2019 Fairwood Elementary PTSA

STEM Fair

Student Information Packet 

  • The Goal of the STEM Fair have FUN learning!
  • Important Notice: Experiments ONLY! NO demonstrations! Experiments that follow the scientific method are more fun and support concepts students need to know in state science standards. Experiments will be on display April 16th come at 6pm to set up! SAVE THE DATE
  • Support: We will have an afterschool workshops to help you choose an appropriate project, answer questions about a project you would like to do, and offer suggestions on how to get started. You can email sciencefair@fairwoodptsa.org for help also.

 BASIC OUTLINE 

  • Carry out an experiment
  • Create a display board
  • HAVE FUN at the STEM Fair!!

 

TIPS: You can find many ideas on the Internet, in books at your public or school library. Ask your teacher, parent or other adult. This site helps walk you through selecting an idea: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/

If you are having trouble figuring out what the difference between an experiment and a demonstration is go here: http://www.sciencebob.com/sciencefair/index.php


DETAILED GUIDELINES

 

  • Carry Out An Experiment

An experiment is the test of an idea. It begins with asking a question and designing a way to discover the answer.  The scientific method helps you think and communicate like a real scientist! The following steps of the scientific method will be used when you carry out your experiment, when you write your scientific report, when you create your display board and when you discuss your project with our judges.

 

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

Title: The name of your experiment. Your title is closely related to your question and should be the same on your report and display board.

 

  1. Ask a Question:  Pick something you are interested in or have always wondered about.  Be as specific as you can and make sure the question is something you can test to find an answer.
  2. Make a Hypothesis:  A hypothesis is the suggested outcome of your experiment, or an educated guess or prediction of what will happen.  Talking to an expert, reading up on your subject or researching it on the internet are all good ways to help you write a good hypothesis.


The general format for a hypothesis is: “If _____________ happens, then _____________ will happen because _____________ .” Be able to identify what things or variables will change, stay the same and be measured.

 

  1. Materials:  A list of everything you need to do the experiment, including tools needed to measure.
  2. Procedure: This is your step by step plan on how you do your experiment.  Take pictures, draw pictures, make graphs to help show what you do.  It is important to repeat your experiment for accuracy and to make sure someone else could follow it.
  3. Results: Explain what happened during your experiment, even if nothing happened! Use all your notes, data collected, pictures, graphs, etc.  
  4. Conclusion: Using your results, explain what happened and why you think that way. Also explain if your hypothesis was supported or not.
  5. Further Testing: Does your experiment need further testing to fully answer your question? If you could do your experiment again, would you change the way you collected your data?  Explain what you would do next if you were to repeat or change your experiment, question, hypothesis, materials and / or procedure.
  6. References: List where you got any information for your experiment; books, magazines, internet sites, experts, etc.


SAMPLE EXPERIMENT IDEAS

Preschool – 3rd Grade

What kinds of materials are magnetic?

Which toy car rolls furthest?

What foods dissolve in water?

Will an ice cube melt faster when crushed?

Can people identify flavors of juice blind folded?

Which uses more water – a bath or shower?

Which type of ball bounces the highest?

What type of liquid will make a marshmallow dissolve the fastest?

How much weight can a magnet pick up?

 

4th grade – 6th grade

String telephones – what materials work best for conducting sound?

What variety of apple has the highest water content?

Does a blindfolded person walk in circles?

Are wood bats better than aluminum bats?

What kind of tail makes a kite fly best?

How much weight can a toilet paper tube hold before it crushes?

How much iron is in your breakfast cereal?

Is smiling, yawning or coughing contagious?



EXAMPLE OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

 

Example Title: “Testing different ways to cook whole eggs by Fairwood Super Scientist Grade 99 Einstein”

Example Question: “Does a raw whole egg cook faster in boiling water or an oven?”

Example Hypothesis: “If whole raw eggs are cooked in boiling water and in a hot oven, then the egg that is cooked in the water will cook faster because there isn’t as much air to heat up around the egg. The cooking method of the eggs will change. The types of eggs will stay the same. How cooked the eggs are will be observed, recorded and described.”

