School Logo

Stafford Primary School

Stafford Primary

Science Fair 2016

You are invited to participate in the 2016 Stafford Primary School Science Fair presented on Thursday, February 18th.  Science Fair projects will be completed at home, individually, in pairs, or in groups (of 3 students or fewer). Please fill out the Exhibitor Entry Form and return it to your teacher. Each child will receive a Project Review and a Certificate of Participation for their project. 

Recommended Timeline for Science Fair Projects

January 8th-            Last Page of this Packet Due to Classroom Teacher!

January 8th -           Testable Questions

January 8th -           Background Research and Hypothesis

January 15th –        Materials and Procedures

January 22nd –        Data Collection

January 29th -         Conducting Experiments

February 5th-           Gathering Evidence from Data

February 12th-         Citing Sources & Project Board Design

February 18th -        All Projects Complete!


Text Box: Science Fair Expectations
A Science Fair project should:
•	Be FUN!
•	Demonstrate an understanding of the science inquiry process
•	Be done carefully and neatly
•	Showcase student work
•	Be displayed on a tri-fold display board

Please Remember

Project boards are not allowed on busses. Please drop off and pick up boards on February 18th.

 Event Schedule

7:15am- 7:50am Project Set Up

8:00am- 2:00pm Project Reviews & Viewing

6- 7:30pm- Science Fair Evening Viewing



o Step 1: Testable Question  

Ask a testable question based on your own observations in an area of science such as Physical Science, Life Science, Earth Science, etc.  "How does a change/difference in ________ (variable) affect _______ (data)?”


o Step 2: Research

Choose your topic. List what you already know about your topic. Learn more from books at the library or on the Internet.  Ask an adult to help you research your topic.


o Step 3: Hypothesis

What are the expected outcomes of your experiment?  "If ________, then _________."


o Step 4: Materials

List the supplies you need to complete the experiment and gather them with help from your teacher and/or parent.  Think about your variables, your controls, and your set-up requirements.


o Step 5: Procedure

Write a step-by-step procedure to test your hypothesis. Identify the variable you will change and the controls you will keep the same. Identify the data you will measure or observe each time you change the variable.  Identify factors that could affect the data, and make sure those factors will not change during the experiment.


o Step 6: Data Collection & Conducting Experiments

Prepare a table to record the data for your variable. Collect the data. Repeat the experiment to verify your results. Show the data in a way that is easy to understand using a table, chart, or graph.  You may also use photos or drawings to illustrate what happened. Describe the data in your own words.  Do you see a pattern?  Did anything unexpected happen?


o Step 7: Gathering Evidence from Data

Was your hypothesis correct (supported or disputed)? Why or why not? Do your results suggest a new question?


o Step 8: Cite Sources & Project Board Design

Create a display to share your results with the school community at the Science Fair on April 23rd. 




  • Question: Select a testable question to be answered by your experiment.
  • Research: Research your topic.
  • Hypothesis: How do you think the variable you will change relates to the data you will collect?
  • Materials: Gather the supplies you will need.  Think about controls and a variable.
  • Procedure: Perform the experiment.
  • Data: Gather data and make observations.
  • Conclusion: Compare the actual results to your hypothesis.  Draw conclusions.
  • Communicate Your Results: Prepare your display board with the process, details, and/or results (See DISPLAYING YOUR SCIENCE PROJECT)



  • Focus on a specific area of science such as Physical Science, Life Science, Earth Science, etc.
  • Use your own ideas and work
  • Be creative, neat, and work carefully
  • Demonstrate the scientific method (See TIMELINE for descriptions)



  • Include a project display board (See DISPLAYING YOUR SCIENCE PROJECT)
  • Include your name and/or the names of those in your group on the provided sticker.  Place the sticker on the lower left corner of your board.
  • Include your question and hypothesis
  • Limit your display to a 1.5ft x 2.5ft table area



  • Purchased science or math kits
  • Expensive or non-replaceable personal property

·         Balloons

·         Live or dead organisms

·         Human or animal foods

  • Chemicals that are flammable or otherwise dangerous

·         Glass

  • Sharp items such as syringes, needles, or knives

·         Matches, flame, or any apparatus producing excessive heat

  • Batteries that supply power for long periods of time Parts too fragile to handle

·         Electricity passing through non-insulated wire

·         Anything that must be plugged into an outlet

  • Equipment or device that may be hazardous to the public
  • Sharp items such as syringes, needles, or knives




Here are some typical questions to help get you started on developing your Science Fair project.  Choose one of these topics and make it your own by getting more specific or use these questions as a guide to developing your own project idea.


