child to think and act like a scientist, and to create and discover his or her very own science project.

·         Please allow your child plenty of time to make mistakes. He/She might even need to start the experiment again. Remember, real scientists constantly refine their studies and start over again.

·         For safety reasons, please be available to assist your child with research and portions of the experiment that may pose a safety risk.

·         Please make a visit to the public library and use the internet to assist your child with project research.

·         It is recommended that you purchase the display board as soon as possible. Most craft stores, office supply stores, and superstores carry display boards for science fair projects.

·         Remember, this is a multipart project. Your child must complete the science journal, research paper, display board, and presentation in order to receive full credit.

Thank you for your support!

 

Janice Franklin

****************************************CUT AND RETURN*************************************

My child and I have read the Science Fair Student Guide in its entirety. We know when each section is due and that the project display board, science journal, and research paper must be completed and brought to school by ___________________________.

 

_______________________________          _______________________________

                Student Signature                                           Parent Signature

Project Timeline

The following is a list of due dates for each section of the project. Careful-falling behind makes everything more difficult! It is better to work ahead of the due dates in case problems arise. Remember, sometimes scientists need to redo a part of their experiment or even the whole thing!

ASSIGNMENT

DUE DATE

(To be assigned by the teacher)

Select a Research Question and Purpose

 

 

September 22, 2017

Conduct Background Research and write the Bibliography. Change the Research Question and Purpose if necessary.

September 29, 2017

Write a Hypothesis.

 

 

October 6, 2017

Write the Materials List.

 

 

October 13, 2017

Write the Procedures.

 

 

October 20, 2017

Conduct the Experiment.

 

 

November 3, 2017

Complete the Results section, including any graphs or tables.

 

November 10 2017

Write the Conclusion, which may include Reflection and Application.

 

November 17, 2017

Display Board, Research Paper, Science Journal

 

 

December 13, 2017

Oral Presentation

 

 

January 10, 2017

 

 


 

Science Fair for Grades 1-6

Important Dates

     

January 9, 2018

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Set up Projects in  Gym

January 10, 2018

8:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Presentation and Judging

 January 11, 2018

3:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Parent and Community Viewing

 

6:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Begin Removal of Projects and Posters*

January 12, 2018

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

Finish Removal of Projects and Posters

February 20, 2018

 

Upper Fair (6-12)

Regional Science Fair

April 10, 2018

 

Lower Fair (K-5)

Regional Science Fair

Science Fair Options

There are two ways to participate in the Science Fair:

  • Option #1: Science Project

This option requires students to use the scientific method to answer a question they are curious about and create a trifold board to illustrate their process and findings. Projects are required to use the Scientific Method and Science Fair Project Format. Additionally, projects must follow the 2018 International Science and Engineering Fair Rules and Regulations. Projects will be judged according to the ISEF Rubrics.

First, second and third place winners will have the opportunity to advance to The Region V State Science Fair held at Mississippi State University.

First, second and third place winners will also receive award ribbons.

 

 

Option #2: Science Poster, Model, or Collection (K-1 Only)

This option is for our youngest children who are curious about a science topic that they want to learn more about. The child will research a topic, create an informative poster on the topic, and then include a model or collection to accompany the display. This option must adhere to the same regulations of the regular science fair, but will not require the use of the Scientific Method, as it is not an experiment. It will NOT be eligible to move on to the Regional Science Fair competition at Mississippi State University.

If you have any questions, contact West Kemper Elementary Science Fair coordinator Janice Franklin at janicefrnkln@gmail.com or call the school office at (601) 743-2432

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Kemper Elementary Science Fair Rules and Regulations

2017 – 2018

The West Kemper Fair will follow all rules of the Mississippi Science and Engineering Fairs. The International Rules for Pre-college Science Research: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs is published annually to support students doing independent research safely. They are the official rules of the Intel ISEF and students competing at a Society-affiliated science fair.

