Science Project Guidelines
by Elizabeth Stryjewski
Kennedy Space Center
- Defining a problem
- Formulating a hypothesis
- Designing your experiment
- Collecting data
- Formulating a conclusion
- The Final Presentation: Tips For the Science Fair
For the past several years the scientists on the Life Sciences Support Contract at the Kennedy Space Center have participated in judging local school science fairs. Although we are always amazed by the effort and enthusiasm that the students show in working through their projects, we consistently see some problems with how they go about their investigations. Some of the inconsistencies we routinely see in their procedures are unfortunately some of the fundamentals to good scientific research procedures. The lack of these fundamentals then prevents their projects from getting the recognition they deserve. With this in mind, we have written the following guidelines for students and teachers to review before the projects are underway. These are basic steps that should be followed when working through an experiment. Students are encouraged to refer back to these guidelines while they are running their experiments to understand how to deal with any difficulties they might encounter and how to interpret their results. We have also included some hints on how to present these results in a competition once the projects are complete. We hope that by giving students and teachers a chance to review these fundamentals, they can avoid many of the pitfalls we have consistently seen.
Kennedy Space Center Life Sciences Education Programs
Employees of the Biomedical Operations Office/Life Sciences Support Contract participate in local Science and Engineering Fairs, both as advisors/mentors and as judges to aspiring scientists and engineers.