Measurements for a Science Project

An important part of a science project is measuring results. There are many things to measure – weight, mass, volume or capacity, speed, pressure, temperature, time, distance – even torque. Thankfully, most projects only measure a few things, and most experiments guides will describe the way to measure.

Metric or English? When doing your project, you will need to know if your teacher wants you to measure using the English system or the metric system.

In The Metric System all units are based on multiples of 10. For example, a meter multiplied by 1000 is a kilometer, or a meter divided by 100 is a centimeter. The metric system is used in most countries except the United States, and by scientist worldwide. The English system is what most people use in America. Gallons, cups, inches and feet are all part of the English system.

What are You Measuring? The next thing you will need to know is what you are measuring. The basic measurements you’ll probably run into with a science project are:

measurement_chart_for_science_projects

Often you’ll need to convert one set of measurements to another. There are many places online that will help you do this. One table is found at: http://www.bartleby.com. The easiest thing to do, however, is to go to Google, and type in what you want to convert: “convert 1 foot to meters” or “convert 5 hours and 10 minutes to seconds” or whatever you want to convert. Go ahead. Try it. And while you’re at it, type in “24/2007” or another math problem. Sometimes you don’t even need to think!

WANT SOME FUN SCIENCE PROJECT IDEAS THAT HAVE EARNED BLUE RIBBONS? CLICK HERE!

An Elementary Science Project

an elementary science projectYou may not believe it, but elementary science projects can be great fun for a family. Science projects give the perfect opportunity to learn about the fascinating subject of science. Unfortunately, science has degenerated into a somewhat boring subject in many elementary schools. The dreaded science projects don’t help the situation any.

Elementary science projects should demonstrate the way things work in the world around us so that kids are fascinated! Learning about chemical reactions, creating friction, hearing pops, and observing fire are the stuff of great fun. But somewhere between the fun and the fair, the fun too often disappears. It shouldn’t be that way!

If your elementary school child has been assigned science projects, your biggest step is choosing a topic.

Yes, we know how difficult this can be. We have four sons, and have done more science projects than we can count. One year, we did three elementary school science projects and a middle school project. We’ve had more than our share of problems, and made way too many mistakes. But somewhere along the way, we started to figure it out! We began to come up with project ideas that met the teacher’s standards, yet were easy to do, affordable, interesting and fun.

Here’s our advice. Don’t make the mistake of being too broad and asking your child, “Do you want to do a project about earth science?” or even “Do you want to do a science project on electricity?

Before you discuss it with your child, do your homework. Find some specific projects that meet the specifications of your teacher. Then, describe the project in dynamic terms. “Gross! Here’s a project about how yeast has enough gas to can blow up a balloon!” or “You take the shell off an egg in this project – without boiling it! Then you can actually bounce the egg on the floor. Not in my kitchen!”

As you choose an experiment, keep in mind that many teachers require that a science project follow the scientific method, even when doing an elementary school science project. That means your child has to come up with a question, do research, formulate an hypothesis, list variables, test the hypothesis, report results and formulate a conclusion. (Did you feel the fun start to evaporate?!)

It’s also important not to choose a science project so complicated that the child is only a spectator. Find an experiment that allows the child to participate, to understand the scientific principles, and to have fun!

A couple of years ago, we took our best projects and put them into packages of science fair projects that will help you and your child discover that science projects can really be fun. We know you’ll find that we’ve done the hard part, and left the fun of doing science projects for you and your child!

Get your Elementary Science Project Guides Here!

List of Easy Science Projects

easy science project listFinding an easy science project that will do well in a science fair can be tricky. Many projects are either too difficult for the average student, or just too easy to get a good grade. We can help! We’ve got packages of easy science project guides that will help you get top marks from your science teacher – and from science fair judges.

The experiments in our science project guides have easy to follow, step by step instructions. They all use supplies that you can find in the supermarket or in a discount store. The projects are all fun to do, and lots of them can be finished in 24 hours or less.