The purpose of these rules is to:

  • protect the rights and welfare of the student researcher,
  • protect the rights and welfare of the human participant,
  • ensure adherence to federal regulations,
  • ensure use of safe laboratory practices,
  • protect the environment, and
  • determine eligibility for competition in the Intel ISEF 2018.

The classes will be divided and judged according to the same grade level divisions as the Regional MSEF. All students in each Class will be judged together. The West Kemper Elementary Science Fair will be held in early January. A student may enter only one science project per year.

Three students’ projects in each Category and each Class will qualify to participate in the Regional District V MSEF Science Fair at Mississippi State University.

 

 

Science Fair Categories

These are categories from which your child should choose when preparing for the science fair. The project must fit into one of these categories.

0000 - Science Poster, Model, or Collection

This option is for our youngest children who are curious about a science topic that they want to learn more about. The child will research a topic and create an informative poster on that topic. The student may also choose to include a model or collection to accompany the poster. This option must adhere to the same regulations of the regular science fair, but will not require the use of the Scientific Method, as it is not an experiment. This category is NOT eligible to move on to the Regional Science Fair competition at Mississippi State University.

0100 - Behavioral & Social Science

The science or study of the thought processes and behavior of humans and other animals in their interactions with the environment studied through observational and experimental methods.

0200 - Biochemistry

The study of the properties and reactions of inorganic and organometallic compounds. Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems or carbon.

0300 - Inorganic Chemistry

The study of the properties and reactions of inorganic and organometallic compounds. Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems or carbon.

 

 

0400 - Organic Chemistry

The study of carbon-containing compounds, including hydrocarbons and their derivatives. Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems.

0500 - Earth and Environmental Science

Studies of the environment and its effect on organisms/systems, including investigations of biological processes such as growth and life span, as well as studies of Earth systems and their evolution. (Atmospheric science, climate science, environmental effects on ecosystems, geosciences, water science)

0600 - Animal Sciences

This category includes all aspects of animals and animal life, animal life cycles, and animal interactions with one another or with their environment. Examples of investigations included in this category would involve the study of the structure, physiology, development, and classification of animals, animal ecology, animal husbandry, entomology, ichthyology, ornithology, and herpetology, as well as the study of animals at the cellular and molecular level which would include cytology, histology, and cellular physiology. (Animal Behavior, Cellular studies, development, ecology, genetics, nutrition and growth, physiology, systematics and evolution)

0700 - Medicine & Health

This category focuses on studies specifically designed to address issues of human health and disease. It includes studies on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or epidemiology of disease and other damage to the human body or mental systems. Includes studies of normal functioning and may investigate internal as well as external factors such as feedback mechanisms, stress or environmental impact on human health and disease. (cell, organ, and systems physiology, genetics and molecular biology of disease, immunology, nutrition and natural products, pathophysiology)

 

 

0800 - Microbiology

The study of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, prokaryotes, and simple eukaryotes as well as antimicrobial and antibiotic substances. (Antimicrobial and antibiotics, applied microbiology, bacteriology, environmental microbiology, microbial genetics, virology)

0900 - Physics and Astronomy

Physics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two. Astronomy is the study of anything in the universe beyond the Earth. ( atomic, molecular and optical physics, astronomy and cosmology, biological physics, computational physics and astrophysics, condensed matter and materials, instrumentation, magnetics, electromagnetics and plasmas, mechanics, nuclear and particle physics, optics, lasers, and masers, quantum computation and theoretical physics)

1000 - Engineering

Studies that focus on the science and engineering that involve movement or structure. The movement can be by the apparatus or the movement can affect the apparatus. (Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering, civil engineering, computational mechanics, control theory, ground vehicle systems, industrial engineering-processing, mechanical engineering, naval systems)

