Science Fair Logbook setup instructions
A few pointers A Science Fair logbook is a crucial part of any research project. It is a detailed account of every phase of your project, from the initial brainstorming to the final project presentation. The logbook is proof that certain activities occurred at specific times. Here a few pointers that are easy to follow. They should help keep you organized, and certainly will impress any science fair judge. It’s a great opportunity to show off all your hard work!
Important notes · Use a composition book (or if virtual - a digital log book), any design will do. Ensure it only has science fair info in it. · NEVER use pencil! Use a blue or black ink pen only. Digital - Type in black. · NEVER erase or use white-out! If mistakes occur, mark it out with ONE neat line. · NEVER tear a page out of your logbook! · NEVER redo something to make it neater. Neatness isn’t important. Getting your thoughts and data recorded is the important part of the project. · NEVER place loose papers in the logbook. They are easily lost. · ALWAYS date every entry every time you make research notes or an entry in your logbook. · ALWAYS use the metric system when measuring or recording amounts. Example: Use centimeters, milliliters, liters NOT inches, feet, cups, or gallons.
Logbook Set up: 1. Label the front cover of the composition book with the following information: a. Your first and last name b. Dutchtown Middle School c. 155 Mitchell Road, Hampton, GA. 30228 d. (770) 515 -7500 e. Teacher Name
Table of Contents Leave the first two pages blank for your table of contents. These pages will be completed as you update your entries. Your Table of Contents should be set up with a column for the Date, a column for the title of the page, and a column for the page number(s). Example: DATE TITLE PAGE(S) 9/28/2018 Hypothesis 3 9/29&30/2018 Background research 7 -9
After the Table of Contents After the table of contents (pages 1 and 2), number the next 20 pages of the logbook in the upper right corner, front side only. Starting with page 3.
Page 3: Statement of Purpose This includes: a. The title of your science project. (Example, What brand of soap erodes faster if water constantly drips on it? Dove, Ivory or Dial Soap? ) b. Why you chose the topic. (Example, I chose this topic for future purchases. So my mom will know which brand of soap lasts longest when she buys soap. ) c. What you plan to prove through your experimentation. (Example, I plan to prove that Dove soap erodes the least.
Page 4: Question and Hypothesis or Engineering Goal On this page: a. Restate the question you will be answering through your experimentation or the engineering project title. b. Write out your hypothesis or engineering goal. (This should be formed only after you have completed your initial background research. ) Example hypothesis: If I place metal nails in 100 ml of Coke, Sprite, and Water, then the nails in Coke will rust the most. Example engineering goal: I will design a solar oven that will heat a hotdog to an internal temperature of 145 degrees fahrenheit.
Page 5: Materials This page should include a list of all of the materials you used in your experiment. Be specific in the quantity. For example, don’t just write “water” write “ 100 ml of water” if that is how much your experiment will require. *Remember to use the metric system.
Pages 6 and 7: Experimental Procedures Write out the steps to your experiment in recipe form. Be specific and give details as to how much, how long, how often, etc. This should be written in a way that if someone was going to complete your experiment they should be able to follow each step and get the exact same results that you did. This can also include diagrams/images for engineering projects. Be sure to refer to your research plan if you have variables to test (independent variable, constants, dependent variables, control, etc). Sample video: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=b. AYh. Dfvs. EFU
Page 8 begins your daily entries A few entry reminders: a. You must only write in ink, no pencil and no white-out/correction fluid. If you make a mistake simply strike a line through the information and continue. Your journal is like a daily diary, it’s not expected to be perfect! b. Your first 5 entries should be based on your background research about your topic. Be sure to site your sources such as the website address or the book title. This information will be used in the future for your final presentation. c. You must have a minimum of 10 journal entries for your project. You may have more than one entry per day. You may include pictures, charts, graphs, etc in your journal entries. d. All entries must have the day’s date and include your signature or your initials at the end of the entry. This verifies that you were the person responsible for the information.
Sample ways to write logbook entries
Organizing your experiment: for projects following the scientific method After you have chosen your project topic and have done your background research there a few easy tips to assist you in organizing your experiment. 1. ) Think about the steps of the Scientific Method and the parts of an experiment. a. Each experiment must follow the 6 steps of the scientific method. -Question/Problem -Gather Information - Hypothesis - Experiment -Results/Analyze Data - Conclusion
Organizing your experiment: for projects following the scientific method continued b. You should be testing only 1 variable. (This is your Independent Variable) c. Dependent variable (The responding variable. Variable being observed or measured) d. Controlled Variables (Constants): These are variables that stay the same. e. Control Group: This group is what is used as a comparison. It is the group not being tested (does not get special treatment). Some experiments may not have a control group.
Sample Experiment: for projects following the scientific method Question: What temperature of water best dissolves an effervescent tablet the fastest, 10°, 20°, 30°, 40°, or 50° C? Hypothesis: If the water temperature is 50° C, then the effervescent tablet will dissolve fastest. Parts of the experiment: 1. Independent variable is the variable that is intentionally changed in the experiment, such as the temperature of the water in which an effervescent tablet was dissolved. 2. Dependent variable is the variable that responds to the changes in the independent variable. For example, the time it takes for the tablets to dissolve in the different temperatures of water is the dependent variable.
