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Event Planning

Tips for making your science fair a successful event, both for you and your students.

Project Timelines

Getting a science fair project ready takes lots of time and effort. Here's how to keep students on track.

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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)

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