·   How does the type of water affect freezing time?

·   How does the type of water affect boiling time?

·   How does the type of liquid (viscosity) affect buoyancy?

·   How does the type of cup affect temperature loss?

·   How does color affect heat absorption in sunlight?

·   How does soil temperature affect the time it takes a bean seed to germinate?

·   How does the brand of AA battery affect battery lifespan?

·   How does the distance from a light affect the size of plastic mini-figure's shadow?

·   How does the angle of a ramp affect the distance a toy car will roll?

·   How does the type of ball affect bounce height?

·   How does magnetic temperature affect the strength of attraction?

·   How does the type of ball affect falling speed?

·   How does the string length affect the swing of a pendulum?


**We are trying to move students away from the traditional baking soda-vinegar volcano demonstrations, Mentos-soda explosions, growing gummy bears, etc.  As an alternative, please encourage your child to think about their target audience.  Why will this experiment be important?  In what real-world situation or context could this data be useful? 


Need an Idea?

Making observations or asking questions in a Science Notebook is a great place to start.  Observations can be made at grocery stores, parks, shopping malls, restaurants… even in your own home!


Next Generation Science Standards Grade Level Specific Topics to Consider


Forces: Pushes & Pulls, Plants & Animals (Basic Needs & Habitats), Weather & Climate

First Grade

Light & Sound Waves, Plants & Animals (Parents/Offspring, Structure & Function of External Parts for Meeting Basic Needs), Patterns of Sun, Moon, Stars, & Daylight related to Time of Year

Second Grade

Properties of Matter, Interdependence in Ecosystems (Plant Growth, Seed Dispersal, Diversity of Life in Ecosystems), Fast & Slow Processes that Shape the Earth

Third Grade

Forces & Interactions (including magnetism), Interdependence in Ecosystems (fossils, link between plants/animals/habitat, impacts of environmental changes), Inheritance and Variation of Traits

Fourth Grade

Energy (speed, transfer of sound/light/heat/electrical currents), Waves (wavelength & amplitude, transfer of info. over a distance), Animals (internal & external survival features, use of senses to process information & survive), Rock Formation/Weathering/Erosion

Fifth Grade

Properties of Matter (particles & conservations of matter), Matter & Energy in Ecosystems, Earth’s Systems (geosphere, biosphere hydrosphere, atmosphere), Space Systems (Stars & Solar System)


Think of a good question based on your own observations!  Revise the question until you can form a hypothesis you can test using the SCIENTIFIC METHOD!


An Example for Children:

You like to play ball outside in winter. You wonder if a ball bounces higher when it is cold.  You ask, “How does temperature affect the height of the ball’s bounce?” That is your question.  You guess the answer is “A cold ball will bounce the highest.” That is your hypothesis.


To experiment, you drop a ball and measure how high it rises on the first bounce. Your variable will be the temperature of the ball. Your data will be the bounce height. You will keep all other factors that you think might affect bounce height (the ball, height, floor) the same for each drop. You repeat the experiment several times to be sure of the results.



These sample questions show how to revise a question to limit the scope of the experiment for success using the scientific inquiry method.  Choose only 2 variables to test.


·        How does the type of water (salt or fresh water) affect the time it takes to freeze?

·        How does the type of water (salt or fresh water) affect the time it takes to boil?

·        How does the temperature of liquid (hot tea or iced tea) affect the time it takes a sugar cube to dissolve?

·        How does the type of cup (paper or ceramic) affect heat loss of hot beverage?

·        How do clothing colors (white or black) affect the amount of heat absorbed in sunlight?




·        To simplify our language for children, variable refers to one aspect of the experiment will change; control refers to all other aspects of the experiment you will keep the same.


