2012-2013 OMS Science Fair Club

Welcome to the Oak Middle School Science Fair Website!

This website was created for the the parents and students at Oak Middle School. If any other students, teachers, or parents from other schools happen to visit this site, you are more than welcome to link/share this page as well as utilize the links and handouts available. If you know of any other resources that you think would make a good addition to this site, please let me know!

I have provided numerous resources to help you through the different phases of a science fair project. All documents are housed on Google Docs. You can view them online or download them in their native format. (Please note that many documents may look distorted when you view them. When you download the file, it will look fine.)

Pay attention to the Science Fair Calendar at the bottom of the page. These dates are flexible, and are meant to be guidelines to help you stay on track with your project.

If you have questions or comments at any point, come talk with me.

Quick Links...

General Docs and Resources
Regional/State Fair Information
Science Fair 2.0
Lab Notebook
Choosing a Topic/Research Question
Background Research
Experimental Design
Data Analysis
Presentation
Science Fair Google Calendar

General Science Fair Documents & Resources

 

8 Gold Science Fair Student Guide (docx)
This is the handout received in class on the first day of this project. It gives a brief overview of what you will be doing over the next few months.

Science Fair Rules and Regulations (pdf)
This is specifically meant for the Worcester Regional Fair but will also apply to the OMS Science Fair

Science Fair Project Rubric (doc)
This is the rubric I use to assess students on this project. A judge's scoring rubric is viewable here.

"How To Guide" for Students by Students (Google Presentation)
This is the PowerPoint I showed during the introductory meeting. It gives an excellent overview of what to expect when doing a science fair project.

Science Fair student guide  (pdf)
This guide is provided by the MA State Science Fair and is probably the most helpful resource. It has excellent information for all steps of the science fair process. Some parts are a little advanced and geared more towards high school students. It is pretty lengthy so I did not print out a copy for you, but I highly recommend you download it!

Lab Report Format Template (doc)
Use this as a guide for your lab report. In fact, you could download this document and use it as a template.

Great Overview of the "Scientific Method"

 

Regional/State Science Fair Information

Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair (WRSEF) website
This is the website for both the middle and high school regional science fairs.

2013 WRSEF research plan (PDF)
The research plan is due March 1st the absolute latest! This also includes the human consent form and supervisor form.

You must get this approved before you can begin your experiment so I recommend you pass it in sooner if possible. This is a "PDF form" which means you can type information directly into document. You must then print it, sign it, and pass it in.

2013 WRSEF registration form (PDF)
The registration form is due April 12th the absolute latest! This is a "PDF form" which means you can type information directly into document. You must then print it, sign it, and pass it in.

WRSEF on YouTube!

Massachusetts State Science Fair website

 

Science Fair 2.0

Students can utilize online resources to improve communication and collaboration throughout all phases of this project.

Google Docs
All students are required to create a lab report document in Google Docs and "build" onto it as you complete each phase of the project. This document will be shared with me so that I can give you frequent feedback every step of the way. If you are working with a partner, you will create one document that is shared with each other.

Google International Science Fair
Let me know if you are interested in competing in Google's online science fair. You would compete against students your age from all over the world. You may do this competition in addition to, or instead of the Worcester Regional Science Fair. Information will not come out until January, but every phase of the project is done online using Google tools (Blogger, YouTube, Sites, Drive, etc.)

Diigo
Diigo is an excellent social bookmarking tool. There are many alternatives out there as well. The main benefit from using a tool like Diigo is it helps keep track, organize, and collaborate on your research. It's still important for you to take notes in your lab notebook (NEVER copy and paste information!) but it saves all of your bibliographical information so you do not need to spend time writing it all down for every source. There is a "bookmarklet" you can install on the web browser that lets you bookmark, highlight, and share information. You can also write notes for each site and mark it with multiple "tags" for easy reference.

Setting Up Your Lab Notebook

The science fair lab notebook is the hardest, yet most important part of your project. You are required to record EVERYTHING related to your project in a notebook. It must be detailed, organized, and written in pen.

What makes a great science project notebook?
Science Buddies handout

Setting up your lab notebook (Google Presentation)

Choosing a Topic/Research Question

Explore these sites if you need help coming up with a topic. I have many books and science fair programs in my classroom that you can look through as well. Keep in mind that the best projects are original. If you find an interesting idea on one of these sites, change it in some way to make it your own. Do not copy it exactly!