Sample Experiment: for projects following the scientific method continued 3. ) The control is the standard against which the researcher compares the results from each treatment group (level) in the experiment. For example, the control might be the room temperature water, which is about 20° C. In many cases, there will not be a true control. The researcher could then set one of the groups as the standard and measure the other groups against that standard. 4. ) Constants are things that are kept the same each time one of the trials in the experiment is repeated. For example, constants could include the amount of water used, the brand of effervescent tablet used, the type of water used, and the fact that the water was not stirred. As many outside factors as possible should be kept constant in an experiment so that the researcher can be sure that any changes that occur do so because of the independent variable. Resource: http: //sciencefair. msinnovation. info/handbook/parts_of_exp. htm
IMPORTANT!!! YOU MUST REPEAT YOUR EXPERIMENT AT LEAST 3 TIMES IN ORDER TO COLLECT THE BEST DATA. IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH A PARTNER, EACH PERSON MUST STILL KEEP THEIR OWN LOGBOOK.
Organizing your experiment: for projects following the engineering design process Engineering projects are set-up and designed different from an experimental project. These Projects will follow the Engineering Design Process.
Watch this video on the Engineering Process https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=fx. JWin 195 k. U
Sample experiment for the Engineering Process Step 1. Identify a need The need (also called the problem you are solving or the Engineering Goal), should be described in a simple statement that includes what you are designing (the product), who it is for (customer), what need does it satisfy (problem to solve), and how does it improve previous designs (easier to use, less expensive, more efficient, safer). Sample: I’m going on a camping trip and I need a more energy efficient way to cook hotdogs. I am going to make a solar oven that can cook hot dogs without electricity.
Sample experiment for the Engineering Process continued Step 2. Establish design criteria and constraints Design criteria are requirements you specify that will be used to make decisions about how to build and evaluate the product. Criteria define the product’s physical and functional characteristics and must be declared as a measurable quantity. Some examples of measurable criteria include length (in cm, km, etc. ); mass (in mg, kg, etc. ); velocity (in m/sec, km/hr. , etc. ); and ruggedness (able to withstand an impact force of x Newtons). Constraints are factors that limit the engineer’s flexibility. Some typical constraints are cost, time, and knowledge. Sample constraints: I have limited resources. The materials I have to make the solar oven are cardboard, scissors, and aluminum foil
Sample experiment for the Engineering Process continued Step 3. Evaluate alternative designs and create your test plan. You should consider at least two or three alternative designs and consider using available technology, modifying current designs, or inventing new solutions. It’s important to document in your project logbook how you chose and evaluated alternative designs. Can you defend your choices to the judges? You will develop an initial test plan describing how you will test the design criteria and constraints you listed in Step 2.
Sample experiment for the Engineering Process continued Step 4. Build a prototype of the best design Choose the design that best meets criteria considering the constraints you identified, then build a prototype. A prototype is the first full scale and usually functional form of a new type or design. Step 5. Test and evaluate the prototype against important design criteria to show well the product meets the need. You must test your prototype under actual or simulated operating conditions. Make sure you test all of your criteria and constraints to evaluate the success of your prototype.
Sample experiment for the Engineering Process continued Step 6. Analyze test results, make design changes and retest. Testing will disclose some deficiencies in your design. Sometimes the testing fails completely and sends the designer “back to the drawing board. ” Make corrections and retest OR prepare an analysis of what went wrong and how you will fix it. As always, document your analyses, fixes, and retests in your logbook. Step 7. Communicate the design. The designer’s real product is the description of a design from which others will build the product(this is the design that either met or came closest to your goal. Use your logbook to communicate the design to your audience. Your product description will be conveyed in drawings, photos, materials lists, assembly instructions, test plans and results. Consider listing lessons learned so future designers need not repeat any of your “frustrations. ” You’ll have clear instructions on how to produce your design, along with production cost estimates.
Resource https: //science-fair. org/students-parents/winning-engineering-projects/
How to analyze and showcase your project data Video: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=DVrbm. DDG 8 Zs How to make science fair table and data: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=l 3 Xv. Qea 8 nz. E
How to write a conclusion for your project Your conclusions summarize how your results support or contradict your original hypothesis or your engineering goal: ● Summarize your science fair project results in a few sentences and use this summary to support your conclusion. Include key facts from your background research to help explain your results as needed. ● State whether your results support or contradict your hypothesis. (Engineering & programming projects should state whether they met their design criteria. ) ● If appropriate, state the relationship between the independent and dependent variable. ● Summarize and evaluate your experimental procedure, making comments about its success and effectiveness. ● Suggest changes in the experimental procedure (or design) and/or possibilities for further study. Video: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=6 d. CT_x. C 1 qp. M Source: https: //www. sciencebuddies. org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/writing-conclusions
GOOD LUCK!!! WE HOPE THE INFORMATION THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED HAS BEEN HELPFUL IN HELPING YOU TO SET UP YOUR SCIENCE FAIR LOGBOOK AND HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR PROJECT. REMEMBER, WHEN IN DOUBT ASK YOUR TEACHER FOR HELP!!!!!