The next part of designing your science fair project is to run your study. First do a trial run to check your procedure. Then start collecting data.
(This article is the seventh in a series of 10 which walks a student and his parent through creating a science fair project. See the end of this post for links to the other articles. )
Run Your Study
You have worked hard to get this far in your project. Now it is time for the fun part. First you need do a trial run of your procedure. The purpose of a trial run is to check your procedure. You need to make sure it works as planned before you begin recording data. If there are any problems during your trial run, you can adjust your procedure.
After you have worked out any problems in your procedure, you can run your study and begin collecting your data. You should follow your procedure without changing it. You can record data in your log book. Have somebody take lots of pictures of you running your procedure. There are many limits on what can be included on your display, but you can always use lots of pictures to show what you did. It is better to have many pictures to choose from than to wish you had taken a picture later when you are creating your display.
In general, the more data you collect, the better. So if you are doing a collection, collect as many specimens as you can. If you are doing an experiment, run the experiment several times to see if you get the same results each time. If you are doing a model, make lots of notes in your log book about how you designed and constructed the model. If you are doing an observation, do as many trials of your procedure as is practical. If you are doing an invention, do plenty of trials to see if your invention really meets your specifications.
Your assignment for this step is to do a dry run to perfect your procedure and then begin collecting data. Don’t forget to get lots of photographs.
Note to Parents
For this step you will be a mentor. Check the procedure with your child and use questions to help the student see any problem areas. Remember not to tell the child what to do. Just use questions to guide such as “Do you need another step before you ___________?” or “Is that step you just performed written in your procedure?” Remember to let the student make the final decisions, even if you disagree.This article is part of the Creating a Science Fair Project series. See the list below for links to the other articles in this series.
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 1 - The Log Book
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 2 – Choosing a Topic
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 3 – Collect Information
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 4 – Problem and Hypothesis
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 5 – DesignType Category
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 6 – The Procedure
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 7 – Run Your Study
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 8 – Analyze and Interpret Your Results
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 9 – Arrive at a Conclusion
- Creating a Science Fair Project Step 10 – Create Your Display