1100 - Computer Science and Math

The study or development of software, information processes or methodologies to demonstrate, analyze, or control a process/solution. The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. The deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures. (Algorithms, cybersecurity, databases, human/machine interface, languages and operating systems, mobile apps, online learning, algebra, analysis, combinatorics, graph theory, game theory, geometry and topology, number theory, probability and statistics)

 

1200 - Robotics and Intelligent Design

Studies in which the use of machine intelligence is paramount to reducing the reliance on human intervention. (Biomechanics, cognitive systems, control theory, machine learning, robot kinematics)

1300 - Botany

Studies of plants and how they live, including structure, physiology, development, and classification. Includes plant cultivation, development, ecology, genetics and plant breeding, pathology, physiology, systematics and evolution. (agriculture and agronomy, ecology, genetics and breeding, growth and development, pathology, plant physiology, systematics and evolution)

 

All registered science projects and posters following the West Kemper Elementary School Fair Rules and Regulations will be exhibited and judged.

Exhibits of students entering the Posters, Collections, & Models category will be limited to the West Kemper Elementary School Science Fair (local fair). Exhibits in this 0000 category will NOT be eligible to move on to the Regional Science Fair competition at Mississippi State University.

Students participating in the West Kemper Elementary School Science Fair are required to complete the proper Science Fair Registration Form. Students in grades K-6 should contact their school’s Science Fair Coordinator for instructions.

All registration forms must be properly filled and submitted according to the school science fair coordinator's requirements to allow time for properly organizing projects and preparing judging forms. Students not meeting this deadline will be allowed to display their Science Project; however, they may not be included in the judging process.

 

 

Special Requirements for Projects Involving Vertebrate Animals (Including Humans)

The forms are not required for “observation only” projects when the student has no interaction with animals or humans, and the student does not alter the normal activity or habitat of the observed animals or humans.

Every student considering a science project involving research and experimentation of any kind using human subjects, including oneself, or non-human vertebrates, animals, including domestic animals, must complete additional forms and present the project plans to the Scientific Review Committee (for vertebrate animal projects) or the Institutional Review Board (for human projects) before any experimentation can begin.

Surveys or Questionnaires must be pre-approved by the science teacher, a school administrator, and the Institutional Review Board.

Proper written permission must be obtained from every human subject before experimentation can begin. Every human subject under the age of 18 must have written permission from a parent or guardian to participate in any science project.

Please Note: All students considering projects involving pathogenic agents, controlled substances, recombinant DNA, human or animal tissue, or hazardous substances or devices must properly complete additional forms and receive approval from the science teacher and the SRC/IRB before experimentation can begin.

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Steps in Preparing a
Science Project

1.    Selecting a Topic:
Choose something you're interested in and something you want to learn more about.

·         Choose a topic that allows you to do an experiment to answer a question.

·         Talk to teachers, parents, or librarians for ideas.

·         A hobby might lead to a good topic.

·         Don't forget to look through science books, magazines, or visit museums or zoos for ideas.

·         A science project of an experiment is much more impressive that a demonstration of something you already know or have read in a book.

 

2.    Purpose and Hypothesis:
The purpose is a description of what you will do. The purpose tells why you are doing your science project and what you hope to learn. The hypothesis is an educated explanation as to what you think will happen. Make a guess, called a hypothesis, about what you think is going to happen when you perform your experiment.

 

3.    Research:
After the topic has been selected, start the research process. Encyclopedias will provide an overview of your topic, but go beyond that and collect information from books and magazines. Contact experts or companies that might be able to supply information. Don't forget to check the internet. Read books and articles about the subject you choose. (maybe do this after experimenting)

 

4.    Experiment:
Plan and organize an experiment. Perform the experiment under controlled conditions. Keep careful records in a special notebook that is used only for this project.

·         Collect the needed material for your experiment.

·         Write the step by step procedure you plan to follow to perform your experiment

·         Write your daily procedure, date, observations, and results in your log or journal. Your log should be handwritten record of your experiment.

·         Show your observations and the results of your experiment with charts and graphs.