Take a look at this list of all the easy projects we offer here at 24 Hour Science Projects. We know you’ll find an easy science project that is perfect for you!

UNDERCOVER SNEEZE Does covering the mouth really help prevent the spread of germs? A really easy science project, perfect for an elementary school science fair.
A SLICE OF ICE
Does the shape of ice affect melting time? This LINKcool science project will help you find out!
A STRAIGHT FLUSH Which toilet tissue is most biodegradable?
A PINCH OF SALT
How does salt affect the boiling point of water?
VITAMIN “C”ITRUS
Which citrus fruit has the most Vitamin C?


OR ADD THESE PROJECTS TO YOUR LIST!
SLIP SLIDING? NO WAY! Find out which floor surface prevents slips most effectively.
EGG-XPERIMENTING! Take the shell off an egg without boiling, and find out if water will go through the membrane. You’ll love this easy science project.
DON’T LOSE YOUR COOL Foam, pink, spray-in, or rigid. Which type of insulation works best?
HEAR, HEAR
Are two ears better than one? Get a group of friends to find out the answer.
A FLAKY SHOWDOWN
 Which brand cereal stays crunchy longest? You’ll love this tasty science experiment.

The List of Easy Science Projects Continues…

– Super Science Fair Projects
– Science Fair Projects Made Easy

What Do These Science Project Terms Mean?

science terms and definitions

Kid (and Mom) Friendly Definitions to Science Project Terms

You’ll probably run across a lot of new vocabulary while doing a science project. Some of the things below will be required for your science project, and others will not. We recommend you print this page and highlight the things your teacher wants you to do.

To help explain some of the unfamiliar terms, we’re going to refer to the following experiment.

“What type of fertilizer produces the most plant growth?”

Project summary: A group of plants of the exact same height is divided into five groups. Each of four groups is given a different type of fertilizer. The fifth group is given only water. At the end of one month, plants are measured.

Science Project Proposal – This is a short description of your science project. It needs to include your purpose, hypothesis, materials, and procedure. Your teacher may also want you to list the variables, and give places where you will do research. Turn it in as early as you can, in case it is rejected.

Purpose (Problem) – The purpose is what your project hopes to find out or prove. It’s the ‘big question’. What is your goal? What are you trying to test? That’s your purpose, sometimes stated as a problem.
The purpose of our science project is to find out, “What type of fertilizer produces the most plant growth?”

Hypothesis – An hypothesis is simply an educated guess about what will happen in your experiment. To form your hypothesis, take all the information you know about your science project question, and use it to predict what you think will happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong; that’s what the experiment will tell you! In our experiment, the hypothesis will be, “I think that …. will make plants grow the highest.” Use what you know about fertilizer, advertisements, comments from a gardener you know, or personal experience to formulate your hypothesis.

Materials – This is a detailed list of exactly what you used (or plan to use) in your experiment:

  • Four types of liquid houseplant fertilizer -Peters Professional® All Purpose Plant Food, Spectrum® Colorburst Plant Food, Osmocote® Indoor Outdoor Plant Food, and Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Plant Food
  • 20 identical terra cotta pots filled with potting soil
  • 20 bush bean plants of identical height
  • Water
  • Ruler

24 Hour Science Projects
Five fast and easy project guides with step-by-step instructions.

Teacher and parent approved!

Procedure – A step by step description of how to do your experiment. Another person should be able to do your experiment again, just by following your procedure.

Variables – When doing a science experiment, there are things that you, as the scientist, control to make sure your test results are dependable:

  • Independent Variable – The independent variable is the thing that you change in the experiment. All the other things in your experiment should stay the same. For example, in our experiment the independent variable is the type of fertilizer. We’ll use the same kind of pot, soil, and plant. We’ll have the plants get the same amount of light and stay in the same room at the same temperature. We’ll add the same amount of water. The only thing that will change is the kind of fertilizer.
  • Dependent Variable – The dependent variable is the thing that changes because of the independent variable. For us, that would be the height of the plant. The height of the plant changed because we changed the type of fertilizer.
  • Control – The Control is the group in which nothing changes at all. In the fertilizer experiment, that would be the group of plants that only was given water with no fertilizer.

