We’re about to get started with your science fair report. When we last left off, you had just finished performing your experimentation and now have two items left on your plate:
Once you complete these steps you will have finished the scientific aspect of your project, hurray! Afterwards, we’ll talk about presenting your project to show off your science fair report and all of your hard work. For now, we’ll continue on and talk about gathering data.
You need to gather all of your hard won data together and analyze it. Let’s say you did an experiment where you tracked the percentage difference in energy generated between solar cells made from different materials.
A great way to put this data into a science fair report that’s easily readable at a glance is to put it into a spreadsheet and then generate a graph showing the energy output over time.
If you’ve never used spreadsheet software (like Microsoft Excel) before, you can ask your parents or your teacher to show you how to use it. Or, if you prefer, you can draw graphs of your data yourself, but this will take much more time and is unlikely to look as good as a graph generated by the computer.
There are different kinds of graphs available in Excel and you should pick the one that makes the most sense for your case.
Once you have your data in an easy to read form, look it over and see if it makes sense to you. You should, at a minimum, understand how your data corresponds to your experiment and at best be able to communicate what each data point means in relation to your experiment.
You should be able to use your graphs to communicate why you think certain things happened the way that they did in your experiment.
You’ll want to put your graph into your science fair report so when you make your graph, make sure you label your axes (these would be time and watts in our example) and provide a legend to describe what each point or line corresponds to. Make sure to provide units where appropriate (for instance: if one of your axes is time, then specify whether it’s in seconds or minutes.)
When you are done doing this analysis, you should have a pretty good idea as to whether your hypothesis was correct or not (don’t worry if it’s not!) If you performed any calculations, make sure to double check your formulas/math to ensure your results are correct.
When you are done gathering your data, you need to make a science project conclusion about your experiment where write about how the project turned out and what you learned.
When you have completed your conclusion, you just need to put together your science fair report. Your report will have many parts, but you have already done most of these including:
That may seem like a lot, but like we said you’ve already done most of this work, so don’t sweat it!
The Title Page is usually a restatement of your Question, but use your own judgment here – you might need to trim something like “Does Hydrostatic Pressure within a Water Cooled Turbine Cause Metal Fatigue?” down a bit.
A Table of Contents is page that lists where each section in your report is and what’s page number is. This goes a long way to making your project look and feel professional and well done.
The Project Abstract should briefly summarize your project. It should include your hypothesis, what materials you used to conduct your experiment, how you conducted your experiment, what your results were and what your conclusions were. Don’t forget: be brief here. You will get a chance to go into more detail later in the science fair report.
The Question and Hypothesis section of your science fair report will contain an explanation of the question you are posing and what your hypothesis is. Make surely to clearly state both.
The section on Topical Research should show what you learned during the research of your topic of interest and demonstrate why you choose your particular Question/Hypothesis. Since you chose a topic you like, this is a good spot to let your knowledge shine through.
Your Experiment section will go into the details of what materials you used for your experiment and how you used them to conduct your experiment. Remember that list you made that contained your experiment procedure, the steps to do your experiment? Well, you can use that here in your science fair report! Present that step-by-step procedure here and discuss each step and why it was important to the experiment. Be detailed, and don’t leave anything out that’s of consequence to the experiment.
The Results section deals with just that – just the results of your experiment. Just present the data you gathered from the experiment and do not discuss what it implies just yet. You can discuss your observations and measurements but not anything else.
Your Conclusion section will contain the interpretation of your results and should state whether your hypothesis (restate it here) was proved or disproved. Discuss how the experiment satisfied your Question and what you would do differently if anything. You have already done most (perhaps all) of this writing when you wrote your conclusion earlier and need to simply include it in your science fair report.
The pages that contain your Graphs and Figures section should contain any graphics that support your observations and conclusions such as the graph you made when you wrote up your conclusion.
The Bibliography section of your science fair report should cite all of your sources of information you used while making your project. Cite any encyclopedias, journals, lectures, books, or websites you may have used.
Once you have all of these sections typed up in a word processor, celebrate! Your science and writing work is done, your science fair report is done! Congratulations!
The LE Science fair also has guide for writing a good science fair report.
The only things left to do are to put together your Display Board and to prepare yourself for presentation, pretty cool huh? Ready to finish your project?