Science Fair Packet

Dear P.S. 161 Parents,

             Our ability to solve problems depends on our ability to question the world in new and creative ways.  We must move away from having children simply memorize facts.  We must emphasize thinking skills that can put those facts to use. 

            What better opportunity for a child to develop these skills than to participate in our school’s science fair!  The thinking skills a child develops while doing a science fair project are the same basic skills he or she will use daily throughout his or her life to clarify problems and find creative solutions to those problems.

            We have changed the format of the science fair packet.  In the past, there was three parts.  The students will now be submitting their packet for approval only two times, once before they start the project, and once after the project is complete.

Please encourage your child to work on his or her science fair project.  All children in grades 3-5 are required to complete a project. The projects must follow the scientific method which is included in this initial package.   I will be reviewing all the steps of the method in class with your child.  All projects must be approved on a step-by-step basis.  The first part of the project, the question, variable, hypothesis, procedure, materials, and standard is due March 23, 2018.  A complete schedule and checklist is attached.  Your child may bring any part of the project to school before the due date if they have completed it.  Please keep this package in a safe place.  This is the only copy your child will receive.

            Your child should bring the completed projects to school on May 14, 2018.  Children should select projects that match their interests and abilities.  The science fair experience should be fun for your child and something he or she is really interested in.  Thank you for your cooperation.

                                                                                     Yours truly,

                                                                                     Mrs. K. Beaulieu

                                                                                    Science Teacher


Page 1

Part 1 – Question, Variable, Hypothesis, Procedure, Materials, and Standard

due March 23, 2018


Name: _______________________________                        Class: ____________________


Project Question (What are you trying to find out?)


The variable I will be testing is: _____________________________________________


Hypothesis (What do you predict will be the answer to your question?):




Procedure: (How will you be conducting your experiment to test your hypothesis?)  If you run out of space, you may attach another piece of paper.













Page 2

 Part 1 - Continued

 Materials: (What will you be using in your experiment?)




NY State Science Standard (Copy one or more from page 7.)



I have read part 1 of my child’s science fair project.


Parent’s Signature: ______________________________  Date: ________________


Approved by Mrs. Beaulieu:  __________________


Page 3

 The Scientific Method

The following is a review of the Scientific Method with some key questions and directions on how to design and conduct an experiment.  Please be aware that your child should be doing an experiment not a research or demonstration project.  A true experiment contains variables that can be tested and compared.  Do NOT do any projects that require mixing chemicals for explosions (no volcanoes) or harm animals.  I will be checking your students work for scientific accuracy.  Please make sure your child’s work has the proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Problem/Question (Part 1)

  • What do you want to find out? The question should be age-appropriate. If the question is too easy or hard, it will not be approved.
  • What is the scientific question you are trying to answer? It is best expressed as an "open-ended" question, which is answered with a statement, not just a yes or a no. For example, "How does light affect the reproduction of bread mold on white bread?” Choose a problem that can be solved experimentally. For example, the question "What is a mold?" can be answered by finding the definition of the word mold in the dictionary. But, "At what temperature will the growth rate of bread mold on white bread be the greatest?" is a question that can be answered by experimentation.

Variable (Part 1)

  • Scientists use the scientific method to search for cause and effect relationships. In other words, they design an experiment so that changes to one item cause something else to vary in a predictable way. It is important for an experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure that you change one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same. Scientists call the changing factors in an experiment "variables."

Hypothesis (Part 1)

  • Make a prediction regarding the outcome of your experiment. What do you think the answer to your question will be?

Procedure (Part 1)

  • Give a detailed explanation of how you will conduct the experiment to test your hypothesis. Be clear about the elements of the experiment that will change (variable) and what will not change (controls).
  • Be very specific about how you will measure results to prove or disprove your hypothesis. You should include a regular timetable for measuring results or observing the projects (for example, every hour, every day, and every week).

Materials/Standards (Part 1)

  • List all materials, equipment, and scientific standards that were used. A list of standards is included in this packet on page 7.

Page 4

Observations/Data/Results (Part 2)

  • Keep a detailed record of observations, data, and results. You should include data measurements and written notes about what you are sensing (hearing, seeing, or touching) about your experiment. If appropriate, photograph your project results or phases of the project to help your analysis and possibly to demonstrate your experiment on your exhibit board. Include graphs and charts to illustrate your results.

Conclusion (Part 2)

  • Was your hypothesis correct? Did your experiment prove or disprove your hypothesis?
  • Explain your observations, data, and results. This is a summary of what your data has shown you. Why did the results occur? What did your experiment prove? List the main points that you have learned. If you repeated this project, what would you change?

Research (Included on science board)

  • Every student must include a research report on the topic of the project. The research report should attempt to explain why their results occurred. The report should be at least one-page long and should attempt to explain why the student got their results.  All reports should include a bibliography stating the sources used (internet articles, books, magazines, etc.).


Science Fair Project Evaluation

 All science fair projects will be scored using the following criteria:

  1. Represents the student’s work, not that of an adult.
  2. Indicates an understanding of the science area chosen.
  3. Shows careful planning.
  4. Shows creativity, originality, and a depth of understanding.
  5. Is attractive and well organized.
  6. Includes all parts of the scientific method.
  7. Has accurate, valid and correct observations.
  8. Includes photographs, charts, pictures, graphs, etc. that might be 

       necessary to explain your work.