Metric Measurements – Sometimes teachers require students to do all measurements in metrics, which is a decimal system of measurement based on:

  • The Meter – measures length. The English system uses yards, feet, and inches. One meter equals 39.37 inches.
  • The Kilogram – measures mass, or the amount of matter present. It’s not the same thing, but you can relate mass to weight. The English system measures mass in pounds and ounces. A pound is 2.2 kilograms.
  • The Liter – measures capacity or volume. The English system uses gallons, quarts, teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces – and 2 liter bottles! An American gallon is 3.8 liters.

If you have to convert English measurements to Metrics, go to Google and type in “convert 2 inches to meters”, or whatever you need to convert. Sometimes, you don’t even have to think!

science project logScience Log – A journal of what happened in your experiment, from day to day or minute to minute. In our experiment, an entry might read, “On day five, we noticed that the plants with fertilizer had really started getting taller than the control that was only getting water.” Or…”On day seven, we noticed that the plants getting … brand fertilizer had started to wilt a bit.”

If you are doing one of our 24 Hour Science Projects, your log will record changes at much more frequent intervals. You will often need to keep a graph of data in your log. In our experiment, the graph might look like the one to the right. Obviously, the graph would extend to include all the days. You would measure and fill in the height of each plant daily.

Graph – The words chart and graph are used interchangeably. We use the word “graph” for a numbers placed on a grid (or spreadsheet) like the one below.
chart for a science board

Chart – A chart arranges the information (data) from your experiment visually, so you can see it. Look at the chart below, which gives the average height.

average height of plant

Abstract – Some science fairs require an abstract, which is a brief but complete summary of your project. It probably should not be more than 250 words.

Data – Data means information. It’s plural, so the absolute correct usage would be “The data show us that…” (Actually, one piece of data is datum, which you really don’t need to know unless you’re taking Latin or have an extremely pedantic teacher.) Your data will most often be in numbers, although if you were a zoologist, your data might be observations about the feeding habits of anteaters. The measurements of the plant height (the numbers in the graph) give the data for our experiment.

Analysis – When you explain your data and observations, you are giving an analysis. What have you learned? Why did you get the results you did? What did the experiment prove? And, most important, was your hypothesis correct? The analysis for the fertilizer experiment would begin “We discovered that the Miracle Gro produced the most plant growth. While water produced the least growth overall, it is worth noting that two of the plants died after having been added Peters fertilizer. Our hypothesis was disproved, as we thought the Peters fertilizer would produce the tallest plants.

Conclusion – Answer your problem/purpose statement. What does it all add up to? What did you learn from your project?

Application – What questions come up as a result of your experiment? What else would you like to know? If you did this project again, what would you change? How can this project help in real life? While we discovered which plants grew tallest, we didn’t test which plants had the most flowers, and would give the most fruit. This would be what we would like to see answered in our next experiment. We have learned, however, that it is important to use a fertilizer, and we have learned some of the best brands.

If you haven’t done so yet, take a look at all the projects we have at 24 Hour Science Projects. Our project guides take you step by step through the steps of a science project in the same, kid (and mom!) friendly language as these definitions.

Parts of a Science Board

As we learn about the different parts of a science board, we’re going to refer to the following experiment:

“What type of fertilizer produces the most plant growth?”

Project summary: A group of plants of the exact same height is divided into five groups. Each of four groups is given a different type of fertilizer. The fifth group is given only water. At the end of one month, plants are measured.

Purpose (Problem) – The purpose is what your project hopes to find out or prove. It’s the ‘big question’. What is your goal? What are you trying to test? That’s your purpose, sometimes stated as a problem. The purpose of our science project is to find out, “What type of fertilizer produces the most plant growth?”

