Welcome to the LibGuide for Middle School Science Fair!
This year any student in a middle school science course has the option of completing a Science Fair Project for bonus credit applied to their science grade. Students must complete the required components of the project in order by the specific due dates to receive credit.
All projects must be pre-approved and must follow the scientific method. They must contain original data and/or original data analysis involving quantitative data (data that is numerical). Data must be observed and recorded by the student. Presentations must include some proof that the project was actually done by the student. This could be a demonstration of a technique used, display of experiment or pictures of the experiment. If pictures are used, please be sure to keep the students faces or other identify information out of the pictures for judging purposes.
Students who place at their school's science fair will provide their project on a backboard display to enter into the County Science Fair.
If you have any questions about due dates, project selection or how to fill out the forms, please see your science teacher as soon as possible!
Science Fair Journal Requirements
Whether you are a research scientist or a first time science fair student, a Data Book is crucial part of any project. It is a detailed account of every phase of your project, from the initial brainstorming to the final visual display. The Data Book is proof that certain activities occurred at specific times. Here are a few pointers that are easy to follow. They should help keep you organized, and certainly will impress any science fair judge. It's a great opportunity to show off all of your hard work!
1. The Book: A single subject composition notebook will work great. The book needs 100 pages.
2. Label your Data Book: Label the front cover with your name, class, school year, and teacher’s name in a prominent location.
3. Page Numbers & Tabs: Make sure your data book pages are numbered. The numbers should start with odds on the left side and even numbers on the right side. There is more information on data book set up in the directions.
4. Dates: Just like a journal or diary every entry should be dated.
5. Make it Neat: It's a personal record of your work. This work is graded and viewed by many teachers and other county staff. Use blue or black pen or a pencil. Highlighting important information or findings is permitted. This is a permanent record of all of your activities associated with your project. Make sure your work is well organized and easy to follow. Excessive scribbling, doodling, and torn papers will detract from your work and can impact your grade.
6. Recording Information: The data book should be used during all phases of your project. Each section is important, graded, and part of the final methodology paper and visual display. Any changes that occur during your project should be noted. Corrections and edits should be visible as they are a part of the scientific process.
7. Adding Papers: Any papers relevant to your project should be glued or taped into the corresponding section. This includes assignment info sheets and rubrics. Graded assignments that are printed should be glued into the appropriate sections when finished. Loose papers or other unsecured items are prohibited as they tend to fall out and can end up missing.
Science Fair Student Handout
The document below is the basic outline of requirements for Science Fair. Specific handouts, rubrics, and directions will be given in class by your teacher.
Science Fair Categories
ANIMAL SCIENCES (Code: ANIM): This category includes all aspects of animals and animal life, animal life cycles, and animal interactions with one another or with their environment. Examples of investigations included in this category would involve the study of the structure, physiology, development, and classification of animals, animal ecology, animal husbandry, entomology, ichthyology, ornithology, and herpetology, as well as the study of animals at the cellular and molecular level which would include cytology, histology, and cellular physiology.
BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES (Code: BEHA): The science or study of the thought processes and behavior of humans and other animals in their interactions with the environment studied through observational and experimental methods.
BIOCHEMISTRY (Code: BCHM): The study of the chemical basis of processes occurring in living organisms, including the processes by which these substances enter into, or are formed in, the organisms and react with each other and the environment.
BIOMEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (Code: BMED): This category focuses on studies specifically designed to address issues of human health and disease. It includes studies on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or epidemiology of disease and other damage to the human body or mental systems. Includes studies of normal functioning and may investigate internal as well as external factors such as feedback mechanisms, stress or environmental impact on human health and disease.
CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (Code: CELL): This is an interdisciplinary field that studies the structure, function, intracellular pathways, and formation of cells. Studies involve understanding life and cellular processes specifically at the molecular level.
CHEMISTRY (Code: CHEM): Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems.
COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY AND BIOINFORMATICS (Code: CBIO): Studies that primarily focus on the discipline and techniques of computer science and mathematics as they relate to biological systems. This includes the development and application of data-analytical and theoretical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques to the study of biological, behavior, and social systems.
EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Code: EAEV): Studies of the environment and its effect on organisms/systems, including investigations of biological processes such as growth and life span, as well as studies of Earth systems and their evolution.
EMBEDDED SYSTEMS (Code: EBED): Studies involving electrical systems in which information is conveyed via signals and waveforms for purposes of enhancing communications, control and/or sensing.
ENERGY: CHEMICAL (Code: EGCH): Studies involving biological and chemical processes of renewable energy sources, clean transport, and alternative fuels.
ENERGY: PHYSICAL (Code: EGPH): Studies of renewable energy structures/processes including energy production and efficiency.
ENGINEERING MECHANICS (Code: ENMC): Studies that focus on the science and engineering that involve movement or structure. The movement can be by the apparatus or the movement can affect the apparatus.
ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (Code: ENEV): Studies that engineer or develop processes and infrastructure to solve environmental problems in the supply of water, the disposal of waste, or the control of pollution.
MATERIALS SCIENCE (Code: MATS): The study of the characteristics and uses of various materials with improvements to their design which may add to their advanced engineering performance.
MATHEMATICS (Code: MATH): The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. The deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs, or structures.
MICROBIOLOGY (Code: MCRO): The study of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, prokaryotes, and simple eukaryotes as well as antimicrobial and antibiotic substances.
PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY (Code: PHYS): Physics is the science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two. Astronomy is the study of anything in the universe beyond the Earth.
PLANT SCIENCES (Code: PLNT): Studies of plants and how they live, including structure, physiology, development, and classification. Includes plant cultivation, development, ecology, genetics and plant breeding, pathology, physiology, systematics and evolution.
ROBOTICS AND INTELLIGENT MACHINES (Code: ROBO): Studies in which the use of machine intelligence is paramount to reducing the reliance on human intervention.
SYSTEMS SOFTWARE (Code: SOFT): The study or development of software, information processes or methodologies to demonstrate, analyze, or control a process/solution.
General Time Table
The following Time Table is a general indicator of due dates. Specific dates and requirements with guiding rubrics will be addressed by your teacher. More information on each of the requirements can be found on the Science Fair Steps and Documents tab.
1. Topic Selection: Second Week of September
2. Resource Summary: Second and Third week of September
3. Variables and Hypothesis: Last Week of September
4. Materials and Methods: Second Week of October
Special Permission Forms (as required): First Week of October
Science Fair Data Book Checks (1-2): Month of November
5. Data Analysis (Graphs and Tables) and Conclusion: First Week of December
6. Abstract: Mid-December
7. Scientific Research Paper: First Week of January
8. Visual Display: Backboard Presentations (PowerPoint ): Mid-January
School Science Fair: January (February for inclement weather)
History, Industry, Technology, and Science Expo: March 18th
9. Self-Assessment: Mid-March
Science Fair Grades
The components to the science fair project will be graded throughout the school year from the student's data book. The actual grades will only be applied during the Third Quarter as 10% of the student's grade.
Variables and Hypothesis
Materials and Methods
Data Book Check(s)
Data Analysis and Conclusion
Scientific Research Paper
Self - Assessment
Scientific Thought: Illustration of application of scientific principles and methods, organization of project, record of accurate observations, understanding of synthesis of scientific information.
Thoroughness and Clarity: Relating of a complete story with appropriate labeling, descriptions, and sequence of though tot guide visitors. Evidence of consistent and continuous effort.
Creative Ability: Originality of approach, ingenious uses of materials, purposefulness.
Skill and Neatness: Workmanship in handling of material, neatness in arranging of parts or mounting of specimens. Overall attractiveness of exhibit.