·         Take pictures or make drawings of your experiment.

·         To prove the results of your experiment it is often necessary to repeat the experiment at least three times.

·         Most experiments require more that one test sample or subject. Limit the variables of your experiment.

·         Each experiment should test only one variable at a time.

·         Each experiment should include a control for comparison.

·         Write your conclusion and compare what actually happened to your hypothesis.

·         It is fine if your hypothesis is proved wrong.

 

5.    Exhibit:
This is the visual presentation of your project, so prepare it carefully. Use graphs, charts, and clear bold lettering to highlight the display.

 

6.    Judging:
Plan how you want to explain your project to the judges. Look neat, speak clearly, and don't fidget or do other distracting things.

All research, experimenting, collecting, data, and preparing the charts and display must be done by the student. No substantial help is permitted; however, guidance knowledge, and encouragement is acceptable. Parents and mentors are encouraged to work with the students to teach the procedures of actually conducting a scientific experiment using the scientific method and ultimately constructing a science project. The student must acknowledge, in writing, any help received with the science project. Remember, this is a learning experience for the student.

The science project experiment must be performed and the display must be prepared by the student during the current school year. Multi-year projects must show a new problem being investigated. The display should show only experimentation performed during the current school year, Include with the display, a current log, as well as, the log from all previous years of a multi-year project.

The science project display should clearly show what the experiment was about and that the scientific method was followed during the experiment. The science project must be displayed on a tri-fold board that may be purchased locally, and may be available for purchase at school.

 

 

The drawing of the science project is a guideline of the information that should be shown on the charts. Your display may be different, but should include the same information. Your question may also be your title. Photographs, graphs, charts, and drawings should be used to show the procedure, observations, and results of your experiment.

Write your name, grade, and teacher's name on the BACK of your science project display. Do not include your name anywhere on the front of the display or your log. Pictures of the exhibitor may be included on the display when they show the student working on his/her science project. Side views are acceptable; face-on posed shots are not acceptable. The exhibitor must have written permission to include pictures of human subjects anywhere on the display.

No electricity is available for science projects of students in grades 1-6; however, DC dry cell power sources may be used.

 

Items Prohibited from the Display

Certain items may be used in the experiment, but are prohibited from the display. Anything that could be hazardous to the public is prohibited from display. The intent of this rule is to protect the public and other students and not hinder the students' ability to present their project to the judges.

  1. All living organisms (e.g. plants animals, microbes), pathogenic microbial and fungi cultures, live or dead, including unknown species.
  2. Dried plant materials, soil samples, and insect collections
  3. Taxidermy specimens or parts and preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals (including embryos) except for human or animals teeth, hair, nails, and animal bones, histological dry mount sections and wet mount tissue slides
  4. Chemicals, including water, controlled or hazardous substance or devices
  5. Food, either human or animal
  6. Syringes, pipettes, and similar dangerous or sharp devices
  7. Any flames, open or concealed
  8. Highly flammable display materials
  9. Tanks which have contained combustible gases, including butane and propane, unless they have been purged with carbon dioxide
  10. Operation of a Class III or IV laser or other devices requiring over 120 volts AC or DC
  11. Display of previous fair awards, including medals

Students are encouraged to use photographs, drawings, diagrams, paper, and clay to illustrate the research and experiment when the actual experimental materials cannot be displayed.

 

Judging of Entries

The following evaluation criteria are used for judging at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). As shown below, science and engineering have different criteria, each with five sections as well as suggested scoring for each section. Each section includes key items to consider for evaluation both before and after the interview.

Students are encouraged to design their posters in a clear and informative manner to allow pre-interview evaluation and to enable the interview to become an in-depth discussion. Judges should examine the student notebook and, if present, any special forms such as Form 1C (Regulated Research Institution/Industrial Setting) and Form 7 (Continuation of Projects). Considerable emphasis is placed on two areas: Creativity and Presentation, especially the Interview section, and are discussed in more detail below.

