Experiment Packet


Experimental Packet


Scientific Method

  1. Ask a question & purpose
  2. Form a hypothesis
  3. Research your topic
  4. Design and conduct an experiment
  5. Analyze the results of the experiment
  6. Draw a conclusion & develop new questions, explain and finding the cause of your results. VERY IMPORTANT!!!
  7. Present your findings in a report, on a diplay board and presentation!


Keys to A Successful Project

  1. Select a topic which you make a personal connection to
  2. Research and take organized notes
  3. Write everything in your organized composition notebook
  4. Write your purpose and hypothesis
  5. Write your (background) research report
  6. Plan, organize & perform your experiment
  7. Analyze the data
  8. Write the scientific paper
  9. Create the exhibit / display board
  10. Oral presentation
  11. Save everything you type on the computer and make a back-up copy on a jump drive, email, or google docs
  12. Examples of each section of a scientific report is located in the back of your textbook under the Lab Handbook & Math Handbook section


Your Guide

  1.  Due dates, set-up, information, and report example are posted my science fair website
  2. My science fair website is teachnscience.educatorpages.com
  3. Due dates are also posted on the school’s website


How You Will Be Graded?

  1. Each item that is due is worth 10 points when turned in for quality work and on time (total approximatly 150 pts)
  2. Each work day is worth 20 points (total approximately 100 pts)
  3. The scientific report and notebook combine is worth 100 pts
  4. The oral presentation and display combine is worth 100 pts
  5. Presenting at the evening fair is 100 points.
  6. You will be evaluated by 3 judges at the evening fair


Guidelines for the Science Fair Project


A. Notebook (Composition)

            1. This is a notebook that contains the original records of the work you have done on your project. A well-organized, complete notebook is crucial to a successful project. It will be turned in to the teacher when the project is due.

            2. Label you cover with your name, homeroom number and school

            3. Write the page numbers in your hardbound composition notebook in top right hand corner

            4. Design a table of contents, have sections for the following:

a.     Daily notes and reflections

b.     Background research and bibliographies

c.     Information contacts and supply sources

d.     Purpose & hypothesis (Need & Criteria)

e.     Experimental Stage with safety procedures

f.      Data collection

g.     Analyze Results (pictures, graphs)

h.     Discussion

i.      Conclusion

j.      New questions


            5. Record the progress of your project

            6. Each time you work on your project, write it in to the notebook and date it, make sure you write it in the correct section

            7. Always include changes made to the procedures

            8. Include all observations made during the experiment


B. Background Research Plan

1.     Complete the worksheet & have answers in your notebook

2.     Have a short history of similar inventions or experiments

3.     Ask mentors, parents or teachers about “What science concepts should I study better to better understand my science fair project?”, and “What areas of science does my project cover?”, and ask more questions…

4.     You should know if there are any scientific theorie, laws, or formulas that relate to your topic


C. Research Paper Report

1.     Use MLA format, check the chart

2.     Make sure you answered the who, what, where, when why & how about your topic

3.     Correct grammar, spelling, punctuation & capitalization included

4.     This section should answer: how to design and understand the scientific concepts of your experiment, what is the best techniques for investigating the topic and how they are preformed, have others investigated this topic and what did they find, and why is the answer to your question important?

5.     500-700 words




Science Fair Project

Report Section

            1. Overall Report

                        a. The report is to be typed double-spaced and placed in a plastic portfolio

                        report cover. 

                        b. Correct grammar, spelling, punctuation & capitalization included

                        c. Use MLA guidelines to format your paper, check the chart

                        d. The report will be given to your teacher for a grade

                        e. The report will be placed in front of your display at the fair

                        f. Each page is to be numbered with your last name beside it (Baker 1)



2. Title Page

a.  The following is centered on the title page:

            1. Title

            2. Your name(s) of the people in the group

            3. Your homeroom number

            4. Due Date


3. Identification page

            a. Your name                          

            b. Address

c. School information


4. The Table of Contents

a.     Include the page numbers for the beginning of each section.


