Archive for February, 2011

Picking a Winning Science Fair Topic

A lot of thought needs to go into a science fair project if you intend to make it a winning one. Everything about the project needs to be planned and executed in a well thought out manner. The first thing you need to be sure of is that is is an eye catching topic. The judges are not interested in something that has been done a million times before.

So make the topic as unique as you can but make sure that it is not so off the grid that it is difficult for your to find research material for it. Now look at hot topics that are often in the news. During the time that Pluto lost its planet status a science fair project on the solar system would have been interesting.

Or for that matter during the Copenhagen environmental conference any renewable energy source related science project would have been a good idea. Now pick up a newspaper or go to google news and see what is hot in science right now. Then find a related topic with which you can build your science fair project. That’s how you pick that Science Fair project that stands out and says to the judges I am a winner.

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Dancing Paper

One of the easiest science projects to do involves static electricity. The one that we will do here is a good activity for any parent to do with a pre school child. It is an activity that is safe and easy to conduct. Only trouble is that the kids love it so much that they want to do it all the time. And that can be pretty challenging for the parent.

Any how let’s see what we need to set up this fun science experiment. A lump of clay, a pencil, a string, a small piece of paper, a silk cloth, a cotton cloth and a comb. Now make a ball out of the lump of clay and stick the pencil into it so that it is slightly slanted but stays standing up. Now from the top end of the pencil tie the string and let it fall loose.

On the other end of the string fix a small piece of paper. the paper attached to the string should be able to move freely without hitting the pencil stem. Now take the comb and run it on the silk cloth for about thirty seconds. Now bring the comb close to the piece of paper. It will start dancing.

This action is caused due to static electricity. Now repeat the process but this time use the cotton cloth. Does the paper dance? Perhaps not as much as it did with the silk cloth. Use other materials you have and see how the paper reacts in this science project.

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Turn your hobby into a science fair project

Starting work from scratch on a science fair project can be a daunting task. So instead start with something familiar that you enjoy like your hobby. Now you have a good starting point for your science project. No matter what your hobby is it can be the base of an interesting science project.

In case you enjoy gardening you can develop a science project based on growth of two seedlings. Take three seedlings of the same kind and plant them in three different kinds of soil. Now regularly monitor their growth and record the height of the seedlings in detail each week.

Observe which soil makes the plant grow best. Now analyze the chemical composition of the soil and figure out what part of the soil helps the plant. Of course this is the kind of project that will take a couple of months to do. So make sure that you start out the project way before the science fair entry is due.

If you are looking for something related to electronics you can take your pick from any number of interesting science projects. Do you like music? You can build a simple radio. There are science fair project kits which will give you all the know how and the materials that you need to do so.

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What’s the point of science fair projects?

Every year its the same story. You get going on a project and deliver it to the science fair. You watch as someone else gets a prize and you return home. The whole thing is repetitive and uninspiring for you, but it need not be. It is possible to learn a great deal from science fairs even if you do not get that coveted ribbon.

The fairs allow you the opportunity to learn about more science phenomena than what is supposed to be present in your textbooks.A whole world of knowledge opens up to you. You can take inspiration from a particular project and build it even better with your own ideas incorporated in it.

As you work on a particular subject you will learn even more about it. You learn about the laws that work consistently in the natural world. You learn about how to harness nature’s forces for your own purpose. You learn to organize your thoughts and actions as you follow the scientific method in your experimentation.

So there is a great deal more to the science fair than making a boring old project and watching some one else walk away with a prize. It can be a good time to brush up your knowledge about a number of things. You can read more about science projects here.

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Making your own crystals

Science experiments can range from the elementary to the highly complicated. The best part about this variety is that there is some science project for every one to do. This one here is a simple experiment that even a three year old can do, with adult supervision of course.

What you will need are a glass jam jar, 50 ml of water, about a cup of sugar, a string and a pencil. We are going to make sugar crystals from these things. So to start with you need to heat the water. You can pop the water into the jam jar and bring it to a boil in the microwave.

While it is boiling cut some string and tie it to the pencil. You will need to measure the string so that it can hang right down to the bottom of the jam jar when the pencil is rested on the mouth of the jam jar. By now the water would be boiling so bring it out carefully from the microwave and set it down on your work space.

Now add the sugar and stir the water spoonful at a time. Make sure that the sugar dissolves before you add the next teaspoon. We are going to keep repeating this till the water is saturated and no more sugar can dissolve in it. Now place the pencil on the mouth of the jam jar with the string dipped in the sugar water.

Let is stand alone and undisturbed for a day. The next day you will find that the string is covered with crystals of sugar! Pretty cool isn’t it? Try out some more science projects from this website.

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