Science fair project ideas ~ 2012
• Does music have an effect on animal
• Does the color of food or drinks affect
whether or not we like them?
• Where are the most germs in your
• Which kinds of food do dogs (or any
animal) prefer?
• Which paper towel brand is the
• What is the best way to keep an ice cube
from melting?
• Can the food we eat affect our heart
• How effective are childproof containers
and locks?
• Can background noise levels affect how
well we concentrate?
• What is the best way to keep cut flowers
fresh the longest?
• Does the color of light used on plants
affect how well they grow?
• Does the color of hair affect how much
• Use seedlings started from seed with
three types of soil and different rates of
• Effectiveness of antiseptics and soaps on
household bacteria
• Effect of air pollution on algae, protozoa,
fish, insects or mosses and lichens
• Best conditions for mushroom
production or growth of ferns
• Microbial antagonism
• Observation of conditioned responses in
different animals
• A study of animal phosphorescence and
other bioluminescence
• Learning and perception in animals and
• Studies of memory span and memory
• Effect of age on learning ability
• A study of the relation between physical
exercise and learning ability
• Is audio or visual information better
static electricity it can carry? (test with
• Effect of bleaching and dyeing on hair
• Factors affecting plant flowering
• How much weight can the surface
tension of water support?
• Can some people really read other
people's thoughts?
• Which soda pop decays teeth the most?
• Does the color of birdseed affect how
much of it birds will eat?
• Which works better: natural or chemical
• Effects of electric fields on plants
• Effects of magnetic fields on plant
• Effects of magnetism on the size and
frequency of blooms and fruits
• Does magnetizing seeds before planting
affect growth?
• Effects of x-ray and other radiation on
• Can mice learn? (You can pick any
• Which brands of bubble gum produce
the biggest bubbles?
• Does age affect human reaction times?
• What is the effect of salt on the boiling
temperature of water?
• Does shoe design really affect an
athlete's jumping height?
• Which type of grass seed grows the
• Can animals see in the dark better than
humans can?
• Effect of sound on plants
• A study of propeller designs for wind
• Effect of music of varying types and
duration on plants
• Organic fertilizer versus chemical
• Study of population fluctuations in
• Toxicity of insecticides at different
• A study of stimuli that attract
• The factors affecting the rate at which a
cricket chirps
• Growth of plant and animal cells by
• Design considerations for solar-heated
• Study of efficient home insulation
• Effects of weather on human emotions
• Comparing insulating properties of
• Changes in snow density and other
various natural and commercial
• Effect of landscaping and architecture
on energy consumption
characteristics over time
• The factors affecting ice patterns on
• An ecological study of the animal and
• Structure versus strength in dams
plant populations occupying the same
• Testing and comparing consumer
• Effects of crowding (with the same or
• Study of accuracy of calculators
other species) on a specific plant
• The mathematics of snowflakes
• Variations in the ecology of a body of
• Observational orbit determination of
comets, meteors or other minor planets • A study of the relation between soil type
• Experimental exploration of the
photoelectric effect
• Experimenting with electron diffraction
• A study of radiation patterns from
different antenna types
• Factors affecting scent propagation
and vegetation
• A study of the relation between
vegetation and insects
• Efficient methods of breaking down
crude oil in seawater
• Find an ink that will decompose for
• Factors affecting sound propagation
• Crystal growth rates versus solution
recycling paper
• Studies of storage/retrieval techniques
strengths, temperature, etc.
• Observation of freezing rates of water for
for computer systems
• Handling of data transfer between 1/0
different starting temperatures
• The physics of ski waves
• Applications in education using the
• Comparison of the load-bearing strength
of different soils
• Observations of fluctuations in stream
flow following rain
• Study of air tides: phases of the moon
computer as an education tool
• Compiler design
• Statistics and random number problems
• Develop a video game
• Write a computer program
versus barometric pressure
Remember that an idea is just a starting point! Encourage students to think
Studying a roller coaster is a great idea. Examining centripetal acceleration is a good
place to start, but why stop there? What effect would the number of cars have on
acceleration? Test several materials that the cars could be made from. Why not look at
varying the number of passengers in each car?
Always think about what else could be tested or studied
Scientific method
The Scientific Method is an organized way of figuring something out. There are usually
6 parts to it, however, these 6 parts DO NOT have to be done in order. It is best to
go back and forth through them in the way that makes the most sense relating to
your project.
1. Purpose What do you want to learn? An example would be, "Do plants grow faster
under different colored lights?" or "Do girls have faster reflexes than boys?"
2. Research Find out as much as you can. Look for information in books, on the
internet, and by talking with teachers to get the most information you can before
you start experimenting.
3. Hypothesis After doing your research, try to predict the answer to the problem.
Another term for hypothesis is “educated guess.” A hypothesis is usually expressed
something like this: "If I [do something], then [some consequence] will take place."
(Never change your hypothesis to fit your experimental findings! Your findings will
either confirm or contradict it.)
An example of a hypothesis would be, "If I grow plants under green light bulbs,
then they will grow faster than plants growing under red light bulbs"
4. Experiment The fun part! Design a test or procedure to confirm or disprove your
hypothesis. In our example, you might set up one plant under a green light bulb
and another plant under a red light, then observe each for a couple of weeks. You
would also set up a plant under regular white light so that you can compare it with
the others. You will have to write down exactly what you did for your experiment,
step by step.
5. Analysis Examine what happened during the experiment (your “data”).
6. Conclusion Review the data and check to see if your hypothesis was correct. If the
plant under the green light bulb grew faster, then you proved your hypothesis; if
not, your hypothesis was wrong. It is not "bad" if your hypothesis was wrong,
because you still learned something!
