Science Fair

 

Calling all future scientists! The DoSeum is hosting our Inaugural Science Fair February 9 – 10, 2019. We are looking for the best and brightest young scientists in San Antonio from grades 1 – 6. Have you discovered which clear liquid has more or less viscosity than other liquids, what surface is better for a toy car to travel across, or the ideal growing conditions for plants? Enter a project yourself or with a group of 5 or less. We want to see what you have discovered, observed, and studied!


Important Dates: 
November 1 - January 29 Registration Period
Project Registration fee: $45 
February 8 Set Up Day
Any time between 2 pm - 8 pm
February 9 Public Showcase and Review
Public Viewing:  9 am - 5 pm
Expert Review:  10 am - Noon
February 10
Public Showcase 
Public Viewing: Noon - 4 pm
Closing Remarks & Ceremony:  4 pm - 4:30 pm
Breakdown:  4:30 pm - 6 pm

 

Guidelines and Information

  • Project entry fee is $45.
  • There are two science fair divisions: students in grade 1- 3 or grades 4-6. 
  • Projects can be entered by an individual student or a group (team) of up to five children.
  • All members of the group must be in the same division.
  • A student can only enter one project; a student cannot enter both an individual and group project. A student cannot participate in multiple group projects.
  • An adult (supervising adult) will sign off on the science fair project, complete the paperwork, and pay the entry fee.
  • Students are responsible for work regarding the science project, research, display, and presentation.
  • Projects will focus on a scientific investigation.
  • Animals and/or humans cannot be the topic of or part of a science fair project for The DoSeum.
  • Projects involving a controlled substance, such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, etc. are prohibited.
  • Projects involving blood and pathogenic agents, such as bacteria, mold, viruses, fungi, parasites, etc. are prohibited.
  • Projects involving weapons (any kind of gun, arrows, knives, darts, paint guns, etc.) or explosives (including rocketry engines) are prohibited.
  • Projects should not be a model, a demonstration, or a product comparison.
  • Display boards must be self-standing reinforced cardboard, plywood, or other material. The project cannot lean on the table, wall, or other projects. Nails, glue, or tape cannot be placed onto tables or walls.
  • Only paper and pictures should be on the display board. There should not be any other items attached to the board, such as 3-dimensional objects, vines, foam board backing, aluminum foil, fabric, lights, etc. Items other than paper and pictures will be removed. Corrugated border or paper border is acceptable. 
  • Pictures of students faces are not allowed on display boards, journals, or other components of the project.
  • Names are not allowed on projects. All information such as: name, parents’ names, school/affiliation, grade, etc. will be put on the entry form and submitted with the project. Corresponding number and entry form will identify project and student(s).
  • Students will accompany their display during the expert analysis to answer questions.
  • Project should be neat and accurately exhibit the work and knowledge of the student(s). Note that the display is not an art project but a representation of the inquiry of science.
  • Standard science fair display boards will be the center of the presentation; additional objects for display require approval of the DoSeum science fair coordinator.
  • The DoSeum reserves the right to reject projects they deem inappropriate and remove items not in compliance.

Tips

  • Science projects can be interesting and satisfying, because you will be challenged to learn new things and accomplish something on your own. However, science projects take a lot of time and intellectual effort. Anyone can be successful if they plan their project well.
  • Ideally, the title of your project should be catchy, an "interest-grabber," but it should also describe the project well enough that people reading your report can quickly figure out what you were studying. You will want to write your Title and Background sections AFTER you have come up with a good question to study. 
  • Background research is necessary so that you know how to design and understand your scientific investigation. To make a background research plan — a roadmap of the research questions you need to answer — follow these steps:
  1. Identify the keywords in the question for your science fair project. Brainstorm additional keywords and concepts.
  2. Use a table with the "question words" (why, how, who, what, when, where) to generate research questions from your keywords. For example:

What is the difference between a series and parallel circuit?
When does a plant grow the most, during the day or night?
Where is the focal point of a lens?
How does a java applet work?
Does a truss make a bridge stronger?
Why are moths attracted to light?

