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Science projects

Page history last edited by Jacob Martin 6 years, 3 months ago



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A science project answers a question. You discover things in science that sometimes no one has ever found out or seen. It is an exciting place to start. There are certain steps that are important in doing a science project.




The first step is to look around you and observe something. It could be to do with the environment or something you wanted to know or just something weird.


Come up with a question


After you have observed something you will want to try and make up a question. The “Why, What, Where, How and When” questions are a good place to start.


Turn it into a testable question


Now that you have a question you need to turn it into a testable question. For example if your question was - “How do cicadas effect kiwifriut canes”? -  you could refine the question to one aspect. At what depth under the soil surface in kiwifriut orchards do cicada nymphs mostly live -this is a testable question because it is specific and can be tested. Here are some tips on the 3M website.




Design your experiment


Designing your experiment is very important. A well designed experiment is designed to find out whether your hypothesis is correct or not and to answer a question. The Nexus Research Group based in the Taranaki has a great website that explains the steps really well; check it out here. Here are the guidelines for what makes a great experiment. 




Variables are things that can change in an experiment.  A good experiment will change only one variable at a time and keep all other variables the same to make sure that you can say that changing the variable was the cause of what you saw.




The control in an experiment is a sample that you keep all the variable the same.


Repeating it


You need to do at least 3 replicates,  as well as the control - the more replicates you do, the more sure you can be about your results.


For examples go here




Test it


The first thing after you have collected your materials is to set up your experiment. If you have more than one sample, you must make sure they are all under the same conditions - except for one variable. So making sure they have the same light, water, sample area, container, plants, electricity...etc.


Conduct you experiment


When you start to conduct your experiment, you must keep everything the same. The goal is not to improve your experiment as it goes, but to keep it the same for as long as possible so you can get as much good data out of it as you can.


Record everything


Everything you see must be written down in your logbook but try and back your observations up. So try not to say - “the plant looked bigger today” say “the plant is 2cm taller than yesterday”. This will make it easier to answer your question.




Collect you data


The first thing to do is put your data on the computer either on a table on excel or on a word document  - you then need to start turning your tables into pictures.  The best way to do that is with graphs. Ask your teacher what graph represents the data best. This page has a good summary of how to use graphs




  •  The first thing you need to do is a summary of your results.

  • Was your hypothesis correct or incorrect? (an incorrect hypothesis is not bad if you learnt something you didn’t know).

  • What did you learn?

  • How could your results be used?

  • What future experiments do you want to do?

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