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Application of Scientific Method for Winning Science Fair Project

Uttara Manohar Jan 27, 2019
You can come up with a winning science fair project with the right topic, flawless execution, and a smart presentation. Learn how to use the scientific method when it comes to a project, to help you win that much-awaited award for your effort.
The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - Sir William Bragg
Science can be an interesting subject if children develop a liking for it during school. Science projects and fairs can be useful events, which may develop an interest for this subject amongst the students.
A science fair can be an exciting time for students in grade school as well as high school to explore different scientific ideas and concepts. During a fair, all the students try their level best to come up with the winning project. The key to winning is wise topic selection, perfect execution, and good quality presentation.

Selecting the Perfect Topic

The key to a winning science fair project is the selection of the perfect topic. If possible, make it a point to choose a contemporary topic. Avoid mundane topics that have been used since ages. It doesn't matter if you are working on a simple concept - Think out of the box and look how you can incorporate innovation in the run-of-the-mill projects.
While choosing a subject or a topic for your science project, make sure you pick a topic that really interests you. Choose a topic that you are confident about. Ask yourself whether you will be able to make a working model for the project.
In case you think the construction of the working model is difficult, try to pick an easier topic or else consult your seniors or teachers for suggestions on the model construction. In case you are hunting for topics, you can either look up your textbooks, reference books, or just log on to the Internet.

Flawless Execution

Once you have finalized your topic, the next thing is executing the idea. A brilliant idea can go totally waste if not executed properly. Make sure you get all the raw material required for executing the idea and making a working model for your project.
In case you are handling dangerous chemicals, or complicated electrical wiring and sockets, it is advisable to have an adult to supervise you and guide you during the process. Make sure you use the best material to build your project so that it is sturdy enough. It can be very embarrassing if the model goes kaput on the final day of the science fair.
Once you have constructed the model, make sure it functions properly. In case you are using batteries in your project it is advised to keep spare ones for the final day.

Quality Presentation

Now that you have your science fair project ready, it is necessary that you present it well. Make sure that you prepare a project report booklet, which has all the necessary information about your project and has your name on it. The booklet should include the principle of working, the mode of construction, and the final conclusion of your project.
The judges can go through the report to read the details about your project. Also, think of all the possible questions that might be asked about your project and be prepared to answer them with confidence. It is also advisable to prepare a small synopsis and a write-up that you can refer to while presenting your project.

Interesting Project Ideas

Easy-to-demonstrate Rocket Launch

Materials Used: Film canisters, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and acetic acid (vinegar)
  • First of all, chop off the lid of the film canister and pack it completely with baking soda.
  • Slowly pour a small quantity (about two teaspoons) of vinegar into the canister.
  • Now, gently place the lid on the film canister and close.
  • Quickly turn the canister upside-down, place it on the ground, and move away.
  • Within a matter of a few seconds, the canister will shoot up into the air.
In case it happens that your rocket fizzles, then use a canister with a tighter-fitting lid. Demonstrate this project in an open space. Be quick to move away from the canister, as soon as you put the lid since it can blow quickly.

Easy-to-make Barometer

Materials Used: A measuring glass or an empty container, an empty soda bottle, and water
  • Fill a glass or a container with water and add some colored dye into the water.
  • Flip an empty soda bottle upside down into the glass or container. (Make sure you use a bottle that fits snugly in the container, so that the mouth of the bottle doesn't touch the base of the cup.)
  • Now, make sure that the water level extends into the neck of the bottle.
  • Mark a line on the cup, which will help indicate the water level within the bottle.
  • Once you have set this apparatus, re-examine the bottle in a few days.
Since the water extended into the bottle acts as a plug, the amount of air within the bottle cannot change. This quantity of air trapped into the bottle serves as an indicator of the air pressure. When the air pressure increases, the pressure on the water surface is greater and hence the water is forced up into the bottle.
This is the basic principle of the barometer that can be simulated in this simple-to-construct barometer, that will make for a great science fair project.
Science can be a fun subject if students are allowed to explore its principles and concepts on their own. It gives them the opportunity, to experiment with various ideas and see the results for themselves. Science fair can also be the inception of a strong inclination towards the subject and can nurture the attitude of looking beyond the obvious.