Archive for July, 2011

Can you use the Scientific Method in a non scientific field?

Most science fair projects tend to follow the steps of the scientific method, but is the scientific method restricted to the field of science? Not really. The elements of the scientific method can be used by people other than researchers and scientists. People with jobs such as marketing, selling, cooking and even defending the law can use the scientific method principles.

Trial and error is one of the elements of the scientific method and this is common to a number of professionals. A cook wants to make the perfect flambe and he will use a number of different alcoholic combinations before he hits the best one. And this means he has to experiment with rum, brandy, wine and a number of trials before he gets that flambe perfected.

If that’s too simplistic imagine a corporate marketing executive who wants to increase the sales of his company. What does he do?He evaluates where the company is making a profit and where it goes into a loss. He makes a plan to improve the revenue generation and then he tweaks the plan to keep it useful. This busy executive in the pinstriped suit is also using the scientific method.

It is not so very different in many other non scientific fields. In fact people use the scientific method in their work and personal lives without even realizing that they are doing so. That’s why almost everything can become a science project of some interest.

Leave a Comment

How to set up a Science Experiment

In a science project you need to be able to do the same experiment over and over again. Only changing one of the many variables at a time so that you can get the most accurate answer to the problem question. So it is essential to have a few set steps to follow each time you do the experiment.

One of the things to consider is the problem that you want to solve. The better you define your questions the easier it is to answer them. So take your time coming up with the hypothesis that you want to use for the experiments.

Next you need to consider all the elements that form a part of the experiment. These will include the obvious variables such as the stuff that you physically use to perform the experiment and the not so obvious variables such as temperature, pressure and humidity.

Make your experiment as controlled as possible. Any number of variables can affect the experiment that you are trying to perform, so it is quite a job trying to keep the conditions almost exactly the same no matter how many times you repeat the experiment. When you have all the conditions figured out you can perform your science experiments in ease and know that the result will be a great science project.

Leave a Comment

Finding Substitutes for Eggs

There are a number of foods that people can be allergic to. One such product is the common egg. In this science project we are going to try and find substitutes for eggs in recipes. To know what can be used in place of the egg we need to know the basic job that the egg performs in the recipe.

Eggs primarily perform three functions in a recipe. The first is binding. Egg is used to hold the different ingredients of the dish together. As in a batter that can be used to fry fritters. The second is leavening agent. This allows the food to rise when it is beaked. It accounts for the softness of cakes and souffles. The third is as a thickening agent. Like how it is added to a dish such as a sauce to thicken it.

Now depending on the recipe you can use a substitute which will not alter the taste too much but still do without the egg. Substitutes for egg include banana and gelatin for binding. If its leavening agents you want you can use baking power, vinegar or butter milk with baking soda. On the other hand a thickener could be corn starch. Also used as thickeners banana, tofu, and tapioca flour. For the science project pick one recipe and use one egg substitute at a time till you find the ideal one.

Leave a Comment

Generating Ideas for Science Projects

One of the toughest decisions to make regarding a science fair project is the actual selection of topic. What is it that the science project needs to be about? Some times you think you want to work on a particular project only to realize a few days down the line that it is boring you to bits.

So how do you generate ideas for interesting science fair projects? Get a clue from things you actually like to do. The project is going to be more fun if it involves activities that you already enjoy doing. So get down to making a list of all the activities that you enjoy doing in sports, games, hobbies and anything at all that comes to your mind.

You need to make sure that it is something that you enjoy reading up about as well as doing. This ensures that the actual research part of the science project is easy for you to handle. After all there is nothing quite as boring as having to read books, websites and articles about something that does not interest you.

You can add things to the list that you wonder about. Questions like how does this xyz thing work are very handy while defining the kind of science fair project that you will make.

Leave a Comment

Making a model from things around the house

One of the best ways to spend your summer holidays is playing with toys. And wouldn’t it be even more cool if you could make your own toy town? Imagine a model made from things lying around the house. You could decide to make a model train station and include everything from railway lines to station stops. Or you could make a model of the supermarket complete with shelves and miniature goods on them.

What makes models even more interesting is if some parts of it work or move. For instance in the model of the railway example given above it would be more fun if the trains in the model actually moved on the railway track on their own. You can make a model out of anything you like. And the best part is that you do not need to go and buy things from outside to make a model.

You can ask your parents to give you a bagful of stuff that is lying around the house and which they no longer need. All you need to do is to use this as the basic raw material for making your model. Add some bright colors with either fabrics or paints and you will have an interesting science project on your hands.

Leave a Comment