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2019-2020 Science Fair

PFE Science Fair

Science Fair Information Packet

(click on link above to download packet)


Here are a few helpful and easy to navigate Science Fair websites:



The Science Project is Required for all 3rd and 4th grade students.

Please turn in the Science Fair Registration Form no later than January 9, 2020. The project is due at school on January 27, 2020.


I ask that you encourage your child and monitor his or her progress

along the way. Your support is key to a successful project! Please use the attached packet to help you prepare and plan for your project.


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your child’s science teacher.  We look forward to watching your child enjoy this unique opportunity for scientific discovery!



Third and Fourth Grade Teachers


Project Overview


What is a Science fair project?

   A science fair project is a competitive event hosted by our school.  It is an opportunity for students to apply the scientific method to conduct independent research. Throughout this process, you will conduct an experiment, record your data, analyze your data, and create a tri-fold board to share your research.  You can use this packet to assist throughout the project process. 



   Your science fair problem needs to be a testable question.  In order to answer your question, you will have to conduct an experiment.   Think about your queston. Will you be conducting an experiment or just doing a demonstration?  For example, growing a plant is just a demonstration, but determining how the amount of fertilizer in the soil affects the height of a plant is an experiment.


   Most testable questions will fit into one of these question frames.  Can you put your idea into one of these frames?  


  • What is the effect of ________________ on _________________?
  • How does _______________ affect ____________________?
  • Which/What ______________(verb) ___________________?

   Excellent  problems/questions are creative and meaningful.  If you found your question on the Internet, ask yourself if there is a way to make the question my own?  When you develop your question, you also want to make sure your idea is meaningful. What is the purpose of your project?  Who might it help?

Background Research


   The purpose of doing background research before you begin your project is to help you understand your topic.  You will research the science principles related to your topic, you may also learn about other investigations that have been done on your topic.  The information you learn by doing background research will help you design a better investigation and make sense of the results. Before you starting research, find science principles that are related to your topic.  What will you need to learn about to understand your topic? For example, if you are doing a project on plants, you may need to learn about photosynthesis and the minerals that soils provide for plants. If your project is about magnets, find out how magnets work and why some objects are magnetic while others are not.  If you are not sure what science principles to research show your question to your teacher or another adult. Ask them for ideas about what you should learn in order to understand your science fair topic.



   A hypothesis is more than just an educated guess.  A hypothesis is a probable answer to your question; it is based on the research that you have just completed.  A good hypothesis shares what you plan to change, what you predict will happen, and your reasoning for your prediction.  Here is an example of a good hypothesis:


If I give different amounts of fertilizer to bean plants, then the plant that receives the most fertilizer will grow the tallest because fertilizer provides plants with nitrogen.  


   Your hypothesis might be one or more sentences long.  Be sure that your hypothesis is a probable answer to your question and gives your reader information about how you will conduct your experiment.  Use the hypothesis frame below to help you do that.


If ________________, then __________________ because______________.


 Materials and Experiment


   Design an experiment that will allow you to answer your question.  Before you start, think about what you will measure in the experiment.


   For this section you need to list your materials and write procedures.  Your materials should include specific quantities or amounts. This should be written  as if you were writing a recipe. The procedures can be written as a paragraph or in a step-by-step form.  Be specific, after reading your material list and procedures someone else should be able to reproduce your experiment.



Collect Data & Make Observations


   Before you begin your experiment, it is a good idea to make a plan for how you will organize the data that you collect.  Think about what you will be measuring. Think about how much data you will collect. How often will you collect data and for how long?  The more data you collect, the better your results will be. Do more than one trial.  


  Results / Observations


   While you are conducting your experiment you will also want to record observations.  Observations can be photographs, drawings or written descriptions. Be sure to record the date for each observation that you make.  Below is a sample observation.



   The conclusion is a place for you to share what you learned from conducting your experiment and analyzing your data.  Your conclusion should be one to three paragraphs long.  In your conclusion you should:


  • Evaluate your hypothesis.  Was your hypothesis correct?
  • Explain what you found out.
  • Use data to support your findings.
  • Infer why your experiment turned out as it did.  
  • Explain why your findings are important.  Who might benefit from what you learned?

Display Board


   Your display board should demonstrate all of the hard work that you have put into your science fair project.  Don’t wait until the last minute! The picture shows one example of how to set up your board.  Your board may look a little different depending on the experiment that you conducted.  



 Problem/Question (Purpose): An excellent question that is interesting, creative, and worded scientifically. 


Hypothesis:  An excellent hypothesis provides a possible answer to your question.  The hypothesis is based on your background research.  


