All of our knowledge in science stems from people asking and answering questions. With all of the people who have come before us, it might seem like all the good questions are already taken, but surprisingly, with every question answered, good science asks new questions. I hope that instead of being merely a burden, that you take the time to recognize that you can answer questions too. Find something in your life that you have always wondered about and try and figure out how or why it works the way it does.
As a major project, the research grade will count as two major test grades or 200 points on the Test portion of your grade. Poster boards for the presentations have been graciously provided by Synopsys and will be supplied when you hand in your research report.
To help motivate you to reach each of the timeline checkpoints, points will be awarded for each completed checkpoint. Keep up with the deadlines and it will be much less stressful. I and Ms. Lash are available every step of the way to help you with this, so come and talk to us if you feel confused. Don’t wait until the day before the deadline though!
Checkpoints to completing your science fair research project:
11/19/12 Preliminary Topic chosen, 10 points
11/30/12 Five reference articles to read, 15 points
12/7/12 Summaries for each of the five articles, 25 points
12/14/12 Hypothesis and Procedure for science fair project, 20 points
1/22/13 Summarize data and initial analysis, 20 points
1/29/13 Science Fair Report is due, 50 points
2/5/13 Science Fair Board is due, 40 points
2/6/13 Science Fair Presentation and Celebration, 20 points
All science students participating in this year’s competition will need to sign up with Dr. Kelly and Ms. Lash. Each student must have their own topic and each experiment MUST be unique. You may find someone with a similar topic, but the experiment that you perform MUST be different. You will need to check the sign-up list to verify that your topic has not already been chosen.
Finding a Topic
Many students have a hard time coming up with an experiment. Good science fair projects can be found everywhere once you begin looking. Looking at past successful projects can help you figure out ideas.
The results for last years California State Science Fair can be found at the link below. If you look through the website, you can find project titles and a brief description of the experiment and results. One good way to create a project is to build on a previous experiment.
Three of our Bishop students won at last year’s Santa Barbara County Science Fair and one of them went to the California State Science Fair and took home a fourth place medal! http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/Current/ You might be intimidated by some of the titles, but in almost every case, students had help from mentors in the community.
Personally I am always inspired with new ideas when I read stories from the following websites:
National Science Foundation News, http://www.nsf.gov/news/
NY Times Science Times, http://www.nytimes.com/pages/science/index.html
Finding reference articles
Although the internet is full of great information, it is also has lots of garbage. Part of the skill of doing research is being able to filter the reliable information from the unreliable. It is essential that all of your five articles be independently verifiable. Wikipedia, contrary to some opinions, is an excellent starting point for many research projects. If the Wikipedia article contains a list of