            5. Abstract

                        a. You need two copies one for the rport & one for the exhibit

                        b. This is a quick summary of the following listed below

                                    1. purpose & hypothesis       

                                    2. some research

                                    3. summary of procedures (not a list)

                                    4. summary of discussion & conclusions

            6. Introduction

a.     First Paragraph or two

                                    1. Topic and Problem

                                    2. Purpose- Explaination of your ideas & how you got them. Be personal

                                    3. Hypothesis

                                    4. What you hope to achieve when you started your project?

                                    5. How you hope to achieve it?

                                    6. How does your project relate to the real world?


            7. Research Paper Report

                                    1.  citations needed

                                    2. See procedures above


            8.  Experimental Section

a. Variables chart

b. Describe in detail exactly what you did and how you collected the data

you measured.  Describe how you collected the Qualitative and

Quanitative observations in a chart.

c. Materials list

d. Steps to conduct your experiment

e. Your report should be detailed enough so anyone can repeat your


f. list your safety procedures



            8.  Data Analysis / Analyze Results

            a. List the data you measured as a data table

b. Label each picture and chart and give it a title.

c. You can take pictures of the progress of your experiement, label them

d. Label your drawings, charts and graphs

e.  Have an example of the calulations you performed

f. Determine the mean, median, & mode

g.  Only pictures and graphs prepared by you, not copied or traced


9. Discussion

            a. Explain what your data means

            b. Summarize your experiment /data and what you found out about the experiment

            c. State how you proved or disproved your hypothesis

            d. Summarize and evaluate your procedures, what worked, what did not work

            e. This is the most important part of the project


10. Conclusion

            a. Tell us if your hypothesis is correct or not. Why or why not?

            b. Include key facts from your research to help explain your results as needed

            c. Explain and find the cause of your results is very important!

            d. What would you do differently next time to your procedures if you were to test the hypothesis again?

            e. What did you learn from the project?


11. Acknowledgments

            a. Give credit to all that assisted you.

            b. Don’t forget any people you interviewed or people who had donated

            their time or supplies to help you out.


12.  Bibliographies

a.  You are to have at least 6 bibliographies 

            1. Three of these must be a hard bound book. 

            2. The others can be hard bound, magazine, newspaper, interview,

            or the world wide web. 

            3. Use the bibliography format found in your English book MLA guidelines listed below

b. Examples

            1. Book or magazine

                        Baker, John S., “Science is Great”, New York: Holt Publishing Co.,  May 1990, p. 1-10.

            2. Web site

                        Bailey, Regina, About.com,  Biology Site, March 9, 2000

            3. Conversation

                        Thomas, Liz, In person conversation, November 10, 2003

13.  Appendix

            a.  Rough draft


14. Research Plan (necessary for NEOSEF)

            a. topic question

            b. hypothesis & purpose

            c. description of procedures

            d.  procedures

            e. data analysis- describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data that answers research questions or hypothesis

            f. bibliography


Tri- fold Display Board

    1. You need to use a tri-fold display board, 76cm deep (30 in.) by 122 cm wide (48 in.) by 274 cm high or larger, not smaller
    2. Information to be mounted will included:

a.     Left panel

·      Purpose / Problem

·      Hypothesis / Variables

·      Materials / Experiment


b. Center Panel

·      Title & Your name

·      Illustrations & pictures with labels

·      Graphs & Charts (Quantitative Obs.)

c. Right Panel

·      Qualitative Observations

·      Discussion

·      Conclusion & Next Time (found in your conclusion of your science paper)

3.     Requirements

            a. Check your display for correct spelling and grammar

            b. Don’t write directly on the board or on paper

            c. Use colored border behind your information

            d. Glue straight on the board

            e. Don’t show any tape

            f. Type everything you want written on the board, use a font size of at least 16 for the text. Larger for titles and labels

            g. use Arial or Times Roman font style

            h. Use white or pastel paper for the text to be printed on

            i. font sizes

                  1. Title 150+

                                    2. Headings 32+

                                    3. Subheadings 20+

                                    4. Main text 16

                                    5. Captions for graphs, pictures, diagrams 12

            k. Correct size board


                  1. Tri-fold display board size is listed above and it’s organized, typed, and neat

                  3. Abstract

                  4. Science Paper

                  5. Notebook

                  6. photo album (not necessary)


Model & Materials

Do not bring one. You can use pictures, photo album and diagrams instead


Oral Presentation

1. Introduction

a. Name and title of the project

b. Purpose and Hypothesis

2. Procedure summary and experiment

      3. Observations and results summary / highlights

            a. Explain the charts and pictures

            b. Summarize your results

            c. Point to the information on your display board

4. Conclusion

            a. Tell us if your hypothesis is correct or not.

            b. What would you do differently next time?

            c. What did you learn?

