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Getting Started

An important part of learning science is doing science.

Science fairs offer students an opportunity to practice science investigation and invention. Whether the science fair is competitive or not, the project may be the first time that students choose their own science topic and practice being a scientist or engineer.

To get started, follow these steps:

This site is designed to help students do one of two things:

  • design and conduct an investigative experiment (investigation)
  • design and engineer a practical solution to a problem (invention)

In some science fairs, science reports are also allowed. Science reports have students find out what others have learned, and then repeat it in their own words. It is not the same as conducting a science investigation. Although reports have their value, the science fair project is a unique opportunity to experience full science process from asking the question to collecting data to peer review of the results.

In investigating and inventing, students conduct background research into the topic, but the information is used to help plan the experiment or engineer a design.

On this website, you will find a clear pathway to help students develop and present successful projects. In the spirit of “begin with the end in mind,” you will also find plenty of example project ideas and some models for students to review. In addition, you will find virtual labs that will help students practice science investigation before they develop their own investigations. Finally, you will find suggestions on how to make outstanding presentations as well as how to set up and run a science fair.