TCCSA Home School Science Fair
Has Been Suspended Due To Low Participation


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Have you been to the Home School Science Fairs? They were great! Some of the best and brightest K - 12 grade kids in Minnesota were there. You could have learned how stable the Ark was in strong winds, how to, and how not to make yogurt, how weight effects the speed of a sled, and how to get energy from chicken droppings. Over 60 projects were up for display with many passersby stopping to check them out. It was a wonderful opportunity to place a Christian viewpoint of science before the public.



Science Fair

The Scientific Method and Home School Science Fair procedures.

I. Purpose. Propose a question or problem for which you are seeking an answer.

II. Hypothesis. Turn your question or problem into a statement that presents the solution in such a way that it can either be proved or disproved (falsified).

III. Research. Gather information and plan your experiment that will prove or disprove your hypothesis.

IV. Experiment. Get equipment and conduct your experiment.

V. Conclusion. Present what you have discovered.

VI. Display construction. Make your board and table display.

VII. Science Fair Day. You as the presenter are the key to a great Science Fair Day.

Five things to remember:
1. Know your material.
2. Be confident.
3. Communicate well.
4. Be thorough.
5. Pray your exhibit will witness to non-Christian visitors.

That is one of our main goals at the Science Fair.
(adapted from: The Complete Handbook of Science Fair Projects, Bochinski,

Steps to a Successful late February Science Fair Project

1. October 15 - You should have a question and a tentative hypothesis.

2. October 22 - You should have your proposal written up and ready so you can start your research. The proposal outlines what you will do to prove or falsify your hypothesis. See the Science Fair Guide Book or one from the library.

3. November 1 - Research. Gather information and plan your experiment that will prove or disprove your hypothesis.

4. December 1 - You will need to run your experiment this month. Pace your experiment so that you have at least two months to run it. Students often wait too long to start the experiment and cannot do a good job because of problems that might develop.

5. January 1 - You will need to run your experiment this month.

6. February 10 - Have your written report done so you have time to prepare your display for the Science Fair Day. Write your conclusion and a final statement presenting what you have found. Leave yourself a week to get the backboard, and display put together and in order. Don't wait until the last minute. Two more days spent on your display may be the difference between winning a blue ribbon or a white.

7. Approximately 3rd Weekend in February: our science fair presentation in a public-secular setting for three reasons:

a) To promote home schools,
b) To show that Homeschool students can do good science.
c) To present our science fair project to non-Christian people. This should be a great Gospel outreach.

We heard about one lady who saw the Science Fair displays at the Mall. She began to read some of the verses on the displays and was convicted to start attending church and get right with God. There are probably other stories like this we have not heard but it shows the power of God's Word through our program.

Hints from Judges Regarding Science Fair Projects

General hint: please include your Bible verse on the poster, not just in your report. Hints from the 7th -12th grade judges:

Some of the things I look for when judging a experimental project( especially the high school projects):

I want to see the original data (e.g. the actual notebook sheets that it was written down in). You can copy the data into a neat display, but bring a folder with the original notes.

Is the hypothesis narrow and carefully stated? (e.g. "Oatmeal cookies are better than ice cream" would not be a good hypothesis, but
"Texture is important in people's perception of the goodness of oatmeal cookies. If I make cookies with different textures, I predict people will prefer the second variety over the first for the following reason..." is better)

Does it make a non-trivial prediction? Not: "If I put a rocket engine on a matchbox car, it might go faster than if it rolls down an inclined plane," but, "I believe this synthetic lubricant will allow a matchbox car to go faster than that petroleum based lubricant."

Be sure you understand and can discuss the concepts/formulas used. Don't just copy something out of a book because it looks impressive (e.g. If you were discussing Newton's Second Law of Motion, and use the formula: F=m*a, be sure you know what the terms Force, mass, and acceleration refer to and their relationship to one another).

Your display should show your project as simply and clearly as possible. Use just a few illustrations that show the key elements of your project. Show the details in your report. Do not include material that is not directly related to the project.

Be careful with your math - pay special attention to significant digits: If you measure distance to the nearest millimeter, write your results like 5.7 cm, or 57 mm, but not 5.700 cm. This is especially tricky when you are using a calculator with constants that include many digits. If I measured a diameter of 5.0 cm, and multiplied that by pi, which is approximately 3.1415926536, I would get a result like 15.707963268, but I would only be justified in using 2 digits, so my report should show the result as 16 cm. (Significant figures are not taught till the 11th grade in chemistry. Just be careful with your numbers.)

Notice that I am using the metric system here. If possible, make your measurements using Metric System measurements. A common mistake is to start with English system measurements, like 1 1/8 in. with only eighth inch precision, but converting this to 1.125, which looks like thousandths of an inch in precision, then converting to metric, with results like 2.8575 cm. If the same figure had been measured with a metric ruler, the data would have been more obviously 2.9 cm.

Be sure to account for possible error. When our results don't agree with our expectations, we usually look for other reasons why our experiment "failed," but when they turn out like we expect, we often
stop at that point without realizing that there may be other factors present which make our results less reliable than they appear.

Is it possible that there is another explanation for the results you found? If so, how might you be able to eliminate one explanation? If I did a survey and found that 9 out of 10 people preferred an oatmeal cookie to a big bowl of double fudge ice cream, it may be significant that my location is at a Weight Watcher's meeting.

- Be sure to use a large enough sample of data to make a realistic conclusion.


Steve Spangler Science Fair, www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiments/sciencefair.

Mr. McLaren's Science Fair Survival Page http://www.schooldirectoryusa.com/science/science-fairs/Mr-McLaren-s-Science-Fair-Survival-Page-l1044.html.

Science Toys http://scitoys.com/

Discovery Channel School's http://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/handbook/projecttypes.html.

We need judges and helpers for the Science Fair. If you have no science background, you will be paired with someone who does and can still judge the quality of the work.

Plan on a wonderful learning experience for anyone who gets involved.
1/10/2012 Revision