5. Be prepared to answer questions about your presentation

6. 3-5 minutes long

7. Don’t fig it or do things that are distracting like chewing gum

8. Be positive, enthusiastic, and confident



Presenting at Archbishop Lyke Science & Engineering Fair

                        1. Your oral presentation is the same except

                        2. Dress

                  a. During the evening part of the science fair, you must be there looking your best.

                  b. Dress as if you where going to a professional interview;no jeans, jean skirts, jogging pants, sweats or pajamas.

                  c. The way you are dressed during the science fair will count towards your grade. 

      2. People will be there looking at your science fair project.  Your project represents you, so make sure you put forth the time and effort your               project. 

                        3. If you are not present during judging process you will not be eligible

                        for a grade for presenting or an award at the fair.







  • Van Cleave, Janice. Physics for Every Kid. New York: Wiley, 1991.
  • Wood, Robert W. Sound Fundamentals. New York: Learning Triangle Press, 1997.
  • Bohren, Craig F. What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks? New York: Wiley, 1991.
  • Editors of Consumer Guide. The Big Book of How Things Work. Lincoln Wood, Il: Publications International, 1991
  • Amato, Carol J. Super Science Fair Projects. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1994.
  • Bochinski, Julianne Blair. The Complete Book of Science Fair Projects, revised edition. New York: Wiley, 1996
  • Bombaugh, Ruth. Science Fair Success. Hillside, NJ: Enslow, 1990.
  • Frekko, Janet, and Phyllis Katz. Great Science Fair Projects. New York: Watts, 1992.
  • Markle, Sandra. The Young Scientist Guide to Successful Science Projects. New York: Beech Tree Books, 1990
  • Vacchione, Glen. 100 Amazing Make-It-Yourself Science Fair Projects. New York: Sterling, 1994
  • Berger, M. Lights, Lenses, and Lasers. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1987
  • Branley, Franklyn M. The Electromagnetic Spectrum. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1979.
  • Filson, Brent. Exploring With Lasers. New York: Julian Messner, 1984.
  • Eyewitness books & videos
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy Videos









Science Fair Project Question Checklist

Here are some things to consider as you finalize your question:   

What Makes a Good Science Fair Project Question?

For a Good Science Fair Project Question, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Is the topic interesting enough to read about, then work on for the next couple months?

Yes / No

Can you find at least 3 sources of written information on the subject? (books)

Yes / No

Can you measure changes to the important factors (variables) using a number that represents a quantity such as a count, percentage, length, width, weight, voltage, velocity, energy, time, etc.?

Or, just as good, are you measuring a factor (variable) that is simply present or not present? For example,

  • Lights ON in one trial, then lights OFF in another trial,
  • USE fertilizer in one trial, then DON'T USE fertilizer in another trial.

Yes / No

Can you design a "fair test" to answer your question? In other words, can you change only one factor (variable) at a time, and control other factors that might influence your experiment, so that they do not interfere?

Yes / No

Is your experiment safe to perform?

Yes / No

Do you have all the materials and equipment you need for your science fair project, or will you be able to obtain them quickly and at a very low cost?

Yes / No

Do you have enough time to do your experiment (test 10 times) more than once before the science fair project is due?

Yes / No

Does your project meet all the rules and requirements for your science fair?

Yes / No

Have you checked to see if your science fair project will require SRC (Scientific Review Committee) approval?

Yes / No











A Checklist for Evaluating References

What Makes a Good Reference?

For a Good Reference, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Does your reference come from a credible source?

Yes / No

Is your reference current?

Yes / No

Is your reference objectively written, not biased towards one point of view?

Yes / No

Is your reference free of errors?

Yes / No

Does your reference properly cite its original sources?

Yes / No

Is the reference easy for other people to find or obtain?

Yes / No

MLA format for the Report





MLA Guidelines


Standard size (8.5 x 11" in the U.S.)

Page Margins

1" on all sides (top, bottom, left, right)


12-pt. easily readable (e.g., Times Roman)


Double-spaced throughout, including captions and bibliography

Alignment of Text

Flush left (with an uneven right margin)

Paragraph Indentation

1/2" (or five spaces)

End of Sentence

Leave one space after a period

Page Numbers

On every page, in the upper right margin, 1/2" from the top and flush with the right margin put your last name followed by the page number.


Tables & Illustrations



Place tables and illustrations as close as possible to the text they refer to.

A table is labeled Table and given a number (e.g., Table 1). The table label and caption or title appear above the table, capitalized like a title, flush left. Sources and notes appear below the table, flush left.