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/writing-a-science-fair-project-research-plan

http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~lessonplans/sciencefairprojects.pdf

Helpful Resources: (The DoSeum does not endorse or promote any website; this list is simply a source of information to aid students in research and brainstorming.) Use good judgement in deciding and implementing a project. Parental supervision is required and recommended with all components of the science fair project.

http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/category39.html

https://sciencebob.com/science-fair-ideas/ideas/

https://sciencestruck.com/easy-science-fair-projects-for-kids

https://www.sciencefaircentral.com/

Other helpful information

PURPOSE 

This statement will explain why the scientific investigation is being addressed. With a well written purpose leading the scientific investigation, it will be easy to decide on a title for the science fair project. The purpose can start with: what is…, why does..., how will..., where would...

HYPOTHESIS 

The hypothesis states what might happen based on the general understanding of the content or topic. Predicting what might happen in a scientific investigation based on earlier knowledge is like a scientist’s behavior in the early stages of his/her work. Here is an example of a purpose: Where would the best place be to grow plants?  Hypothesis: Growing plants in the kitchen bay window would be a better place then the kitchen pantry due to the amount of sunlight available in each location.

MATERIALS 

All the supplies, equipment, and items used in the scientific investigation should be listed in clear wording with specific details. Be specific with how much, what kind, and how many! Metric units should be used to specify quantities. 

Materials List Specific Materials List
Measuring Cup 500 ml graduated beaker
Saltwater 250 ml saltwater
Cake pan Metal container 1-20 x 20 cm sq.
Thermometer Celsius thermometer
Clock Stopwatch

                    

VARIABLE, CONSTANTS, AND THE CONTROL 

  1. Variable – the one item or component being changed in a scientific investigation. 
  2. Constants – the component(s) held constant (not changed) throughout the scientific investigation.
  3. Control – the test done without changing the original component. The student should understand what the change is and why it was or was not right for his/her project.

 

SCIENTIFIC STEPS

Directions should be arranged in steps and clear so that another young scientist can replicate the scientific investigation. 

Clear Steps Unclear Steps
1. Give one plant 60mL of water 1. Add water to one plant
2. Give the second 60mL of vinegar water 2. Put the other liquid in the second plant
3. Observe and measure each plant with a metric ruler on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 20 days 3. Observe changes in plant 

Glossary

Conclusion – the interpretation of data and information collected as related to the question of the scientific investigation.

Data – measurements, results from observations, and other information gathered or recorded during the scientific steps of the investigation.

Hypothesis – a prediction based on some degree of prior knowledge that is directly aligned to the scientific  investigation. A hypothesis turning out to be inaccurate is not a bad thing but provides useful information in the course of the scientific investigation.

Log (journal) – a dairy or notebook of the progress of the scientific investigation. Entries into the log (journal) should be dated and include research notes, recorded measurements, observations, test results, and other information related to the scientific investigation.

Materials – equipment, supplies, and all other items used during the scientific investigation. Typically, a list is provided with exact amounts, sizes, and quantities. Basically, any and everything used to carry out the scientific investigation.

Testable question – a question that can be answered from the scientific investigation which lead the focus of learning. For example, the time a pendulum takes to swing back and forth is depended upon the length of the cord. The testable question is “what causes the amount of time it takes for a pendulum to swing?”

Scientific Investigation – a manageable set of steps that includes gathering data, measurements, and/or information to address a testable question using specific materials and provides an answer to a scientific idea such as how one thing affects another.

Scientific Steps – precise steps, directions, or procedures provided to observe effects, collect measurements, and note results in the scientific investigation. 

Variable – factor that can affect the results of a scientific investigation. What is the one thing changed in the scientific investigation that may affect something? The answer is the variable. What is the thing not changed in the scientific investigation? The answer is the control. As the scientific investigation is designed, details must be given to the variable (thing changed), controls (thing or things not changed), and possible outcomes. 

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