5 Top tips from: Sarah Sexton, head of stem programs Intel Ireland
1. Coming up with your idea – give yourself plenty of time to think about the idea for your science project and try to be as creative and imaginative with your idea as possible! Think about the world around you and questions you might have or problems that you come across every day. If you can, use a brainstorming process to put forward many ideas to be considered before choosing the one to work on. Remember, sometimes the simplest ideas make excellent projects.
2. Developing your idea – get out there and try things! Experiment, ask questions, take samples, do tests – real discovery happens when you are trying things for yourself. Try to not to just rely on the internet to find information or to do your research.
3. The project book – review the guidelines for the book and make yours are neat, clear and easy to follow as possible. Try to have the same format and style carry throughout and be careful not to just print information from the internet and add to your book. If you can, think about using diagrams, tables, graphs, images and don’t worry about the amount of text or writing that you have in the book – the most important thing is that it is clear and easy for the judge to follow.
4. Visual Display – the visual display is the chance for you to share you project with just a glance! Be sure to think about how to make it bright, clear, neat, easy to read - include pictures, graphs etc. – the visual display should really capture the most important points of your project in summary form. Remember, your display is not just your poster, you might have an experiment or a model to showcase or perhaps some props or other visual aids that help you explain your work.
5. Making your presentation – it’s important to think about how you are going to explain your project. If you are working in a team, think about how you will share different sections of the work between each member so that everyone gets a chance to participate. You don’t need to tell the judge everything so remember to summarize your project and really focus on the key results or key things you learned. Allow time for questions from the judge and try to not read directly from your project book.
Below is an example of a project carried out by a group students:
Project abstract – Do birds see in color?
“Our project sought to examine whether or not birds can see in color and have a preference for color - we measured out 5 equal bird feed samples, molding each into an equal sized ball shape and then we dyed 4 of the 5 samples into different colors being blue, red, green and yellow. The 5th sample remained neutral (not colored). We then left the bird feed in a location in our garden in order to carry out our experiment.
Over the next number of days we visited the test site and in order to determine how much feed had been taken by the birds we weighed each sample and took a record of its weight. We made sure to visit the site at the same time each day and to use a log book to record our data each day.
At the conclusion of our testing we were able to determine that the birds had taken the feed in equal amounts regardless of the color and therefore we conclude that birds do not see in color or have a color preference.”
Take a look at this list of past project titles which might guide and inspire your projects!
The Process of Making Paper
The Human Head and its amazing Facts
Power and Solar Energy
Sliotar to Science
Who Did It?
The Raving Robin & The Cocky Crow, A Bird Study
Sight and Taste
The Water Clock
Where we live!
Global Warming and Electricity
Road Rippers – Remote Control Car
Chilling Experiments on Heat Loss
How do aeroplanes work
Surface Tension Experiments
How land Yachts work
Forces and Gravity
I believe I can Fly
The egg cracker
Newton new, and now we do!
Genes and DNA
Heating it up with Celcius
Are You Sure Of What You See?
Volta’s Battery Bonanza
Passionate about Science
Stop Pollution, Think of a Solution
How Weather Affects a Ball
The Bright Sparks
Which dissolves better in water:salt, flour or baking soda