  1. Must include a research report and bibliography.
  2. Must be on a project display board.

 Page 5

  Name: ________________________          Class: _____________

 Science Fair Project Timetable

Please keep this timetable at home to guide you through the science fair process.




Due Date

Check when Complete

Part 1 – Question, variable, hypothesis, procedure and materials/ standards

March 23, 2018


Part 2 - Observations/Data/Results and Conclusion

May 7, 2018


Design and prepare display board, write research paper, and bring completed project to school

May 14, 2018


Classroom Science Fair

May 14-18, 2018


School Science Fair

May 21-25, 2018



Internet Guide - Ideas for Science Fair Projects

Make sure you choose a controlled experiment with a variable!


Page 6


Some Examples to help you out

 Grades 3-4

 Does fertilizer make plants grow faster?

Does the temperature of a magnet affect its strength?

Do all liquids evaporate at the same rate?

Who is better at identifying objects by their smell, males or females?

Does the design of a whirly bird's wings affect the speed at which it travels?

Do different types of soil hold different amounts of water?

Does the surface material on an inclined plane affect how fast and far an object rolls?

Do all types of sugar grow the same type of crystals?

Can the design of an airplane make is fly farther?

Which type of cup will keep ice from melting the longest?

Do heavy objects fall faster than light objects?

Can people tell the difference between regular and low-fat foods?

Does the size of the balloon affect how long a hovercraft will stay in the air?

Does the number of times we rub a balloon on wool affect how long the balloon will stick to a wall?

Which types of fruits and vegetables make the best batteries?

Can older or younger people remember more numbers?

What household cleaner does the best job of removing stains from fabric?


Grade 5

 Can exercise improve your memory?

Which preserves food longer wax paper, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap?

How does age affect hand/eye coordination?

Do hand soaps and sanitizers prevent the growth of mold on bread?

How does the volume of air affect how far a balloon rocket travels?

Text on Screen vs. Type on Paper: Which is Easier to Remember?

Are more people right or left brained?

Do big parachutes fall more slowly than small ones?

Do people remember things better when they see or hear them?

Which holds heat the longest, soil or sand?

Do different types of music affect pulse rate in different ways?

How does the length of a lever affect the amount of force needed to lift an object?

Which metal conducts heat the best?

Is there more air pollution inside or outside our homes?

Which type of snack foods have the most grease?

Which material creates the most static electricity?

Does the color of a material affect heat absorption?

Which method of water purification works the best?

What type of bridge holds the most weight?

Are sundials as accurate as watches at telling time?

How does PH level affect the corrosion of copper?


Page 7

NYC Science Standards – Pick one or more for Part 1

Physical Sciences Concepts

Demonstrates understanding of properties of objects and materials.

Demonstrates understanding of position and motion of objects.

Demonstrates understanding of light, heat, electricity, and magnetism.

Life Sciences Concepts

Demonstrates understanding of characteristics of organisms.

Demonstrates understanding of life cycles of organisms.

Demonstrates understanding of organisms and environments.

Demonstrates understanding of change over time.

Earth and Space Sciences Concepts

Demonstrates understanding of properties of Earth materials.

Demonstrates understanding of objects in the sky.

Demonstrates understanding of changes in Earth and sky.

Scientific Connections and Applications

Demonstrates understanding of big ideas and unifying concepts.

Demonstrates understanding of the designed world.

Demonstrates understanding of personal health.

Demonstrates understanding of science as a human endeavor.

Scientific Thinking

Asks questions about natural phenomena; objects and organisms; and events and discoveries.

Uses concepts from Science Standards 1 to 4 to explain a variety of observations and phenomena.

Uses evidence from reliable sources to construct explanations.

Evaluates different points of view using relevant experiences, observations, and knowledge; and distinguishes between fact and opinion.

Identifies problems; proposes and implements solutions; and evaluates the accuracy, design, and outcomes of investigations.

Works individually and in teams to collect and share information and ideas.

Scientific Tools and Technologies

Uses technology and tools to gather data and extend the senses.

Collects and analyzes data using concepts and techniques in Mathematics Standard 4.

Acquires information from multiple sources, such as experimentation and print and non-print sources.

Scientific Communication

Represents data and results in multiple ways.

Uses facts to support conclusions.

Communicates in a form suited to the purpose and the audience.

Critiques written and oral explanations, and uses data to resolve disagreements.

Scientific Investigation

Demonstrates scientific competence by completing an experiment.

Demonstrates scientific competence by completing a systematic observation.

Demonstrates scientific competence by completing a design.

Demonstrates scientific competence by completing non-experimental research using print and electronic information.

Page 8


Name:  __________________________                Class:__________________


Part 2 – Observations/Data/Results and Conclusion – Due May 7, 2018


Include pictures, graphs, and charts (attach or draw).  You may use another piece of paper and attach it to this form if you run out of room.















Approved by Mrs. Beaulieu:  ___________


Page 9

 Research Report – Due with completed project – May 14, 2018

Does not have to be approved by Mrs. Beaulieu


 The report should try to explain why you got your results.  The students can use books, websites, educational magazines, videos or television shows.  They should include the following for each type of research:

 Books:  Name of book and author

 Websites:  Name and URL of website

 Magazines:  Name and date of publication

 Videos:  Name and date of production

Television shows:  Name of show, station and date watched