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Science Fair Paper: Product Descriptor

Required Elements:
1. Abstract (Must be posted on the board)
2. Safety Sheet (Must be posted on the board)
3. Research Summary (Certain parts will be present on the board AND in the paper)

1. Abstract
The abstract is a concise, one-page abbreviation of the Research Summary. It
consists of three paragraphs (purpose, procedure and conclusion) having a total of
200 words or fewer. Must be typed, single space and on the front side of the form
provided. DO NOT write on the back of the form provided!

2. Safety Sheet
The purpose of the safety sheet is to keep students aware of all actual and
potential safety hazards. A statement of the hazards encountered in the project
and the control measures used are to be prepared by the student and signed by
both the student and the sponsoring teacher. If there were no possible hazards,
write a statement indicating that there were no possible hazards associated with
the experiment.

3. Research Summary
The research summary must be no longer than 20 pages. The page total includes
the Abstract, Safety Sheet, title page, table of contents, body of paper, reference
list of literature cited, and appendixes of data, graphs, photos, and other items.

Name of Section Description of Section Due Date


Topic Students must choose a topic in the flight, Tuesday,
botany or environmental science category. November 10th,
2009
Title Page Students will be given a template to follow. Thursday,
November 12th,
2009
Table of Contents The list of topics or matter contained in the Thursday,
paper, including page numbers. December 17th,
2009
Acknowledgements A listing of persons or agencies that gave Thursday,
the student guidance and helped with this December 17th,
research. It may include a single individual, 2009
an organization, a hospital, or some other
agency.

Purpose An explanation of what is to be Tuesday,


accomplished by doing this research and November 17th,
how it will influence the world. Why would a 2009
person want to know the answer to this
problem? (Purpose).

Hypothesis A description of the expected outcome Thursday,


should be included. Students need to November 19th
explain WHY they think this will be the
expected outcome. (Hypothesis).
Review of A discussion of the background information Thursday,
Literature/Research for the independent (What are you December 3rd,
changing?) and dependent (What are you 2009
measuring?) variables. The students need to
describe everything he/she can about the
variables. For example: What is it made of?
How does it work? How is it made? How has
it changed over the years? When was it
created and how was it created?

Make sure to cite the source properly in the


paper at the end of the sentence to which it
refers, like this for a particular page (Smith,
1999, p. 10) and like this for a general
citation (Smith, 1999). Be sure to put in
quotation marks all information that is taken
word for word from a source and cite it
properly. Be sure to cite a source even if
you are paraphrasing the information from
the source.

Materials and A listing of the materials used in the Thursday,


Methods of research. How the materials in the research December 3rd,
Procedure problem were used should be included. 2009
Drawings and/or photographs are
appropriate if they enhance or clarify the
explanation. You need to repeat the
experiment at least 3 times. You must also
have a control group.

Results A clear, concise presentation of the data Thursday,


accumulated as a result of the procedure. December 10th,
Drawings, charts, graphs, and other items 2009
pertinent to the project should be included.
Caption all photographs. Label all drawings,
charts, graphs. Attractive charts and
graphs, either computer generated or hand
drawn, are important in showing results.
Conclusions A concise evaluation and interpretation of Tuesday,
the data and/results. Opinions of the results December 15th,
are expressed in this section. For example: 2009
Why did the results turn out this way? What
factors affected the results and how? What
parts of the experiment were changed and
why? Was the hypothesis right or wrong and
why? The conclusions should be limited to
results of the investigation and should refer
to the stated purpose and hypothesis. The
effects of experimental error should be
estimated and considered when drawing
conclusions.
Reference List A list of published article, books, and other Thursday,
communications, including works either December 3rd,
quoted or paraphrased that are actually 2009
cited in the Review of Literature. The listing
should be presented alphabetically by the
author’s last name and should be placed at
the end of the paper. You must have at
least 5 sources! One must be from a
text, not the internet!

Sample topics

How Does the Amount of Fertilizer Affect Plant Growth?


Does Classical Music Help Plants Grow?
How Does the Type of Soil Affect the Filtration Rate?
Does Pollution Affect Plant Growth?
Does the Design of an Aircraft Affect its Flight Pattern?

