Science Fair

Project Selection
  1. What are ten big scientific questions that you want to answer? Each question should not be able to be answered with a simple fact, survey or opinion. Good scientific questions often start with, “What is better …”, “How much …”, “After a certain amount of time …”, etc.  These questions should be things that you are very curious about.  Some general ideas:
    • What kinds of foods or drinks people like better than others.
    • In what ways teachers interact with students (for example, how much they stand vs. sit; eye contact; one-on-one work, etc.)
    • Doing personality tests on friends and family.
    • How well memory works in certain people.
    • The effects of different kinds of music on people.
    • How colors affect peoples’ mood and behavior.
    • How people stereotype and prejudice others based on appearance.
    • Test people on the Stroop Effect.
    • See how accurate reading body language can be.
    • How we judge beauty and attractive people.
    • What can be told from peoples’ handwriting.
    • How many risks people take depending on the situation.
    • What happens when you turn the wrong way in an elevator.
    • What happens when someone is injured or helpless, and who helps them out.
    • What it’s like to be blind or deaf for a day.
  2. After the questions have been looked over by your instructor, choose your top four questions.
  3. For each question, find at least three sources that try to answer the question and write down the book, magazine or address of the web site. Do internet searches for key terms and words, not for the entire question! For example, if you want to answer, “What is it like being blind?” you could search for “blind experience experiment,” “blind people experiences,” “loss of sight,” etc. If you can’t find three sources, state why you think this is the case.
  4. If you’re stuck, make sure that you’ve tried all the major search engines, like,, and
  5. Choose the top question out of the four. Your top question needs to be something that you’re interested in, has enough background information, and something that you can try to answer with an experiment that you can do at school or at home.
  6. Now, write the question that you want to answer.
  7. Describe the experiment you want to try.
  8. What materials do you need for the experiment?
  9. How much time do you need for the experiment?

Using the question that you chose in Project Selection, fill in the following table:

Background InformationWhat do you need to know?
Opinions, Viewpoints, AnswersWhat do other people think?
Changes & DevelopmentsWhat’s happened since people first asked?
What different ways are there to think about the question?
Science Fair Experiment

You will come up with a hypothesis for an answer to your question, then test the hypothesis by performing an experiment.

  1. What is the question you are trying to answer?
  2. What is your hypothesis (the answer to your question)?  Make sure to include a specific answer to your question (including numbers) and a reason why you think the way you do.
  3. What is the independent variable?  If there’s more than one, then explain how many different experimental groups you will have.
  4. What is the dependent variable?  There may be more than one.
  5. What is your control group, or control groups?
  6. What materials do you need for this experiment?
  7. What are the steps you need to complete for this experiment?
  8. What items need to be purchased in order to do this experiment?

The tri-fold must be typed – nothing handwritten will be accepted!  Below, you see an example of a tri-fold for a science fair.
Sample Tri-Fold
You already have most of this information:

Component of Tri-Fold Content (Fill this in!)
Research QuestionThe question you are trying to answer with this project
HypothesisWhat you thought was going to happen and why. Explain the relationship between your independent and dependent variables.
Procedure & EquipmentList the materials you used and the steps that you followed to do your experiment
Data & AnalysisInclude all of your data (results), both qualitative and quantitative. Additionally, include all of your final analysis. Include any pictures or drawings that help to illustrate your data.
ConclusionsExplain how the data and analysis answered your original question. Include whether or not your hypothesis was supported and why. Explain the final relationship between your independent and dependent variables.
ReferencesInclude your research in this section. Make sure to include sources for all of the information that you found, including anything that you used at any point for your experiment.
PicturesFind, develop or create 2-3 drawings or pictures that help explain your project. Include these pictures in the “Procedures & Equipment” or “Data & Analysis” sections.
Design & ColorsHow will the layout look?  Will you use white paper with a certain colored background?  Plan out exactly how your tri-fold will look.


  • Use large type so that it is easy to read from a few feet away (on the computer, at least 16-point font is best).
  • The title should be large and summarized so that it can be easily read from across the room.
Science Fair Ideas

Scientists explore the physical world for REPRODUCIBLE PATTERNS, which they represent by MODELS, organize into LAWS and explain with THEORIES.