 Procedures: In this section you explain what you did to test your hypothesis.  Include your materials and procedures. You should use specific amounts and write the procedure in detail so that others could reproduce your experiment. It should be like a recipe. If you did multiple trials, be sure to include that in your procedure.  Pictures are very appropriate in this section, but we suggest that your pictures do not show people’s faces.


Results/Observations:  Observations can be photographs, drawings or written descriptions.  Be sure to record the date for each observation that you make.

The results should include a chart or graph to represent the data that you collected.   It is important to explain what your data shows. 


Conclusions: A good conclusion will be 1 – 3 paragraphs long.  You should restate your problem and hypothesis in your conclusion.  Your conclusion should share what you have learned through your investigation . The conclusion should also state if  your hypothesis is correct or incorrect. 





STUDENT NAME_______________________________________________________


PROJECT TITLE________________________________________________________


 PROJECT CATEGORY _____________________________________________________________________

(Please see the list on the back of this sheet. If you are unsure, your teacher can help identify the correct category.  The category descriptions are listed in the Science Fair Packet.)


DESCRIPTION ______________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


*Please do not start on the project until your topic has been approved by your teacher. 


 I acknowledge that I have received and reviewed the materials for the Science Fair.  I am aware that my child is required to complete a Science Project by January 27, 2020.


Student’s Signature _____________________________________



Parent’s Signature ______________________________________ 


General Guidelines for Experiments or Investigations


  1. Neatly label all sections of your project board and display materials. 
  2. Follow the steps to the Scientific Method. (attached) 
  3. Use pictures to show the steps that you followed during your experiment, the materials you used, or to enhance your findings for the investigations. These can be drawings or photographs. 
  4. Where appropriate, include tables or graphs. These can be hand-drawn or computer generated. 
  5. It is optional to include a journal or other documentation to further explain your experiment.


 Display Rules and Regulations 


  1. No glass may be displayed. If students are using containers, they must be plastic. 
  2. Electricity may not be used during the fair. Students can use a DC dry cell power source. 
  3. Students may display plants, soil, rocks, etc.
  4. Live disease causing organisms can not be used for any experiments.
  5. Microbial cultures cannot be displayed. 
  6. Food may be displayed. 
  7. Syringes can not be displayed. 
  8. No flames, open or concealed, can be a part of the display. 
  9. Highly flammable materials can not be a part of the display. 
  10. Dangerous chemicals are not allowed in the display. 
  11. Highly combustible solids, fluids, or gasses are allowed for display. 


There are many items listed above that are not allowed in the display at school. It is highly recommended that you take pictures to show and document the use of the items that are not allowed.  

Project size requirements: 

Projects cannot be larger than 30” deep by 48” wide by 108”high.

Science Fair Categories 

0100 Behavioral and Social Sciences 

0200 Biochemistry

0300 Inorganic Chemistry

0400 Organic Chemistry

0500 Earth and Environmental Sciences 

0600 Animal Sciences 

0700 Biomedical and Health Sciences 

0800 Microbiology  

0900 Physics and Astronomy

1000 Engineering  Mechanics

1100 Mathematics and System Software

1200 Robotics and Intelligent Machines

1300 Plant Sciences  

Science Fair Categories

0100 - Behavioral and Social Science

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.

0200 - Biochemistry

The study of the properties and reactions of inorganic and organometallic compounds. Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems or carbon.

0300 - Inorganic Chemistry

The study of the properties and reactions of inorganic and organometallic compounds. Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems or carbon. 

0400 - Organic Chemistry

The study of carbon-containing compounds, including hydrocarbons and their derivatives. Studies exploring the science of the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter not involving biochemical systems.

0500 - Earth and Environmental Science

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. (Atmospheric science, climate science, environmental effects on ecosystems, geosciences, water science)

0600 - Animal Sciences

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, and  animal ecology.

0700 - Biomedical and Health Services

This category focuses on studies specifically designed to address issues of human health and disease.

0800 - Microbiology

The study of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, prokaryotes, and simple eukaryotes as well as antimicrobial and antibiotic substances. 

0900 - Physics and Astronomy

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. 

1000 - Engineering Mechanics

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. 

1100 - Mathematics and System Software

The study or development of software, information processes. The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. (Algorithms, cybersecurity, databases, human/machine interface, languages and operating systems, mobile apps, online learning, algebra, analysis,  game theory, geometry and topology, number theory, probability and statistics)

1200 - Robotics and Intelligent Machines

Studies in which the use of machine intelligence is paramount to reducing the reliance on human intervention. (Biomechanics, cognitive systems, control theory, machine learning, robot kinematics)

1300 - Plant Sciences

Studies of plants and how they live, including structure, physiology, development, and classification.