Using Scientific Method For Science Fair Projects With Science Kits

Jeanne A. Curley

Using the scientific method and good science kits can help you succeed with any science fair project. It can make the difference between failure and success. So to help you get started, we’ve compiled the following list of a few crucial steps.

The first step is to identify the question you are seeking to answer. Your question should ask how, what, when, who, where or why regarding something you have observed. The question becomes the foundation for the science fair project. Answering this question becomes the goal of the project. The scientific method will guide you through the project as you gather scientific evidence through various steps of observation, research, trial and error, and measuring, all for the purpose of substantiating any conclusions you will make.

The second step is doing background research to gather information that will help you answer the question you identified in step one. These research findings will become evidence that you will use to prove or disprove a theory. Research can incorporate your local library and the internet. It can also include science kits related to the topic of your question. For example, if your question is related to crystal growing, you can find science kits filled with valuable materials and information that can be used as part of your evidence.

Here is a tip for any research: it’s entirely possible someone else before you has attempted to answer the same question. You don’t want to retrace another’s steps. Your goal is to blaze your own trails while using the knowledge and evidence that others have already uncovered. Even if you utilize science kits prepared for the masses, you can add your own unique approach to how you use it in your science fair project.

Third, after completing the background research, you’ll then form your hypothesis. This means you consider all of the information you’ve gathered, and make an assumption of its outcome. This is also called an “educated guess”. You’ll want to form your hypothesis in such a way that you can not only prove it, but measure your findings that lead you to the answer of your hypothesis.

Fourth, you must test your hypothesis. This can truly be the fun part of your project. You’ve developed your question, completed your research and formed your hypothesis. Your goal now is to prove that hypothesis with experiments. This is another step where good science kits can help by providing you with the materials and information needed to conduct a meaningful test. A good science kit can provide scientific tools and other items that are not normally found around the house.

Here is a tip regarding the testing step. Ideally, you will be able to prove your hypothesis as true, but every good scientist has had his share of projects that disproved his hypothesis. Some scientists have made impressive advances by proving their hypothesis is false. It’s how we move forward and progress. Still, if your hypothesis isn’t proven via your experiments, you will need to backtrack and redefine the hypothesis to one that can be proven successfully.

Finally, every good scientist knows the importance of communication. You will need to document your findings and then communicate your results to others. One way to do this is by displaying your project at a science fair. Displaying colorful posters at the science fair can help better communicate your project. Another method of communication is written reports and articles.

The greatest realizations and inventions throughout history began when someone asked questions and set out to find answers supported by evidence. A science fair is a great place to practice and refine natural traits of curiosity and determination, traits that have caused mankind to keep advancing through the ages. By using the scientific method combined with good science kits, you may just be the next inventor of something amazing that will propel the human race forward.

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