- The scientific method is a way to ask and answer scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments.
- The steps of the scientific method are to:
- Ask a Question
- Do Background Research
- Construct a Hypothesis
- Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
- Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
- Communicate Your Results
- It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. A "fair test" occurs when you change only one factor (variable) and keep all other conditions the same.
An abstract is an abbreviated version of your science fair project final report. For most science fairs it is limited to a maximum of 250 words (check the rules for your competition). The science fair project abstract appears at the beginning of the report as well as on your display board.
Almost all scientists and engineers agree that an abstract should have the following five pieces:
- Introduction. This is where you describe the purpose for doing your science fair project or invention. Why should anyone care about the work you did? You have to tell them why. Did you explain something that should cause people to change the way they go about their daily business? If you made an invention or developed a new procedure how is it better, faster, or cheaper than what is already out there? Motivate the reader to finish the abstract and read the entire paper or display board.
- Problem Statement. Identify the problem you solved or the hypothesis you investigated.
- Procedures. What was your approach for investigating the problem? Don't go into detail about materials unless they were critical to your success. Do describe the most important variables if you have room.
- Results. What answer did you obtain? Be specific and use numbers to describe your results. Do not use vague terms like "most" or "some."
- Conclusions. State what your science fair project or invention contributes to the area you worked in. Did you meet your objectives? For an engineering project state whether you met your design criteria.