Home Page of Peggy E. Schweiger
Information about Science Fair for Mrs. Schweiger's Students
Keep a copy of your protocol. It will not be returned to you. It
will be kept until your project is graded.
- Science Fair is an independent research project required of all honors
physics students. It is an independent research project. Therefore,
you are responsible for finding a topic to investigate. A topic
cannot be a lab that is performed in class during the first or the second
semesters. The topic should be stated in the form of a question.
- The background research paper is due during the second six weeks
grading period. It will count as a major grade. Remember--it must be a
minimum of two typewritten pages, double-spaced, using font 12 or font 10.
All margins--top, bottom, left, and right--must be no more than one inch.
Do not place a title on the first page. Use a title page.
Internal citation is required. A maximum grade of 70 will be awarded to
papers not conforming to these requirements. Your bibliography must be on
a separate page (remember to call it "Works Cited"). A minimum of three sources
is required. These must be cited at least once in the body of your paper.
Remember to used correct MLA guidelines.
- The background research paper is used to develop your hypothesis and
your understanding of your project. It should include a brief
(not more than one paragraph) historical description of your project
(i.e. how it was developed or was used through history). It should
include a brief description of the current application or use of
your project. This information that is not relevant to the scientific
development of your project should not exceed more than 1/2 page.
- In your background research paper, you should propose the problem that
you will be studying in your project or the question that your project will
try to answer. All terms used in your project should be defined in the background
research paper. Any mathematical relationships used in your
scientific investigation should be stated and described in your background
research paper. Any constants used in calculations should be
stated and described. Any known values for relevant information
about your topic or investigation should be stated and described in the background research paper.
- Your background research paper should also briefly describe how
you are going to collect and analyze your data. It is not a procedure.
In your paper, you should identify your control and the one
variable that you will be analyzing in your investigation. State why this
represents your control and why you chose what you did as your variable.
In your paper, you should specify why you have chosen to collect and
analyze data according to these steps. In your paper you should briefly
describe the factors upon which you will base your conclusion.
- I will keep this copy of your background research paper. It will not
be returned before the science fair. You must make a copy for your
future use. You may see the graded copy and we will discuss any
corrections that should be made. A corrected copy will be turned in with your science fair project. Project points will be awarded based upon the appropriate corrections being made.
- After writing the background research paper, you should have
sufficient information to propose your hypothesis. Your hypothesis is an
answer to the question that you proposed. It is a specific answer--what you believe the findings of your investigation will be.
- In your problem statement, you will specifically state your "control." These are the set of conditions which you will use for comparison. In your problem statement, you will specifically state your "variable," the one set of conditions that you will be changing and analyzing in your investigation.
- Your procedure includes all steps that you followed.
- In your data, calculations, and observations, you should include all
relevant information. If you constructed items, drawings with dimensions
labeled should be included. If you tested the performance of something,
drawings with dimensions labeled or pictures of what you tested should be
included. Your data section should clearly report data collected for your
control and data collected for your variable. Data collection should be
repeated at least five times. An average of this data is then used for
your calculations. Remember to label all units and show all work. If at
all possible, data should be displayed in tables and graphs. Formulas
used for calculations should be shown. Graphs should be analyzed using a
linear regression when applicable. You must record your observations--what you observed as the investigation progressed.
- You conclusion is drawn from your experimental results. Therefore, it
must refer specifically to your data and calculations.
Remember--it is a conclusion that you arrive at based upon your results.
Refer to those results when stating your conclusion. Also, state
whether your hypothesis was accepted or rejected. This also must refer to
your results (why you accepted or rejected your hypothesis). Points will be
deducted from projects that do not specifically refer to their data,
calculations, and results. Broad, general statements are not acceptable.
- State systematic and random errors in your error analysis. A
systematic error is an error inherent in your investigation that cannot
be changed. Examples would be the calibration of instruments, friction,
etc. You should state the accuracy of each measuring instrument that you
used in your investigation. Random errors are errors that do not always
occur. State those and how they effected your results. Remember, an
error is not a mistake! If there was a known value for an answer for your
experiment, a percentage error analysis is required in your error analysis.
- Your visual documentation should be pictures of you performing
the experiment. You must be present in each of the two required pictures. Other pictures can also be included.