There are several different types of science fair projects, including: experiments, demonstrations, research, collections and apparatus (Fredericks & Asimov, 1990). Even though NHPS Science Fair will only accept investigative projects, teachers can utilize the other types of projects to make their science classes more exciting and “hands-on” for the students.
The experimental project was fully described earlier in the beginning of the paper. It involves the students coming up with a problem that they can investigate. Once the problem has been stated, the students design an experiment, collect and record data. They then analyze the data to formulate an accurate conclusion based on the information collected. Another type of science fair project includes demonstrations.
Demonstrations allow the students to show how something works, explain a scientific phenomenon, or show how something is created naturally of in a laboratory. To be effective, the project must be self-contained whereas, the audience can operate or manipulate any controls or devices needed for the demonstration. The audience is also told of any materials used to make the item or items demonstrated so that they can present the same concepts to others.
Projects Related to Collections
The third type of science fair project, collections, allows students to show the diversity within a chosen field of science. For example, students can collect different types of leaves and explain what tree they came from, or categorize leaves into different groups. Collections should include as many different samples as possible to represent the diversity within the group or topic.
Research Oriented Projects
In a research oriented project, the students investigate a certain scientific topic using primary resources. This type of project can be as simple as having students read materials form library to a more elaborate project where students research and interview experts such as scientist, museum curators, etc… The major purpose of the project is to have students investigate a scientific area in depth and report the findings in an interesting way to the class. The final type of project is apparatus oriented project where students display some kind of scientific apparatus or instruments and describe their use or function in detail. The students have to state why the instrument is important to science and how it is used in the scientific arena.