The Complete Idiot's Guide to Science Fair Projects: Genius-Level Guidance on More Than 50 Experiments

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Science Fair Projects: Genius-Level Guidance on More Than 50 Experiments

by Nancy K. O'Leary, Susan Shelly

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Includes 50 project ideas!

Offering one-stop shopping for all readers' science fair needs, including 50 projects covering all science disciplines and rated from beginner through advanced, this book takes students and parents through the entire scientific method.


€ Choosing the right project
€ Fun projects, like how much air is in a basketball
€ How to wow the judges
€ Make the display board stand out, and more

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440696121
Publisher: DK
Publication date: 12/02/2003
Sold by: DK
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 986,324
File size: 4 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nancy K. O'Leary, who is completing Ph.D-Level study in chemistry and biology, is a teacher at both the college and junior/senior high level.

Susan Shelly has more than 20 years experience in journalism, research, public relations, and freelance writing.

Table of Contents

Part 1So You're Going to Do a Science Fair Project1
1The Different Types of Science Fairs3
Just What Is a Science Fair, Anyway?4
How Hard Is This Going to Be?5
How Are Science Fairs Judged?6
Different Levels of Competition7
Local and Regional Science Fairs7
State Science Fairs8
National and International Science Fairs8
Virtual Science Fairs9
The First Steps to Getting Started9
2Choosing Your Topic11
Understanding the Purpose of a Science Fair Project12
Identifying a Problem13
Science Divided: Natural vs. Physical14
Relating Your Topic to Your Interests15
Making Your Project Fun16
But What If I Really Hate Science?16
Keeping Your Project Within Your Ability Level17
Knowing If It's Too Easy17
Knowing If It's Too Hard17
Finding a Topic That's Just Right18
Considering the Cost of Your Project19
Keeping Science Fair Guidelines in Mind19
3Learning What You Can About Your Topic21
Keeping Yourself and Your Project Organized22
How to Avoid Reinventing the Wheel23
Where to Go for Information23
The Library24
The Internet25
People Who Can Help28
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due29
Plagiarism Is Plagiarism, Whether You Mean to or Not30
Keeping Your Sources Straight31
4Understanding and Using the Scientific Method33
The Scientific Method Made Easy34
Don't Even Think About Not Using It35
Whoever Thought of the Scientific Method, Anyway?36
Stating the Problem37
Researching Your Topic38
Coming Up with a Hypothesis38
Giving It Your Best Guess38
Remembering That It's Only a Guess39
Testing Your Hypothesis39
Gathering the Materials You'll Need39
Using What You Have40
Knowing Where to Get Them40
5The Meat and Potatoes of the Scientific Method41
Conducting the All-Important Experiment42
Using Controls and Variables43
What Are Controls and What Do They Do?44
Examples of Controls and Variables45
Taking It One Step at a Time46
Writing Down the Directions46
Following the Directions47
Repeating the Process to Assure Accuracy47
6Collecting Data and Making Observations49
Taking Measurements and Recording Them Correctly50
Making Sure You're Doing It Right50
Understanding Units of Measurement51
What's Your Take on What's Going On?53
Don't Forget That the Little Things Count53
Keeping Your Observations Objective53
Using Charts and Graphs to Present Data54
Analysis and Conclusion57
Were You Right or Wrong?57
Part 2Science Projects for Beginners59
7Which Foods Do Molds Love Best (and Other Great Biology Projects)?61
So What Seems to Be the Problem?62
What's the Point?63
What Do You Think Will Happen?64
Materials You'll Need for This Project66
Conducting Your Experiment66
Keeping Track of Your Experiment67
Putting It All Together69
Further Investigation70
Other Great Biology Projects70
What Foods Attract Ants?71
Do Loud Noises Affect Heart Rate?72
8In Which Liquids Do Seeds Grow Best (and Other Great Botany Projects)?75
So What Seems to Be the Problem?76
What's the Point?76
What Do You Think Will Happen?77
Materials You'll Need for This Project78
Conducting Your Experiment78
Keeping Track of Your Experiment80
Putting It All Together82
Further Investigation83
Other Great Botany Projects83
Does Microwave Radiation Affect Seed Growth?84
Which Bulbs Are Best for Forcing?85
9Salt or Sugar: Which Dissolves Faster in Different Liquids (and Other Great Chemistry Project)?87
So What Seems to Be the Problem?88
What's the Point?90
What Do You Think Will Happen?92
Materials You'll Need for This Project92
Conducting Your Experiment93
Keeping Track of Your Experiment94
Putting It All Together95
Further Investigation95
Other Great Chemistry Projects96
What Household Cleaners Break Down Fell-O Best?96
What Substance Melts Ice Fastest?97
10What Kind of Trash Bag Breaks Down Fastest (and Other Great Earth Science Projects)?99
So What Seems to Be the Problem?100
What's the Point?102
What Do You Think Will Happen?102
Materials You'll Need for This Project103
Conducting Your Experiment104
Keeping Track of Your Experiment105
Putting It All Together106
Further Investigation106
Other Great Earth Science Projects106
Is One Room of Your House Colder Than Another?106
What Factors Are Conducive to Fog?107
11Does It Matter How Much Air Is in Your Basketball (and Other Great Physical Science Projects)?109