Choosing a good science fair question

Four Question Strategy for Developing a Research Question
This is a great method for developing an experiment based on a topic that interests you. I have provided an example for how this may look for a student interested in "Mentos and Diet Coke".

MythBusters Forum
Try looking through these M.B. forums to find a myth that you may like to put to the test! I would recommend you start your search with "Science and Myth Questions."

Science Buddies
Plenty of great ideas and advice. Use their "topic selection wizard" to help get an idea what interests you in science. Keep in mind though that this is a VERY popular site. The topics are no longer original and should be modified.

All Science Fair Projects
Hundreds of different projects. Search or browse ideas by topic

DragonFly TV Science Fair Site
Lots of cool ideas from forensics and makeup to snowboarding and ice hockey. Well worth a visit!

Julian Trubin Science Fair Website

Science Fair Project Ideas
This site has easy, medium, and challenging projects. It also includes ways of testing a similar topic.

Sport Science
Cool site that explains the science behind many popular sports

Renewable Energy Project Ideas

Eco Ideas
There are some very cool ideas. Look at their YouTube channel for lots of videos showing some of the cool ideas!

Renewable Energy Project Plans
Great ideas for energy-focused projects including wind turbines, solar ovens, and hydro generators

eGFI: Dream Up the Future Engineering Activities

Energy Quest Science Projects

Energy Kids Science Fair

KidWind Science Fair Ideas

Engineering Design Project Ideas

Engineering and Programming Project Tips

Try Engineering
Search lesson plans by age range and topic.

Design Squad: Engineering Activities

 

Background Research

You must conduct background research into your topic so you can learn what is already known about the topic. The research will vary quite a bit depending on what you want to focus on. For each source that you find, you must write down the bibliographical information. Try to get a variety of sources including journals, magazines, books, websites, interviews, etc. All information must be recorded in your lab notebook. Use all of the resources given to you for the medieval research paper!

Background Research Plan
Great Science Buddies resource that guides you on how to conduct background research on your chosen topic. I did not print this out for you because it's long, but everyone should read this tonight for homework.

Ask an Expert
This is a great resource from Science Buddies that allows you to have your questions answered by real scientists and experts in the field. You must sign up in order to post questions, but you can also browse topics and search for answers to other students' questions.

Sweet Search
This is a great search engine! Every website has been evaluated by research experts so you can trust them and the information they contain. It will not give you as many results as Google, but quantity is not always better than quality!

Media Center: Student Resources
Use this site to access online databases, reference sources, and research handouts.

Popular Science Magazine Archives
You can search for information found in any of their magazines over the last 138 years.

Discover Magazine Archives

Science Magazine Archives

ChemMatters Articles by Topic
This is a high school chemistry magazine.

Scientific American

Science News

Science News for Students

Science Daily

Other Science Resources

Below are some science resource sites I provide to my students. These sites contain a lot of content information on different areas of science. Some also contain science fair ideas related to that topic.

Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency
This site has a lot of great information and resources for both experimental and engineering projects.

Chemistry Resources

Physics Resources

Earth Science Resources

 

Citing Your Sources/Bibliography

OMS Media Center Bibliography Guide
This guide gives examples for citing every type of reference you may use.

EasyBib
This is an easy to use bibliography citation generator that is free for MLA formatting.

 

Experimental Design

Designing Your Science Fair Experiment (Google Presentation)
This is the slideshow I showed in class.

Experimental Design Graphic Organizer (doc)

Experimental Design Vocabulary (doc)
This handout explains all you need know including different types of variables, controls, precision vs accuracy, etc.

Writing A Good List of Materials and Procedure (doc)

Independent, Dependent, and Controlled Variables
Science Buddies Handout

Hypothesis
Science Buddies Handout

Materials List
Science Buddies Handout

Experimental Procedure
Science Buddies Handout

Conducting the Experiment
Science Buddies Handout

Setting up a Data Table (doc)

 

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Tips
Really good website that explains how to do various types of analysis for your data.

Data Analysis and Graphing
Science Buddies handout

Summarizing your data
More "in depth" look at data analysis

Drawing Conclusions
Science Buddies handout

Create A Graph
Good website that allows you to enter the data and create and customize many types of graphs. It is MUCH easier to use than Excel.

 

Presentation Tips

Tips for Displaying your Science Fair Board

Science Fair Display Boards
Science Buddies handout

Tips for your presentation to the judges

 

Science Fair Google Calendar