Creativity: A creative project demonstrates imagination and inventiveness. Such projects often offer different perspectives that open up new possibilities or new alternatives. Judges should place emphasis on research outcomes in evaluating creativity.

Presentation/Interview: The interview provides the opportunity to interact with the finalists and evaluate their understanding of the project’s basic science, interpretation and limitations of the results and conclusions.

  • If the project was done at a research or industrial facility, the judge should determine the degree of independence of the finalist in conducting the project, which is documented on Form 1C.
  • If the project was completed at home or in a school laboratory, the judge should determine if the finalist received any mentoring or professional guidance.
  • If the project is a multi-year effort, the interview should focus ONLY on the current year’s work. Judges should review the project’s abstract and Form 7 (Intel ISEF Continuation Projects) to clarify what progress was completed this year.
  • Please note that both team and individual projects are judged together, and projects should be judged only on the basis of their quality. However, all team members should demonstrate significant contributions to and an understanding of the project.

 

Recognition

Each exhibitor will receive a Certificate of Participation at the West Kemper Elementary School Science Fair and the MSEF. Ribbons will be awarded to selected students/science projects at the fair. Trophies will be presented to selected students/science projects at the MSEF.

The first, second, and third place winners will be allowed to enter  their individual science projects in the Region 5 Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judging Criteria for Science Projects

  1. Research Question (10 pts)

    o     ___ clear and focused purpose

    o     ___ identifies contribution to field of study

    o     ___ testable using scientific methods

  1. Design and Methodology (15 pts)

    o     ___ well designed plan and data collection methods

    o     ___ variables and controls defined, appropriate and complete

  1. Execution: Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation (20 pts)

    o     ___ systematic data collection and analysis

    o     ___ reproducibility of results

    o     ___ appropriate application of mathematical and statistical methods

    o     ___ sufficient data collected to support interpretation and conclusions

  1. Creativity (20 pts)

    o     ___ project demonstrates significant creativity in one or more of the above criteria

  1. Presentation (35 pts)

a.    Poster (10 pts)

        §   ___ logical organization of material

        §   ___ clarity of graphics and legends

        §   ___ supporting documentation displayed

b.    Interview (25 pts)

        §   ___ clear, concise, thoughtful responses to questions

        §   ___ understanding of basic science relevant to project

        §   ___ understanding interpretation and limitations of results and conclusions

        §   ___ degree of independence in conducting project

        §   ___ recognition of potential impact in science, society and/or economics

        §   ___ quality of ideas for further research

        §   ___ for team projects, contributions to and understanding of project by all members

Judging Criteria for Engineering Projects

  1. Research Problem (10 pts)

    o     ___ description of a practical need or problem to be solved

    o     ___ definition of criteria for proposed solution

    o     ___ explanation of constraints

  1. Design and Methodology (15 pts)

    o     ___ exploration of alternatives to answer need or problem

    o     ___ identification of a solution

    o     ___ development of a prototype/model

  1. Execution: Construction and Testing (20 pts)

    o     ___ prototype demonstrates intended design

    o     ___ prototype has been tested in multiple conditions/trials

    o     ___ prototype demonstrates engineering skill and completeness

  1. Creativity (20 pts)

    o     ___ project demonstrates significant creativity in one or more of the above criteria

  1. Presentation (35 pts)

a.    Poster (10 pts)

        §   ___ logical organization of material

        §   ___ clarity of graphics and legends

        §   ___ supporting documentation displayed

b.    Interview (25 pts)

        §   ___ clear, concise, thoughtful responses to questions

        §   ___ understanding of basic science relevant to project

        §   ___ understanding interpretation and limitations of results and conclusions

        §   ___ degree of independence in conducting project

        §   ___ recognition of potential impact in science, society and/or economics

        §   ___ quality of ideas for further research

        §   ___ for team projects, contributions to and understanding of project by all members

Projects vs. Posters - What is the difference?