Photos, graphs, charts or diagrams should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviate Fig.), and assigned a number (e.g., Fig. 1). The label, title, and source (if any) appear underneath the figure, flush left, in a continuous block of text rather than one element per line.

Order of Major Sections

See science packet


Plastic report folder

Additional Information

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) -
MLA Style Guide

Reference Citation Format (To be used in the Research paper)

Type of Citation

Parenthetical Reference
MLA Format (Author - page)

Work by a single author

(Bloggs 37)

Direct quote of work by single author

(Bloggs 37)

Work by two authors

(Bloggs and Smith 37)

Work by three to five authors
(first time)

(Kernis, Cornell, Sun, Berry, and Harlow 183-185)

Work by six or more author

(Harris et al. 99)

Two or more works by the same author

(Berndt, Shortened First Book Title 221) then
(Berndt, Shortened 2nd Book Title 68)

Two or more works in the same parentheses

(Berndt 221; Harlow 99)

Authors with same last name

(E. Johnson 99)

Work does not have an author, cite the source by its title

(Book Title 44) or
(Shortened Book Title 44)














Research Paper Checklist

What Makes a Good Research Paper?

For a Good Research Paper, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Have you defined all important terms?

Yes / No

Have you clearly answered all your research questions?

Yes / No

Does your background research enable you to make a prediction of what will occur in your experiment? Will you have the knowledge to understand what causes the behavior you observe?

Yes / No

Have you included all the relevant math that you understand?

Yes / No

Have you referenced all information copied from another source and put any phrases, sentences, or paragraphs you copied in quotation marks?

Yes / No

If you are doing an engineering or programming project, have you defined your target user and answered questions about user needs, products that meet similar needs, design criteria, and important design tradeoffs?

Yes / No


Hypothesis Checklist

What Makes a Good Hypothesis?

For a Good Hypothesis, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Is the hypothesis based on information contained in the Research Paper?

Yes / No

Does the hypothesis include the independent and dependent variables?

Yes / No

Have you worded the hypothesis so that it can be tested in the experiment?

Yes / No

If you are doing an engineering or programming project, have you established your design criteria?

Yes / No


Science Fair Project Variables Checklist

What Makes for Good Variables?

For Good Variables, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Is the independent variable measurable?

Yes / No

Can you change the independent variable during the experiment?

Yes / No

Have you identified all relevant dependent variables, and are they all caused by and dependent on the independent variable?

Yes / No

Are all dependent variable(s) measurable?

Yes / No

Have you identified all relevant controlled variables?

Yes / No

Can all controlled variables be held at a steady value during the experiment?

Yes / No

Qualitative & Quantitative Observation Checklist

What Makes a Good Observations List?

For a Good Observation List, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Described how you will collect quantitative observations (units)

Yes / No

Described how you will collect qualitative observations (adjectives)

yes / no

Materials List Checklist

What Makes a Good Materials List?

For a Good Materials List, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Have you listed all necessary materials?

Yes / No

List safety equipment

yes / no

List equipment necessary to clean up the experiment

yes / no

Have you described the materials in sufficient detail?

Yes / No

Did you list the amount of each material?

Yes / no

Experimental Procedure Checklist

What Makes a Good Experimental Procedure?

For a Good Experimental Procedure, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

List of your safety procedures


Have you included a description and size for all experimental and control groups?

Yes / No

Have you included a step-by-step list of all procedures?

Yes / No

Have you described how to the change independent variable and how to measure that change?

Yes / No

Have you explained how to measure the resulting change in the dependent variable or variables?

Yes / No

Have you explained how the controlled variables will be maintained at a constant value?

Yes / No

Have you specified how many times you intend to repeat the experiment (should be at least three times), and is that number of repetitions sufficient to give you reliable data?

Yes / No

The ultimate test: Can another individual duplicate the experiment based on the experimental procedure you have written?

Yes / No

If you are doing an engineering or programming project, have you completed several preliminary designs?

Yes / No


Checklist for Conducting a Science Experiment

What Makes a Good Science Experiment?

For a Good Science Experiment, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Did you take detailed notes about your observations and record them in your laboratory notebook?

Yes / No

Did you collect your data using a data table?

Yes / No

Were you consistent, careful, and accurate when you made your measurements?

Yes / No

Were you careful to insure that your controlled variables remained constant so as not to affect your results?