How do earthworms affect leaf litter biological communities?
How do de-icing salt affect leaf litter biological communities?
How do fertilizer affect leaf litter biological communities?
How do invasive plant leaves affect leaf litter biological communities?
How does flooding affect leaf litter biological communities?
How does human litter affect leaf litter biological communities?
How does acid rain affect leaf litter biological communities?
How does soil acidity affect fruit or vegetable acidity?
Do fruit seeds grow better if planted in the fruit or separately?
How does the weight of the stems and leaves of a plant affect the size of the roots?
How does the amount of light affect length of bean stems?
How does the amount of light affect the number of leaves on a plant?
How does soil composition affect the size of plant roots?
How does the age structure vary between cities in Cuyahoga County
How do seedling plants know which way is up?
Can spices repel insects?
How do various spices affect the rate of growth of mold?
What affects the rate at which bananas turn brown?
How do the ingredients of compost affect the temperature of the pile?
What factors affect the growth of mold?
Environmental science
What is the maximum flow rate in Euclid Creek over the course of 2 months?
How does a proximity to a busy road affect leaf litter communities in Forest Hill Park?
How does proximity to a large parking lot affect soil erosion Forest Hill Park?
How is the mild winter and early warm temperatures in the spring in 2012 affecting native vs. invasive plant growth?
How do dams on Euclid creek affect the distribution of benthic invertebrates?
How much erosion has occurred in (Lakeview Cemetery stones) due to acid rain during the last century?
How do shopping malls affect streams flowing under them?
How do automobile detergents affect plant growth?
What ingredients in household compost inhibit decomposition by composting bacteria?
What is the quality of soil under various plant communities and disturbed environments?
What is the degradation time of litter in local streams?
What is the degradation time of litter in local soils?
Student(s) Behavioral Sciences
How does praise affect academic performance?
How do brand/labels affect food choice in children?
How does mitigating stereotype threat affect performance on high-stakes tests?
How does theory of intelligence affect academic performance?
How does theory of intelligence affect performance on standardized tests?
Do children from small families or large families do better in school?
Does left- or right-handedness affect coordination? Reaction time?
Does practice affect reaction time?
How well do people follow their own rules?
What is the effect of exercise on school performance? (How do the grades of students who walk to school compare with grades of students who ride the bus?)
What is the effect of participation in athletics on school performance?
Are there gender differences in short-term memory?
What factors have greatest effect on job or career satisfaction?
How do the scores on various types of intelligence tests compare to IQ?
What sorts of intelligence make people successful in school vs. successful in life?
Do learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) correlate with academic success?
Student(s) Health/Medicine
How does the adolescent growth spurt affect body mass index between ages 14 and 18?
How does the type of sport affects energy budget over the course of a day?
Food Deserts: How does distance between a family’s home and the nearest grocery store affect body mass index?
How does pre-game nutrition affect performance by athletes?
How does age affect the sense of taste or smell?
Who eats the fastest-how does age or gender affect the rate of eating?
What is the effect of exercise on personal mood/outlook/social interactions?
How does the age of parents affect with their children’s GPA?
How does the cost of a fast food hamburgers affect the fat content?
How does nutrition content of school lunches affect their popularity?
How does caloric intake correlate with TV watching?
Shaw alumni: How much weight do former athletes gain after high school, according to sport?
Does obesity depend on the kinds of foods consumed or only the total caloric intake?
How much energy is contained in various snack foods?
Student(s) Chemistry
How can you prevent iron from rusting?
How does the purity of water affect its surface tension?
How does the purity of water affect its freezing or boiling point ?
How does weathering affect elasticity of plastics?
How much plastic is released when a plastic container is microwaved?
Which man-made materials wick water the best?
How does type of metal affect friction applied by braking pads?
Strength testing of matrix materials
How does % man-made fiber affect melting temperatures of fabrics
Does the speed of freezing affect the amount of expansion of water into ice?
What materials are most degrade the most slowly in roadside litter?
How does gear ratio affect efficiency of a bicycle drive train?
How does tire pressure affect rolling resistance (over smooth and bumpy surfaces)
How does tire pressure affect gas mileage of a car?
How does frequency of sound affect distance it travels?
Which sounds are easier to localize, high or low pitch?
What determines the wave frequency on Lake Erie?
How does ________ affect the tensile strength of __________?
Are composites of wood stronger than solid wood?
How does shape affect speed in a fish or submarine (viscous effects)?
How does spoke pattern affect the radial and lateral stiffness of bicycle wheels?
How does dimple size affect ball speed?
How does temperature affect the elastic of various rubber types (balls)?
How long do basketball shoes keep their bounce?
Student(s) Engineering
How does aerodynamic streamlining affect gas mileage in a car?
How does heating and cooling affect the strength of various alloys?
How does heating and cooling affect the flexibility of various alloys?
What properties of wood affect its strength?
What properties of wood affect its flexibility?
Does the age of a bridge affect how flexible it is?
Are potholes on Euclid Avenue caused by flaws or inferior materials used in road construction?
