Dozier Middle School

432 Industrial Park Drive     Newport News, VA 23608     Phone: (757) 888-3300     Fax: (757) 887-3662

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  • Seventh Grade Dates - TBA
  • Eighth Grade Dates - TBA
  • General Expectations
  • Choosing a science fair topic
  • Research
  • Designing the experiment
  • Doing the experiment
  • Analyzing the results
  • Creating the presentation

Science Fair Project Idea Links


Abstract Concise statement of the problem, materials and methods, key results and conclusions. It should not exceed 250 words.
Acknowledgments The author gives credit for specific assistance from scientists, instructors, parents or other sources.
Adult Sponsor The classroom teacher
Appendix A section, separate from the main body of the paper, which contains details and illustrations not required in the Results sections; includes all raw data.
Bibliography An unnumbered alphabetical listing of all papers, books, journal articles and communications sited in the paper; last section of the research paper
Constant All factors in the experiment that the student attempts to keep the same. These conditions should be monitored so that they do not change.
Control Group The part of an experiment that serves as a standard of comparison. A control group is used to detect the effects of factors that should be kept constant, but may very. The control may be a "no treatment group" or an "experimenter selected" group. All experiments should have a control group.
Data The student's observations of everything that happens during the experiment. Even errors or disasters are to be included. Quantitative data based on multiple trials of the experiment must be recorded to provide adequate documentation. Raw data is often included in the report an an appendix.
Dependent Variable (DV) The factor or condition in the experiment which changes as a result of the experimentation. (Height of a plant depends on the amount of sunlight). Sometimes called the responding variable.
Discussion/Conclusion Purpose of study, the major findings and support of the hypothesis by the data restated. Focus should be on the interpretation of the results. Propose explanations for discrepancies. Make suggestions or recommendations for further study and for procedural improvements. Include a clear and concise statement that answers the problem and accepts/rejects the hypothesis.
Hypothesis Through the student's literature search he/she becomes educated enough to make a guess as to what the experiment will show. This is an educated guess about the relationship between the variables that can be tested (prior to the experiment). This needs to be in the If...then format.
Independent Variable(IV) The factor or condition in the experiment which the student intentionally changes. (The amount of sunlight given a plant). This is sometimes called the manipulative variable.
Introduction (ISEF) In paragraph form. It sets the scene for the report. Includes the hypothesis or engineering goals, an explanation of what prompted the research and what you hope to achieve (purpose).
Levels of IV the specific values (kinds, sizes or amounts) of the independent variable that are tested in an experiment
Logbook The student's dated chronological record of his/her science project ideas, information, notes, equipment, materials, events, data, sketches etc. This provides both the teachers and parents a way to monitor the progress of the science project.
Materials and methods (ISEF) a list of materials and equipment that were used.
Problem Specifically what the student is attempting to find out by doing his/her experiment. It should be posed in question form.
Procedure (ISEF only) A detailed explanation of how you will conduct the experiment to test your hypothesis. It should be like a recipe. Include a regular timetable for measuring results or observing. The description should provide sufficient detail to allow a reader to repeat the study. Metric units of measurement are to be used.
Purpose An explanation of the student's interest in the problem and his/her reasons for selecting the problem.
Repeated Trials The number of experimental repetitions, objects or organisms tested. At a minimum, there should be 3 repeated trials. (More trials may be necessary dependent upon the nature of the experiment.)
Research/Literature Search Learning about the topic by reading books, newspapers, magazines, scientific journals, scientific encyclopedias; by watching TV, films; by surfing the Internet; and b;y interviewing people who are knowledgeable regarding the topic. Information gathered by the student is written in his/her scientist's logbook along with the bibliographic information.
Results The information obtained as a result of the investigation or experimentation. Data should be summarized from the information in the logbook in diagrams, charts, graphs or tables, Results of any statistical analysis are also presented here.
Table of Contents Allows a reader to follow the organization of the paper quickly. (Does not apply to VJAS)
Title Page Cover page which includes: title, student name, teacher and date. (NOT included with JVAS entry).
Topic The general are of interest explored through the project investigation.



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