Yes / No

If you ran into any unexpected problems, did you adjust your experimental procedure accordingly?

Yes / No



Data Table & Analysis Checklist

What Makes for a Good Data Chart?

For a Good Chart, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Is there sufficient data to know whether your hypothesis is correct?

Yes / No

Is your data accurate?

Yes / No

Have you summarized your data with an average, if appropriate?

Yes / No

Does your chart specify units of measurement for all data?

Yes / No

Have you verified that all calculations (if any) are correct?

Yes / No

Shared qualitative observations using details and adjectives

yes / no

Label each picture, drawing, and chart and give it a title.


Yes / no

Determine mean, median, and mode

yes / no

Have examples of calculations

yes / no

Is there sufficient data to know whether your hypothesis is correct?

Yes / no


Graph Checklist

What Makes for a Good Graph?

For a Good Graph, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Have you selected the appropriate graph type for the data you are displaying?

Yes / No

Does your graph have a title?

Yes / No

Have you placed the independent variable on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis?

Yes / No

Have you labeled the axes correctly and specified the units of measurement?

Yes / No

Does your graph have the proper scale (the appropriate high and low values on the axes)?

Yes / No

Is your data plotted correctly and clearly?

Yes / No


What Makes for a Discussion section?

For a Good Discussion Section, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Stated how the data related to the hypothesis

yes /no

Explain what your data means

Yes / No

Summarize your experiment /data and what you found out about the experiment

Yes / No

State how you proved or disproved your hypothesis

Yes / No

Summarize and evaluate your procedures, what worked, what did not work (limitations) (what went well, what did not go well)

Yes / No

Conclusions Checklist

What Makes for Good Conclusions?

For Good Conclusions, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Do you summarize your results and use it to support the findings?

Yes / No

Do your conclusions state that you proved or disproved your hypothesis? (Engineering & programming projects should state whether they met their design criteria.)

Yes / No

If appropriate, do you state the relationship between the independent and dependent variable?

Yes / No

Did you share what you learned from the project

yes / no

List new questions

yes / no

Shared what you would do differently next time

yes / no


Science Fair Project Abstract Checklist

What Makes for a Good Science Fair Project Abstract?

For a Good Science Fair Project Abstract, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Does your science fair project abstract include:

  • Introduction
  • Problem Statement
  • Procedures
  • Results
  • Conclusions

Yes / No

Did you write the abstract so that the reader is motivated to learn more about your science fair project?

Yes / No


Science Fair Project Final Report Checklist


What makes a Good Science Fair Project Final report?


For good science fair final report you should be able to answer yes to every question

Does your abstract include a short summary of the hypothesis,

materials & procedures, results, and conclusion? If you did an

engineering or programming project, did you state whether you

met your design criteria?

Yes / No

Does your final report include:


·       Title page.

·       Abstract.

·       Table of contents.

·       Introduction

·       Background research (your Research Paper).

·       Variables chart, Qualitative & Quantitative Observations, Materials list.

·       Experimental procedure.

·       Data analysis and discussion (including data table and graph(s), pictures).

·       Conclusions.

·       Ideas for future research

·       Acknowledgements.

·       Bibliography.

·       Rough drafts and worksheets

·       Plastic report cover


Science Fair Project Display Board Checklist

What Makes for a Good Science Fair Project Display Board?

For a Good Science Fair Project Display Board, You Should Answer "Yes" to Every Question

Does your display board include:

  • Title in the top middle with your name
  • Abstract on the table
  • Question & problem, left panel
  • Variables and hypothesis,  left panel
  • Materials list, left panel
  • Experimental procedure, left panel
  • Data analysis including data chart(s),  graph(s) and pictures in the middle
  • Discussion, top right panel
  • Conclusions (including ideas for future research), right panel
  • Next Time, bottom right panel

Yes / No

Are the sections on your display board organized like a newspaper so that they are easy to follow?

Yes / No

Is the text font large enough to be read easily (at least 16 points)?

Yes / No

Does the title catch people's attention, and is the title font large enough to be read from across the room?

Yes / No


Did you use pictures and diagrams to effectively convey information about your science fair project?

Yes / No

Have you constructed your display board as neatly as possible?

Yes / No

Did you proofread your display board?


Did you follow all of the rules pertaining to display boards for your particular science fair?

Yes / No


Yes / No




Copyright © 2002-2007 Kenneth Lafferty Hess Family Charitable Foundation. All rights reserved.