Example Materials: “4-12 eggs, stove, large pot, 5 cups of water, oven set to 300 degrees F, hot mitt, 2 bowls (1 labeled “boiling water” and 1 labeled “oven”. timer, adult for supervision”

Example Procedure: “1. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil on a stove in a pot 2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 3. Place 1 egg in boiling water and 1 egg in hot oven for 10 minutes. 4. Remove eggs from boiling water and oven after 10 minutes and place in heat safe bowls that are labeled “boiling water” and “oven”. 5. Crack each egg open, observe how cooked they are & record what each looks like by taking pictures and describing with words. 6. Repeat exactly the same to see if results are similar. 7. Repeat with different temperatures or time to see if it creates different results.”

Example Results: No Example. If you want to use the example idea for your experiment, give it a try but change it up somehow.

Example Conclusion: No Example. Do this experiment for yourself and see what happens!

Example Further Testing: One problem with this experiment is that it is hard to compare how done an egg is. Measuring the egg’s inside temperature would help. Other ideas would be: Compare different oven temperatures. Compare different boiling times. Compare salted & unsalted water. Compare farm fresh, organic and generic brands of eggs.

Example References:

The science of hard boiled eggs: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/the-secrets-to-peeling-hard-boiled-eggs.html

Alton Brown cooks eggs in an oven:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1faC1B8WSI0

 

  • Create a Display Board

 Your display board is the “visual” part of your experiment. It should be neat, simple, colorful and interesting to look at.

You may use pictures, drawings, labeled data tables, graphs and props to make your board look attractive, but not cluttered. Your display board tells the story of your experiment, so only put the most important information on it. The sections of the display board should flow in order from left to right and top to bottom. See the examples below and look online for ideas.

 

ADDITIONAL RULES & BENEFITS: 

  • Earn a party for your class! The classroom with the greatest number of participants will earn a fun, science-related party shortly after the STEM fair. 
  • All work must be done by the student(s).  Parent(s) may advise and encourage only! 
  • Team projects are allowed (2 students of the same grade). Each student must sign up individually, and submit their own Scientific Report for the project. They can create their visual display & do their presentation in front of the judge together, but each person must answer questions. 
  • A sturdy display board is recommended. Board are available if requested. Maximum size 30” deep (front to back) and 48” wide (side to side) and 36 inches high.  Boards can be purchased at office supply stores, craft stores, and local drug stores. If need any other supplies please contact the Science Fair Committee at sciencefair@fairwoodptsa.org 
  • Flames, dry ice, dangerous chemical and microbial cultures are prohibited.  No live or preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals or parts including embryos, may be exhibited. 
  • Do NOT use commercially prepared kits.

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Jan. 22

Participation Forms go home in Tuesday packets

Workshop 1 sign up forms go home in Tuesday packets (optional)

Online signup for STEM Fair becomes available

Jan. 29

Student Information Packets go home to all who signed up and asked for printed copy Information Packets available online also

Feb. 1

Participation Forms DUE

Feb. 6

Workshop 1 1:30-2:15pm (optional)

Student Information Packets go home if needed

Mar. 6

Workshop 2 1:30-2:15pm (optional)

Mar. 19

STEM Fair Mini Project announced. Sign up forms & info go home in Tuesday packets (optional)

Online sign up for Mini Project becomes available (optional)

Mar. 27

Last day to return Mini Project sign up forms (optional)

April 16

Bring all materials to school at 6pm for STEM Fair at 6:30-7:30pm in Fairwood Elementary Gym (required)

All display boards & project materials must be removed & taken home

 

RESOURCES:

Guidelines, information packets, forms, links and more online at www.fairwoodptsa.org > PROGRAMS > STEM FAIR

Contact Cachet Kranz at sciencefair@fairwoodptsa.org with any questions, concerns or feedback.