Sample Websites
1) http://all-science-fair-projects.com
2) http://www.sciencebuddies.org.
3) http://www.juliantrubin.com

Checklist for the Physical Arrangement of the Required Paper


(All Sections MUST be typed unless otherwise specified. Please only use black
ink, 1” margins all around, double-spaced, Times New Roman Font. Be sure to
SAVE all work every time your child works on their paper. Some of the
sections will be present on the board and in the paper so two copies will be
made throughout the whole process.)

□ Abstract
□ First page of paper.
□ 3 paragraphs with proper headings: Purpose, Procedure, & Conclusion.
□ Typed single-spaced on specific form provided.
□ 200 words or less.

□ Safety Sheet
□ Second page of paper.
□ Possible hazards listed, precautions described.
□ Typed single-spaced on specific form provided.
□ Signed by sponsor (Ms. Prieto).

□ Title Page of Research Summary


□ Approval signed by both the sponsor (Mrs. Prieto).
□ Typed according to specific format provided by Mrs. Prieto.

□ Table of Contents
□ Project title and exhibitor’s last name should be typed at the top left of Table of
Contents and each following page.
□ Typed title of section and the page number where it is found.
□ Acknowledgements
□ Credit is given to those who have helped.
□ Typed in complete sentences and paragraph form.

□ Purpose Statement
□ States precisely what the investigation was attempting to discover.
□ States a definite question or problem.
□ Explain why you wanted to research this question or problem.
□ Explain why someone else would want to know the answer to this question.
□ Typed in complete sentences and paragraph form.

□ Hypothesis Statement
□ Hypothesis statement is present.
□ Explain why you made that particular hypothesis statement. Answer how you
arrived at that possible conclusion?
□ Answer what you think is going to happen and why.
□ Typed in complete sentences and paragraph form.

□ Review of Literature/Research
□ Use of third person is evident.
□ Logical and/or related grouping of information.
□ Accuracy in calculations, spelling, grammar, and quotations.
□ Background information on your independent and dependent variables.
□ Information paraphrased and/or quoted directly is cited properly in the paper.
□ Typed in complete sentences and paragraph form.
□ At least 1 to 2 pages long!
□ Variables
□ Identify your independent variable, dependent variable and all your controls.
□ Typed in complete sentences.

□ Materials
□ Apparatus (equipment used) and materials are listed.
□ List how the materials were used in the experiment.
□ Drawings and photographs are present if they enhance and clarify the
apparatus.
□ Typed in list format with complete sentences.

□ Method of Procedure
□ Step-by-step, chronological procedures are present.
□ Number of test groups is adequate (make sure you have a control group), and
the number of trials (at least 3) within each test group is adequate.
□ The procedure should be presented in step-by-step form with complete
sentences.

□ Results
□ Data is organized into tables or charts with accompanying graphs (at least one
graph and data table must be present).
□ Data is quantitative and correct units of measurement (metric) are used.
□ Data is clear and accurate.
□ All parts of the graph and data table are correctly labeled and identified.
□ All students must have pictures of their experiment during the testing phases.
□ One paragraph explaining what the graph is showing and why the student chose
to show the data in this type of graph.

□ Conclusions
□ Evaluation and interpretation of data is present, explain why the student got
those specific results from testing.
□ Refers back to purpose and hypothesis; answers the original question.
□ Is valid and limited to the results of the experiment.
□ Makes a connection back to the research and uses the research to help explain
the results.
□ Identifies the changes made during the testing; why those changes were made;
how those changes affected the test results.
□ Typed in complete sentences and paragraph form.

□ Reference List
□ Please DO NOT refer to the list as a bibliography.
□ References come from a variety of sources (at least five sources, one must be
from a text!)
□ References are current (copyright date of 2000 or more current).
□ Reference list is alphabetical.
□ Proper APA or MLA format is used for all the references (see notes from Mrs.
Murphy, the librarian. Website addresses will be provided later that will help with
proper MLA and APA format. High schools are currently moving towards MLA style
in high school for research papers).