Suddenly, one day your teacher, instead of the usual home assignments, assigns you a science fair project. How do you go about it? Your parents might be helping out with your homework but they may not be of much help in developing winning science fair project ideas. Panic is the last thing you should do.
Science fair projects are now very much a part of most school curriculums. You cannot escape them. Far from dreading them you will find such projects educative, creative and most of all great fun because, usually, choice of the project is all yours. There are plenty of science fair project ideas for junior, middle or senior level school students. Here are some tips for idea hunting.
Where to source ideas
First, find out the science categories that interest you most, then zero onto a subject. For instance, if it is agriculture, you could choose dry land farming, needed very much in Africa. Check the science section of your school library, browse through the books to help choose a project of your liking.
Go through science magazines or encyclopedias. Some recommended magazines are National Geographic, Discover, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Mother Earth News. Surf the Internet. You can even check out your town library. Current events, newspapers, TV as well as checking out the tall claims of some TV commercials can all give you good ideas.
Projects are generally shown in science fairs as a display or on posters. By and large there are two project types. Display projects and experimental projects.
Display projects are just displays and are more suitable for junior level students. Here creativity lies in the way the display is shown. Examples of such displays are;
- How door bells work
- How heat produces electricity
- How to weave and sew
- How electromagnetism works
- The solar system
- The various phases of the moon
Experimental projects are for the advanced students. Here an experiment is displayed to show the process as well as the outcome. Remember to follow good safety practices when dealing with fire or chemicals. In such projects it would be advisable to keep records of the processes you followed and the results obtained, since they influence grading.
Some advanced science fair project ideas can be:
- How electric current is affected by the material conducting it
- How fluorescent lights compare with standard lights affect in consumption and illumination
- How does the amount of oxygen affect the rate of burning of different substances
- How do magnets work
- How does salt affect the freezing and boiling points of liquids
Finally, don’t forget that having winning science fair project ideas could earn you a place in higher-level competitions or scholarships.