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Keeping your project on schedule
A science fair project can be the biggest, most complex assignment a student does all year — and it can seem overwhelming. To keep students on track, break the process down into manageable steps, each with its own deadline.
Timing: 6 months prior
- Discussion: project and topic selection
- Project turned in
- Project topic has already been approved or student has met with teacher
- Go over bibliography requirements. Note card & bibliography card presentation by teacher in class.
- Due: Four credible resources for research; minimum of 25 note cards.
Timing: 5 months prior
- Discussion: Outlining before we write, work time
- Peer review of presentation outlines
- Review of how to write a step-by-step procedure
- Determine time range for writing research paper
- Oral presentation of proposed procedure for peer evaluation
- Review of variables and hypothesis
- Due: Final outline; rough draft of procedure; minimum of 25 new note cards.
Timing: 4 months prior
- Peer review of variables
- Work on developing hypothesis
- Peer review of procedure
- Work on rough draft of research portion of paper
- Peer review of research portion of paper
- Experiment should be started once procedure, variables, and hypothesis have been approved. Plant experiments must be started immediately.
- Due: Documentation of variables, hypothesis and procedure; revised research paper with parent signature.
Timing: 3 months prior
- Discussion: How to write an abstract; how to set up presentation boards
- In class review of data collection/tables & graphs
- Take photos of your experiment in progress to be used on your board
- Work on final versions of title page, table of contents, research question, hypothesis, purpose, materials, sample size, procedure, variables & bibliography
- Due: All tables & graphs; bibliography
Timing: 2 months prior
- Discussion: How to do a science fair presentation
- Formal presentation of science projects begin
- Due: Final copies of full report
Timing: Event season
- Middle School Science Fair date announced
- Local Science Fair (must qualify through local judging process)
- State Science Fair (must quality through local science fair)