Which is more efficient for climbing hills- a fixed-gear or a freewheel transmission bicycle?
How does tire shape affect hydroplaning?
What is the best tire tread for wet-road traction in bicycles?
Does the distance a car travels per engine RPM predict gas mileage?
Are there fewer fire hazards in modern vs. ancient buildings?
Earth/Space Science
How does the heigt of the moon above the horizon affect the size of the moo’s image?
How does Lake Erie affect average temperature compared to farther inland?
How does water temperature on the south shore of Lake Erie relate to wind direction and speed?
How does water depth on the south shore of Lake Erie relate to wind direction and speed?
How doe % sand or % clay in soil affect rate of erosion by water?
How does angle of incident light affect the intensity of radiation?
What percent of people know why there are seasons?
Which has a greater effect on northern hemisphere temperature: day length or the angle of incident light?
How do the species of isopod or earthworms correlate with soil quality?
Math/Economics/Computer Science
How do rhythmic patterns found in hip-hop music compare to other types of music?
What misconceptions help gamblers lose and how widespread are they?
Do vendors without cash registers or computers compute better mentally?
How does the first graduation from college affect future generations of a family?
What consumer products owned by a family best predict school performance?
How does number of years of school completed affect personal income?
How does family income affect school performance?
How does family size affect school performance?
How does school size affect student academic success?
Questions & Materials
Name Question Materials Needed
Shanell Do people in the same family have the same personality type? None
Lizzy Which helps the sunflower plant grow faster and taller: increasing the amount of fertilizer or increasing the amount of water? Sunflower seeds
Ant’senee How does the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affect how rapidly trees grow? Large piece of styrofoam, tree sapling, vinegar, dowels, clear plastic
Joseph How well can you concentrate while being dizzy? 20 tennis balls
Dernae’ How does a person’s personality affect their response to fear? Oxygen monitor
Gabby Does it use more energy when your phone is on ringer or on vibrate? None
Meeco Will an ant, potato bug, common black ground beetle, or a worm find its way through a maze faster? None
Talica If I teach some people a made-up subject, will it affect their memory and emotion? Digital camera, printouts
Larissa What effect will the Stroop effect have on different age groups? Markers
Tyree Will water temperature affect the refraction of light? See me!
Kalynn Do children from small families or large families do better in school? None
Adrianna How does tire pressure affect rolling resistance on smooth and bumpy surfaces? Bicycle, 5g weight, rubber band, tube
Kevin Do people who watch more TV consume more calories than others who don’t? None
Diamond Does reciting different combinations of letters to a person while listening to rap music affect memory? Calculator
Kaelyn Does brand or labeling on a product affect choices in children? Graham crackers, juice boxes, apple juice, chips, cookies, stopwatch
Sha’Lynn What are the differences in personalities between my friends and my family? None
Kaitlynn When a plastic container is in the microwave, how much plastic is released (measured by dioxins)? Glass bowl, ceramic bowl, plastic bowl
Ben Does heat affect how high a rubber ball bounces? Not submitted
Ramirez Does a parent’s age affect the learning of students with tasks like drawing, reading and their GPA? Not submitted
Tyrell Would it be easier for people to understand a certain lesson if they blocked everything out and just watched the teacher? Not submitted
Anthony Does food with high levels starch affect performance in a sport? Not submitted
Malik How does a pre-game meal affect your performance as an athlete? Not submitted
Tre’Von H. Does music have an effect on animal behavior? Not submitted
Brittany What types of rot attract bugs: what bugs and species of bug do they attract and where should the rotting food be placed? Not submitted
Tre’Von S. Which type of music affects a plant for the better: hip-hop or classical? Not submitted
Qwa Jun Does the size of your calf muscles determine how fast you can run? Not submitted
Priscilla Whose minds work faster and more accurately with words and numbers: boys or girls? Not submitted
Dionne What is the relationship between amount of sleep at night and the ability to complete a task? Not submitted
Zach Does hot or cold weather affect the growth of mold? Not submitted
Michelle Does Kaboom clean off soap scum better than Alsome? Not submitted
Josh Which spice repels ants the best? Not submitted

Science Fair: Presentation

You will prepare a PowerPoint,,, or any other approved presentation to go along with your final presentation.  The presentation should have at least the following information:

  1. Introduction
    1. Title of Project
    2. Your Name
    3. Period & Subject
  2. My Question
    1. The question you asked
    2. Why you chose this question
    3. Why this is relevant to your audience
  3. Research
    1. Identify at least three pieces of important information in your research and the sources
  4. Hypothesis
    1. The hypothesis for your experiment
    2. Why you thought this was a reasonable hypothesis
  5. Materials & Methods
    1. What materials you needed in order to perform the experiment
    2. What procedures you followed in order to perform the experiment
  6. Data
    1. The qualitative results of the experiment
    2. The quantitative data represented in tables, charts or graphs
  7. Analysis
    1. Interpret what the data means
    2. How the data either supported or did not support the hypothesis
    3. How you could change the experiment to test your hypothesis better than it did
  8. Errors
    1. Anything that went wrong, or could have gone wrong, during your research or experiment
    2. Anything that you learned about how to perform experiments
  9. Conclusions
    1. Conclusions that you were able to come to about the answer to your question
    2. Questions that you still have