A science fair research plan is a comprehensive document that details what you need to do to complete your science fair project. It includes these basic features: selecting a topic, making a time table, listing the research required, listing the desired outcome of each phase, and creating a chart to help you track your progress.
When students start elementary school, they are introduced to the wonders of science. They learn how to question so they will arrive at a conclusion. To facilitate hands-on learning, science fair projects are very common in schools. If you are a student, a science fair project could be an amazing experience or it could be a nightmare. It need not be a nightmare though if you are fully prepared, and this should start with your research plan.
A science fair research plan is a comprehensive document that details what you need to do to complete your science fair project and focuses on the research that you need to make to understand your topic, to develop an experiment, to analyze the data you gathered, and to draw conclusions. To make your science fair research plan a success, here are simple steps you can follow:
Select a topic
There are many topics you can find. However, there are two important things you need to remember when choosing a topic: it has to be interesting and it has to be simple and easy to accomplish. Your topic will guide you through the rest of your research activities.
Make a time table
The time table helps in determining when the parts of your science fair project need to be completed. Your time table will especially help in breaking up your science fair research plan into different phases so each phase will be given a specific time frame.
Note that your own time table depends on the time table set by your teacher or by the rules and guidelines of the science fair that you want to join.
List the research required in each phase
The time table and research are interconnected. For example, if the first item in your time table is to familiarize yourself with your science fair topic, then you need to conduct a research of your chosen topic. If the second item says that you need to know the variables needed in your experiment, then you need to conduct a research about those variables. It is also through research that you will find other similar researches that will help you form your hypothesis. There are also science fair science kits that can be turned into science fair projects available in the Internet. However, visit only credible science-related Web sites to make sure that you only gather the facts. You can also go to your local library to research more advanced details of your topic. Some reference research papers for your study material can also be found in the library.
List your desired outcome at the end of each phase
Your desired outcome could be to develop a hypothesis, to outline your methodology, or to learn other similar research. By listing these, you will be more focused because you have a specific goal in mind, rather than aimlessly doing things.
Create a chart to help you track your progress
For easier tracking of your progress, make rows for the different phases of your project and columns for descriptions, the date that you have set to finish each phase, and marking-off sections for phases that are completed.
A science fair research plan is a useful tool so you will be properly guided with your project and so you will understand and monitor the experiments that you need to do to arrive at a conclusion. By being exposed to this, there is also one thing that will be developed that cannot be simply taught by teachers or by mere classroom discussions: your passion for science.