Science Fair

Science Fair Project Guidelines
 authored by Mr. Lawrence
Typical Problem Statement:
Does the addition of fertilizer help plants grow? (Not Correct)
Sample Problem Statements: (Correct)
  1. What effect does the addition of Miracle Grow, Peter’s Professional, and Nature’s Own fertilizer have on the average growth height of Big Boy Tomato plants over a period of two months?
  2. What effect does the addition of fertilizer (Miracle Grow, Peter’s Professional, and Nature’s Own) have on the (average number of fruit) of (Big Boy Tomato plants) over a period of (two months?)
  3. What effect does the addition of fertilizer (Miracle Grow, Peter’s Professional, and Nature’s Own) have on the (average health) of (Big Boy Tomato plants) over a period of (two months?)
  4. What effect does the addition of 0.5g, 1.0g, 1.5g, 2.0g, 2.5g, and 3.0g of fertilizer (Miracle Grow, Peter’s Professional, and Nature’s own) have on the (average health) of (Big Boy Tomato plants) over a period of (two months?)

 Sample Hypothesis for the above Problem Statements:

1.      If Big Boy Tomato Plants are fertilized with Miracle Grow fertilizer, then those plants will have an average growth height of 10 cm greater than those plants fertilized with Peter’s Professional or Nature’s Own fertilizers.

2.      If Big Boy Tomato Plants are fertilized with Peter’s Professional fertilizer, then those plants will have an average fruit yield of 5 more fruit greater than the control group and than those plants fertilized with Miracle Grow or Nature’s Own fertilizers.

3.      Using the subjective “Health Scale” created, the Big boy Tomato Plants fertilized with Nature’s Own  fertilizer will have an average health rate greater than those plants fertilized with Miracle Grow or Peter’s Professional fertilizers.

 Sample Null Hypothesis for the above Problem Statements

Adding Miracle Grow, Peter’s Professional, or Nature’s Own fertilizer to Big Boy Tomato plants will not have any effect on the: average height grown, or the number of fruit produced, or the average health rate of the plants.


1.      Found on the left side of the board

2.      Located under the Hypothesis

3.      List everything you will do

4.      In numbered order

5.      Step by step order

6.      Explain the use of your materials

7.      Using metric units

8.      Written in future tense

9.    You should have a minimum of forty (40) trials in your experiment


Found in the lower right corner of the board (left if looking at the board) 

Includes the Problem Statement, Hypothesis, Summary of Procedures, Results and Conclusions

250 words or less

Written in Past Tense / 3rd Person

Do Not include background information

Do Not include other individuals findings

Condensed Version of your project

 Center section of the board


Data / Data Tables (enough data to substantiate your results, between 20-40 trials)



Proof that you did the research

 Upper Right Hand Corner of the Board 


Manipulated Variable or (Independent Variable)

Responding Variable or (Dependent Variable)

All Variables held constant

Explain how held constant


 Lower Right Hand Corner of the board 


Conclusion (This must be in paragraph form and must answer all seven questions)

1.              What was investigated?

2.              Was the hypothesis supported by the data?

3.              What were the major findings?

4.              How did your findings compare with other researchers?

5.              What possible explanations can you offer for your findings? 

6.              What recommendations do you have for further study and for improving the experiment? 

7.              What are some possible applications of the experiment?


Do Not use Staples

Nothing on the board except paper

NO background information

NO work of other people

NO acknowledgements

NO bibliographies

No materials list

NO pictures cut out of a magazine

NO “stuff” to just “take up space”

NO samples on the board

No border over ½“

No “rainbow” coloring

Title no more than top 1/3

Fancy print

Small print

No “yellow” print

No ribbons, awards, recognitions

No research

No more than 2 colors (excluding black / white)

Don’t be artsy!

Nothing explicit


Do put only your own work on the board

Color Scheme (2 colors)

Scientific Title

Large enough print to read easily

All print in black or dark ink

Pictures and proof of project

Color background around write-ups

Board size should be 36"x48"

½” border

NEAT and professional /appealing

Only mount paper on the board

Detailed Problem Statement

Title no more than top 1/3

Acknowledge person taking picture(s)

Show supportive Data

  When is your science fair project due? November 6th, 2014      


Evaluation Criteria 0 least – 3 most Points
ProblemTo what degree is the problem new/and or different and how specific is it written – identifies data to be collected? 0   no problem statement1   incomplete problem statement – not specific2   complete problem statement, specific and well written3   complete, well written problem statement, specific as to samples and identifies data to be collected.  
HypothesisTo what degree is this a testable Research and Null hypothesis present? 0   no hypothesis present1   incomplete (not properly written) hypothesis, not completely testable2   hypothesis well written and testable3   both Research and Null Hypotheses present  
Experimental DesignHow well is the plan developed to evaluate the hypotheses? 0   lacks overall plan to validate or confirm the hypotheses1   partial plan to validate the hypotheses – insufficient sample sizes2   sufficient plan/samples to validate or confirm both hypotheses3   exemplary plan/samples to validate or confirm both hypotheses  
Experimental ProceduresDoes the sequential experimental process connect the research hypothesis, data, and results and written in third person, future tense? 0   experimental procedures not listed1   experimental procedures are incomplete and/or not listed step by step2   experimental procedures are complete and listed in a step by step manner3   experimental procedures are quantitatively/qualitatively listed, step by step, written in third person, future tense  
Variables and ControlsHow well are the variables/control identified and held constant? 0   no variables/control identified; or identified incorrectly 1   Main variables/control identified, some improperly2   Main variables/control/constants identified and some are held constant3   All variables/control are carefully identified and most are held constant  
AbstractIs it present and complete, well written in past tense. 0   no abstract present1   Abstract present but Incomplete or contains incorrect information;      (more than 250 words) and/or not in lower left corner of the board2   Abstract complete, well written, but NOT in  third person, past tense3   Abstract complete, well written in third person, past tense  
Data CollectionTo what degree are the method, number of trials, and quantity of data appropriate? 0   no quantitative data collected1   insufficient data collected to validate hypothesis2   sufficient data collected to validate hypothesis3   proper data collection above expectation  
Data PresentationHow well do the graphs, tables, logs, pictures, charts, etc. present the data? 0   no presentation of data1   data partially and/or not clearly presented2   data sufficiently and clearly presented3   data presentation above expectations  
Data AnalysisHow well are the results interpreted? How well have the possible errors been identified? 0   no analysis/interpretation of data1   partial analysis/interpretation of data2   correct and appropriate analysis/interpretation of data3   comprehensive and significant interpretation of data with error analysis  
Outcomes/Conclusions (using the District’s 7 point conclusion or Power writing outline)How well are the conclusions and/or products identified and interpreted? 0   no conclusions /or products identified1   incomplete conclusions /or products identified2   apparent conclusions /or products clearly identified3   inherent, significant conclusions /or products clearly identified  
Further InvestigationsHow well are new relationships, new ideas, and/or further investigations identified and presented? 0   no new relationships or further research identified1   new relationships or further investigations vaguely identified2   new relationships or further investigation clearly identified3   significant, practical relationships and further research are identified & intended  
Visual DisplayHow well is the project constructed and organized? Are all parts present and in appealing style. 0   poor display / construction / grammar  / parts missing1   fair display / construction / grammar / all parts present but in wrong location2   good display / construction / grammar / all parts in proper locations / neat3   exemplary display / construction / grammar / all space filled appropriately ;      appealing appearance  
TOTALS Add all the points (Maximum 36 points)   

Checked by Grade Level Coordinator (initial) Entered by Science Fair Coordinator(initial)