From school and regional fairs, you could go on to…
Canada-Wide Science Fair
Charlottetown, PEI May 12-18, 2012
The Canada-Wide Science Fair is the largest extra-curricular youth activity related to
science and technology in Canada, bringing together our best young minds. Each year,
some 450 top young scientists are chosen to compete from the top ranks of
approximately 25,000 competitors at over 100 regional science and technology fairs
staged across the country.
These elite participants compete in 9 divisions and 3 age categories for medals and
other prizes totaling over $900,000.
For more information on New Brunswick regional science fairs, please visit:
Page 4
Science fair assignment worksheet 1
This worksheet will help you determine when each assignment should be due.
Teachers may want to add due dates for rough drafts of key assignments.
Science Fair
Research Plan &
Variables and
Conducting the
Data Analysis
and Graphs
Final Report
Display Board
Assignment description
(Note: Students should have
at least 12 weeks
to do their projects)
You will want to encourage your students to
enter and attend the local city/county
science fair if one exists in your area. Check
when applications are due, then move this
item to the appropriate place in the
schedule. Late applications will not be
The specific question the student will be
investigating in the project.
They must be testing or studying something.
The Research Plan is a roadmap of the
research questions that need to be
answered. The Bibliography is a list of the
sources used to answer the research
An explanation of which factors will change
while conducting the experiment and a
hypothesis on the resulting impact of the
A detailed list of the materials that will be
used to conduct the
experiment and the detailed steps that will
be followed while
conduct the experiment
There should be a minimum of two weeks
here to allow the students to do multiple
runs of their experiments. Minimum Trials:
3 runs of experiment. If students are
working with plants, they should have 3
plants for each variable tested.
The analysis of the experimental data, this
is a summary of the findings of the
experiment. This is the most important
aspect of the science fair display. Encourage
a lot of data representation.
An explanation of the results of the
A report that collects all the above written
assignments in one place
plus a short abstract of the project
The final project board that will be displayed
at the science fair
The date the students must turn in their
projects to the teacher or to
the school science fair
Make sure this date is after your own
school’s fair date
time to
this step
In-class due
date (where
7 days
7 days
7 days
7 days
14 days
7 days
3 days
7 days
3 days
Adapted from
Tips for hosting a school science fair
The following tips, ideas and suggestions will help make your science fair a success for both
you and your students:
• Select your judges at least 8 weeks in advance of the science fair. Provide them with copies of
the judging form so they can be prepared ahead of time.
• Invite students to send letters of invitation to the judges. Thank- you letters after the fair
would also be appropriate.
• Judges can be recruited from different parts of the community (college professors, high
school teachers, business people, shopkeepers, parents, etc.). Including people from
different walks of life will help ensure extended community involvement.
• Set up the science fair (gymnasium, auditorium, or classroom) approximately 48 hours in
advance of the actual fair. Walk a group of students through the exhibits to "test" for traffic
patterns, loose cords, safety problems, etc.
• Organize the room according to science topics: place all the Biotechnology/Health/Life
Science projects in one area, all the Physical Science projects in another,
Earth/Environmental Science in a third, and Physical/Mathematical Science in a fourth
• Projects requiring electricity should be placed on tables against walls.
• Arrange to have student monitors in attendance during any viewing times. Provide them with
badges or appropriate ribbons.
• Invite a reporter and photographer from the local newspaper to cover the event.
• Schedule one or more evening sessions for parents and community members to view the
exhibits and displays.
• Take photographs or a videotape of the entire science fair. Use it in your preparations for
next year's science fair, to provide students with ideas for exhibits and displays. Students
may also want to use this photographic record to create a special notebook or diary for
inclusion in the school library.
• Be sure to advertise the science fair throughout the school and throughout the community.
• Invite teachers and other school personnel to contribute projects to the science fair, too. This
modeling can be a stimulus for increased student participation.
• Schedule a special post-fair ceremony that recognizes every entrant.
• Keep an on-going journal of all the preparations done prior to the fair. Record both positive
and negative events. This journal can be extremely helpful in planning future events.
Science fair resources for teachers
Learn about how to handle data on this interactive website. Activities teach how to collect,
record, and represent data with information pages, activities, and tests.
National Centre for Education Statistics – NCES Kids
Use this interactive tool to help create a number of types of graphs. Sidebars give
explanations and definitions to help students through the process. Examples are given and
graphs can be printed or saved.
Pete’s Power Point Station
Free PowerPoint presentations and printable templates, with lots of information about
graphic organizers. Many links made to Language Studies, but the principles of
communication still apply in Science.
Holt Online Learning - Holt, Rinehart, and Winston
An excellent website with interactive graphic organizers to download as PDFs. Information
can be typed into these organizers, then printed. An excellent resource for teachers as well as
students, it includes teaching notes with lessons and tips.
Interactive Science Teacher
This website has a link to download a power point presentation specifically about line
graphs, bar graphs, and circle graphs. Each slide is created bit-by-bit so you, the teacher,
can set the pace. Each slide has at the bottom with tips and information for teaching each
Science Buddies
An excellent resource with tons of links to help teachers work their way through science fairs.
Includes a teacher’s guide to science fair projects, grading rubrics, judging guide, and much
Neat sheets
Great handouts that would be fabulous for science fair preparations. Click on the link for the
library (you do not have to register). Next, go to “Steps to Inquiry Kindergarten to Grade 6” to
find K-6 Steps to Inquiry Handouts. These are great for any grade K-12, not just K-6 as