Science Project

Science projects are eligible to move on to the MSEF Region V Science and Engineering Fair.

Projects use the steps of the scientific method to test a hypothesis:

  • establish a PURPOSE
  • develop a HYPOTHESIS
  • develop a PROCEDURE
  • record DATA in a log
  • summarize RESULTS using tables, charts and graphs
  • draw a CONCLUSION
  • present all the above attractively on a tri-fold poster

Science Research Poster, Collection, or Model

Science research posters are NOT eligible to move on to the MSEF Region V Science and Engineering Fair.

For this category, students may either research a science topic, create a model, or create a collection.

· Use at least 2 sources of information.

· Prepare a poster attractively presenting the information.

· Models and collections must be neatly presented.

· Be knowledgeable of the research and able to present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample Science Project

Science Project

1. Title

Question or Subject

How much sunlight do marigolds need?

2. Purpose

What am I trying to find?

Determine the minimum number of hours marigolds need to be healthy.

3. Hypothesis

Hypotheses and predictions are often combined. Based on how I think things work, what do I expect to be true?

Marigolds need at least 4 hours of sunlight a day to grow normally.

4. Procedure

How did I test my predictions?

Number of plants used; what variables kept constant and what allowed to vary; number of hours of sunlight; how many hours of sunlight, number of replicates.

Note: This should be recorded in a handwritten daily log.

5. Results

A summary of my finding in words, graphs, and/or photographs.

Pictures of healthy and dead marigolds, graph of plant height vs. hours of light.

6. Conclusions

What do my results indicate? Did the results support or conflict with my hypothesis and prediction?

What was the minimum number of hours of sunlight needed? Hypothesis supported or rejected?

 

 

 

 

 

Scientific Method

Steps

Example

1. Make Observations

Plants don’t seem to grow in the dark.

2. Form a Hypothesis

What do I think causes the observed phenomenon?

Okay:  Plants need sunlight to grow.

Better:  Marigolds need sunlight to grow.

Better Still:  Marigolds need at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day to grow.

3. Makes Predictions

If the hypothesis is true, what do I expect to see?

Marigolds will grow poorly or die with less than 4 hours of sunlight a day.

4. Test the Predictions

Repeatedly!

Expose seven marigolds to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 hours of sunlight a day for 30 days. Measure plants height, number and size of leaves. Repeat two more times with new plants.

OR: Expose three plants at a time to set number of hours.

Sunlight should be the only variable changed (same soil, age of marigold, pot size, water, temperature, etc.)

5. Interpret Results

And form new hypotheses for the next project.

What was the fewest number of hours required for healthy marigolds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Fair Tips

Project Tips

Projects: Having a question and finding out answers and results by EXPERIMENTING!

  1. Do an experiment on something relevant or useful.
    Who could use your results?
    Would anyone benefit from knowing what you researched?
    Why are you wanting to find this out?
  2. Create a large sample size.
    If you are working with people, use more than 20 volunteers.
    If you are testing results, do it more than once! Try it four or five times to see if keeps happening!
  3. Take pictures
    Pictures are a good way to show proof and judges love seeing these!
  4. Make graphs, keep a chart, and make a journal (log book)
    If want your information to be valid and easy to understand, keep it organized!

Poster Tips

Posters, Models, or Collections: Giving information that you found in books, magazines, online, and interviews; RESEARCH!

  1. It is simply RESEARCH!!
    Pick a topic, look online or in the library, put information on a poster with pictures and facts!
  2. Make sure this is NOT an experiment; you are NOT asking any questions.
    “Are Bounty paper towels more absorbent than Brawny or Scott brand?” is NOT a poster! This is an experiment!

 

 

Helpful Websites

The websites listed below have some great ideas for Science Projects.

·          

*Science Made Simple*

Kids’ science projects, experiments, and articles.

http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/

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5th grade Teacher Mrs. Kim Higgason

  
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