·        The question should be simple, but it should not be answered by a simple yes or no. “How does temperature affect the height of a ball’s bounce?” suggests a better experiment with several values for the variable than “Does temperature affect the bounce of a ball?” However, for younger children, a specific comparison that limits the variable to two values is appropriate: “Which bounces higher, a cold ball or a warm ball?”


·        The question should not be answered by a survey of the personal opinions or preferences of family, friends, or classmates. Experiments using human subjects will be screened for safety and consent.  Survey data may be used as part of the background research about a topic.


·        The hypothesis does not have to be proven correct for the experiment to be a success.


·        The variable does not have to affect the data in expected ways for the experiment to be a success.


·        The experiment should have only one variable that changes.


·        The experiment should be practical and repeatable.  Your child should repeat the experiment several times to compare data.


·        The experiment should not be a simple demonstration. Mixing baking soda and vinegar is a fun demonstration of a chemical reaction, but not a science inquiry unless the possible cause and effect relationship of vinegar or baking soda is explored.  Measurement and authentic application also prove to be difficult in this context.


·        The data should be measured in units to suit your child’s mathematical skill. Using the bounce experiment as an example, if your five-year-old can only count to 10, it may be best for her to mark bounce heights on a paper tape and display the tape as data. He/she can report the quantitative comparison in its simplest form: whether the cold ball bounced higher or lower than the warm ball.  If your eight-year-old can count past 100, he can certainly measure bounce height to the nearest centimeter, but if he does not yet understand averages, it may be best for him to display bounce heights as individual vertical bars in a graph and report the general trend. If your eleven-year-old can calculate averages, she is ready to graph the average bounce height for each temperature.


You must follow these guidelines to display the results of your experiment at the Science Fair.


ALL Science Fair Displays will:

·        Be backed by a display board

·        Fit within a 1.5’ft x 2.5’ft table area

·        Include a project title at the top center

·        State the question below the title.

·        Include the student’s name(s), grade, and teacher below the title

·        Clearly label the: background, materials, procedure, data, analysis, hypothesis, and conclusion.


Displays may NOT include any of the following:

·        Balloons

·        Live or dead organisms

·        Human or animal foods (Pictures are OK, but please do not bring in food)

·        Hazardous or flammable chemicals (All other chemicals and liquids, including water, must be in permanently sealed, unbreakable containers.)

·        Glass

·        Sharp items

·        Matches, flame, or any apparatus producing excessive heat

·        Unshielded belts, pulleys, chains, wires, cables, or other moving parts under tension or with pinch points

·        Electricity passing through non-insulated wire

·        Anything that must be plugged into an outlet

·        Batteries that supply power for long periods of time. (Experiments requiring a battery should connect the battery in circuit using a “momentary switch” that opens when you let go.)


It’s a lot of fun to bring materials and equipment from your experiment to display on the table in front of your board.  But, is it safe for a toddler to handle?  When in doubt, use photographs or drawings to illustrate your experiment.  The Science Fair Committee reserves the right to remove any part of a display deemed unsafe.


For more ideas and inspiration, visit:






Sample: Science Inquiry Project Layout



Gather background information about your question.




How will ____ affect ___?



Text Box: Name StickerI hypothesize ______ because ______.


Project Title

Team Member Names & Grade

Text Box: Procedure





Text Box: Materials
List the items you will need

Only change one aspect of your project

Everything else you will keep the same



Data gathered in table and/or graph form



What patterns or trends did you observe?


Future Research

What research could you do in the future

related to your findings?




                     MacHD:Users:hansener:Pictures:Classroom Photos 2012-13:Masters:2014:11:02:20141102-100652:IMG_1313.JPG

Stafford Science Fair 2016

Science Inquiry Exhibitor Entry Form

(Due to Classroom Teacher by January 8th)

Please submit only one form per at-home project!


Student                                           Teacher Signature                 Grade

______________________________   _________________________  _________

Project Question (What are you asking?)

"How does a change/difference in ________ (variable) affect _______ (data)?”




Hypothesis (What do you think the answer will be?)

 “I hypothesize ____”.




Variable (What will you change in your experiment?)




Data (How will you measure the results?)

Example: time, distance, weight, etc.