Archive for January, 2010

Your Science Fair Report

There is more to a science fair project than the project itself. While the topic you choose is important. Plus the model you make must work. There is also the physical presentation of the project to the judges which is important. Part of the deal includes the science fair report.

Writing the science fair report can be a daunting task. Specially if this is the first time you are writing one. However you don’t need to get the jitters to write it. You just need to get your ideas sorted out and you will be fine. Decide on what you wish to say in the report. If you have a clear idea about the tone and style of the report it will go much faster than trying to write it one page at a time.

Spend some time thinking about what needs to be written in the report and what can be said out aloud at the presentation of the project at the fair. Don’t repeat all the information in the report on the display board either. The display board only gives the highlights. The rest of the details go into the written report.

You need to sort out what goes where then get to work. Here’s a quick guide to getting the science fair report right. There are a whole lot of tips that you can use here. Hope you find it useful. All the best for writing the perfect science fair report.

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How to get your science project right

What do you think will make a great science fair project? Does it have to be big to impress everyone around you? Does it have to be shiny and flashy so that it catches the eye? Does it have to make a loud sound to make heads turn in its direction? While all this sounds good, it will not guarantee that the science project is a good one.

While the display of a science fair project is very important, it is the actual project which needs to have substance. If you have an original idea it is far better than a thousand clones which are just variations of the same idea. You need to think out of the box to get that ideal science project going.

Think about the actual purpose of the project. Is it to win an award or is it to teach you something new? You may say both. However the judges who see the different projects also check if the student has had to learn something extra in order to get it to work. That enhances the value of the project right away.

Here’s an article that will give you a good idea about what teachers really want when they come to see your science fair project.  You may find some useful stuff here. Essentially you must remember that the teacher wants you to learn something new from your participation in the science fair. If your project reflects that, it is the right one to do.

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Food Color and Science Projects

Can a brightly colored packet of M&Ms become the base of a science project? Yes it can, because such candy is made from food colors and dyes. The yellow, red, and green candy all have been made by using different food dyes. These edible dyes are different from the paints that you use for coloring, but the principle is the same. You are painting the food.

In fact many artificial food colors are considered unhealthy. This is one more reason why eating too much colored candy may be bad for you. The sugar levels in such food are high too. They may give you a short lived energy boost, but over all they are bad for your metabolism. In fact some food dyes are even thought to be carcinogenic.

“Carcinogenic” means that these could cause cancer. However there is no need to panic just because you ate a packet or two of M&Ms this week. These dyes are harmful only if eaten in large quantities. As they are difficult for the human body to digest and takes time for them to be pushed out of the system.

Do you think I’m making all this up to scare you off candy? Not really. Dyes can be studied very easily. In fact there are some simple experiments that you can conduct at home using your packet of colored candy.  Learn more about Candy and Chromatography here. Maybe this will help you understand the chemicals that we put into our body are not always healthy.

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Get a good grade on your science fair project

The grade that you score on your science fair project is usually dependent on just how much effort you have put into the project. The more you work at it, the better the science project will be and the higher is your likely grade. There is no short cut to a great grade. You will need to work on the project.

That said, it does not mean that working hard has to be drudgery. If you pick your topic with care you will end up learning all about something that really interests you. And time always flies when you are having fun. So think about what seems like a more fun topic before you start working on the science project.

Naturally it will have to be be an experiment that is possible at your level. Don’t pick something that needs a rocket scientist to accomplish. At the same time remember to make the project challenging enough to keep your interest alive. Check with your teacher for some possible suggestions based on your interests.

Pick something that you can collect fact about easily. Plus something that lends itself to easy testing and maybe even a working model. Remember in the end its about impressing the judges and getting a good grade. So it has to have enough presence on its own. You can help by being well prepared when you present it to the judges. Here’s more help on finding the right project for yourself. If you make a good beginning you are half way to a good grade.

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Science Projects based on Air Pressure

What is Air Pressure and how can you use it in a science project? As you know air is all around us. It tends to push against us at a standard pressure. This is measured as 14.7 psi. However what happens when the air pressure around us is disturbed?

Ever feel the wind blowing? That is a direct result of the air pressure getting disturbed. However the wind can not be controlled in a science project. So let us pick an easier test for air pressure. All kinds of motion is possible to manipulate if you decide to meddle with the pockets of air pressure around you.

For instance if you blow under a balloon it will rise and float away. This happens because the pocket of air pressure under it is disturbed. So once the balloon moves and the effect of your blowing ends it will float down to its new location and sit there till some thing else disturbs the air pressure around it.

A balloon is light and so is easily influenced with the slightest change of air pressure, but how about water? Can air pressure effects be tested on water? Of course they can. In fact there is one trick here which magicians use in their show. It is not really magic but the science of air pressure at work. Here’s a whole list of experiments based on air pressure for you to try out. Using stuff like bottles, cans and balloons you can test the air pressure in the atmosphere around you.

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Liquids and Science Fair Projects

No matter what field of science  you want to do your science fair project in, you can use liquids. If you want to do your project in Physics you can use the density of the different fluids around to make a good comparative study. You can use different materials to test the density of the fluids. Anything from a pencil to a balloon can be used to check buoyancy of the liquid as well.

If you wish to use chemistry as your subject of choice, you may use something more exciting like acids. However as these can be potentially dangerous these experiments are best done under adult supervision. That does not mean that all chemistry science projects involving fluids have to use acids. You could even do solvent tests. How much is each liquid on your list able to dissolve?

Did you know that water is known as the “Universal Solvent”? That is because it is able to dissolve more salts or chemical compounds than most others. So how about doing a science project to see if that is really true? Pick some other liquids and get yourself a few common salts. Make sure none are going to react. Check with your teacher before you begin the actual experiment.

If that seems a bit too much work check out this experiment.  Will the bowling ball sink or float? There truly is a whole world of experiments and science projects out there. All you need to do is pick one which matches your level of experience, your interest and your budget. All the best.

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