So What Seems to Be the Problem?110
What's the Point?111
What Do You Think Will Happen?111
Materials You'll Need for This Project112
Conducting Your Experiment112
Keeping Track of Your Experiment114
Putting It All Together114
Further Investigation115
Other Great Physical Science Projects116
Why Do Some Objects Fall Faster Than Others?116
Do Objects Float Better in Salt Water Than in Fresh Water?117
Part 3Intermediate-Level Science Projects119
12How Fast Are You? Testing and Measuring Reflexes (and Other Great Biology Projects)121
So What Seems to Be the Problem?122
What's the Point?123
What Do You Think Will Happen?124
Materials You'll Need for This Project124
The Procedure125
Keeping Track of Your Experiment127
Further Investigation129
Other Great Biology Projects130
Determining Your Speediest Shoes130
Does Caffeine Increase Heart Rate?131
13Does the pH of Water Affect the Growth of Bean Plants (and Other Great Botany Projects)?133
So What Seems to Be the Problem?134
What's the Point?135
What Do You Think Will Happen?136
Materials You'll Need for This Project137
Conducting Your Experiment138
Keeping Track of Your Experiment140
Putting It All Together141
Further Investigation142
Other Great Botany Projects143
Creating New Plants Through Cross-Pollination143
Do Bean Plants Grow Better in Soil or in Water?144
14Are All Pennies Created Equal (and Other Great Chemistry Projects)?145
So What Seems to Be the Problem?146
What's the Point?147
What Do You Think Will Happen?148
Materials You'll Need for This Project148
Conducting Your Experiment149
Keeping Track of Your Experiment150
Putting It All Together152
Further Investigation153
Other Great Chemistry Projects154
Can You Be a Human Battery?154
What Materials Make the Best Crystals?155
15Which Materials Insulate Best Against Windchill (and Other Great Earth Science Projects)?157
So What Seems to Be the Problem?158
What's the Point?160
What Do You Think Will Happen?161
Materials You'll Need for This Project162
Conducting Your Experiment163
Keeping Track of Your Experiment164
Putting It All Together165
Further Investigation165
Other Great Earth Science Projects165
Do Clouds Tell Us What Weather Is Coming?166
What Factors Most Affect Evaporation?167
16What Materials Conduct Static Electricity Best (and Other Great Physical Science Projects)?169
So What Seems to Be the Problem?170
Electrical Charges170
Electrons and Static Electricity171
What's the Point?172
What Do You Think Will Happen?173
Materials You'll Need for This Project173
Conducting Your Experiment174
Keeping Track of Your Experiment175
Putting It All Together176
Further Investigation176
Other Great Physical Science Projects177
Can Water Make a Bottle Rocket Fly Higher?177
Downhill Discoveries178
Part 4Advanced-Level Science Projects181
17Is the DNA of a Cow Different from a Chicken's (and Other Great Biology Projects)?183
So What Seems to Be the Problem?184
What's the Point?185
What Do You Think Will Happen?185
Materials You'll Need for This Project187
Conducting Your Experiment188
Keeping Track of Your Experiment189
Putting It All Together189
Further Investigation189
Other Great Biology Projects190
Do Plants Sweat Like People Do?190
What Types of Bacteria Are Found in Your House?191
18Can Cloning Make a Better Plant (and Other Great Botany Projects)?193
So What Seems to Be the Problem?194
What's the Point?196
What Do You Think Will Happen?197
Materials You'll Need for This Project197
Conducting Your Experiment199
Keeping Track of Your Experiment200
Putting It All Together201
Further Investigation201
Other Great Botany Projects202
How Close to a Plant Must Pesticides Be in Order to Be Beneficial?202
Can Healthy Plants Be Grown in Soil Containing No Microorganisms?203
19Which Metal Corrodes the Fastest (and Other Great Chemistry Projects)?205
So What Seems to Be the Problem?206
What's the Point?207
What Do You Think Will Happen?208
Materials You'll Need for This Project209
Conducting Your Experiment210
Keeping Track of Your Experiment211
Putting It All Together211
Further Investigation213
Other Great Chemistry Projects213
What's in a Color?213
Copper Magic215
20How Can Different Polymers Be Identified (and Other Great Earth Science Projects)?217
So What Seems to Be the Problem?218
What's the Point?219
What Do You Think Will Happen?220
Materials You'll Need for This Project221
Conducting Your Experiment221
Keeping Track of Your Experiment223
Putting It All Together224
Further Investigation224
Other Great Earth Science Projects225
How Much Oxygen Is in the Air?225
Which Is More Acidic, Snow or Rain?226
21How Can You Use Physics to Become a Better Hitter (and Other Great Physical Science Projects)?227
So What Seems to Be the Problem?228
What's the Point?229
What Do You Think Will Happen?231
Materials You'll Need for This Project233
Conducting Your Experiment234
Keeping Track of Your Experiment234
Putting It All Together236
Further Investigation236
Other Great Physics Projects236
Can a Visible Light Outshine Infrared Radiation?237
How Do Different Surfaces Affect the Momentum of Marbles?238
Part 5Projects to Really Wow 'Em241
22How Explosion Proof Is Your Sandwich Bag?243
So What Seems to Be the Problem?244
What's the Point?245
What Do You Think Will Happen?245
Materials You'll Need for This Project24

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Complete Idiot's Guide to Science Fair Projects 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
May have good projects.