Hypothesis – An hypothesis is simply an educated guess about what will happen in your experiment. To form your hypothesis, take all the information you know about your science project question, and use it to predict what you think will happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong; that’s what the experiment will tell you! In our experiment, the hypothesis will be, “I think that …. will make plants grow the highest.” Use what you know about fertilizer, advertisements, comments from a gardener you know, or personal experience to formulate your hypothesis.

Materials – This is a detailed list of exactly what you used (or plan to use) in your experiment:

  • Four types of liquid houseplant fertilizer -Peters Professional® All Purpose Plant Food, Spectrum® Colorburst Plant Food, Osmocote® Indoor Outdoor Plant Food, and Miracle-Gro® All Purpose Plant Food
  • 20 identical terra cotta pots filled with potting soil
  • 20 bush bean plants of identical height
  • Water
  • Ruler

plantchartProcedure – A step by step description of how to do your experiment. Another person should be able to do your experiment again, just by following your procedure.

Graph – The words chart and graph are used interchangeably. We use the word “graph” for a numbers placed on a grid (or spreadsheet) like the
one at the right. And a chart…

Chart – A chart arranges the information (data) from your experiment visually, so you can see it. Look at the charts to the right. The first gives all the heights of the plants on the last day. The second gives the average height.

Abstract – Some science fairs require an abstract, which is a brief but complete summary of your project. It probably should not be more than 250 words. This doesn’t go on your board, but is in a folder as part of the total display.

average height of plantData – Data means information. It’s plural, so the absolute correct usage would be “The data show us that…” (Actually, one piece of data is datum, which you really don’t need to know unless you’re taking Latin or have an extremely pedantic teacher.) Your data will most often be in numbers, although if you were a zoologist, your data might be observations about the feeding habits of anteaters. The measurements of the plant height (the numbers in the graph) give the data for our experiment.

Analysis – When you explain your data and observations, you are giving an analysis. What have you learned? Why did you get the results you did? What did the experiment prove? And, most important, was your hypothesis correct? The analysis for the fertilizer experiment would begin “We discovered that the Miracle Gro produced the most plant growth. While water produced the least growth overall, it is worth noting that two of the plants died after having been added Peters fertilizer. Our hypothesis was disproved, as we thought the Peters fertilizer would produce the tallest plants.

Conclusion – Answer your problem/purpose statement. What does it all add up to? What did you learn from your project?

Application – What questions come up as a result of your experiment? What else would you like to know? If you did this project again, what would you change? How can this project help in real life? While we discovered which plants grew tallest, we didn’t test which plants had the most flowers, and would give the most fruit. This would be what we would like to see answered in our next experiment. We have learned, however, that it is important to use a fertilizer, and we have learned some of the best brands.

Get your FREE Parent’s Guide to a Science Project at including a sample science board board layout here.

Elementary School Science Projects

elementary science projectYou may not believe it, but doing elementary school science projects can be a wonderfully fun time for a parent and child to learn about a fascinating subject – science. Science has developed a reputation of being boring among many elementary school students. Many parents hate science simply because of the dreaded elementary school science projects.

Elementary school is the perfect time for a kid to be amazed at the way things work in the world around us. Learning about static electricity, friction, sound and fire should be fun. But somewhere between the fun and the fair, the fun often evaporates. It shouldn’t be that way!

If your elementary school child has been assigned a science project, your biggest step is choosing a topic. Don’t make the mistake of being too broad and asking your child, “Do you want to do a project about earth science?” or even “Do you want to do a science project on electricity?”

Before you discuss it with your child, do your homework. Find some specific projects that meet the specifications of your teacher. Then, describe the project in dynamic terms. “Gross! Here’s a project about how yeast has enough gas to can blow up a balloon!” or “You take the shell off an egg in this project – without boiling it! Then you can actually bounce the egg on the floor. Not in my kitchen!”

As you choose a science experiment, keep in mind that many teachers require that a science project follow the scientific method, even when doing an elementary school science project. That means your child has to come up with a question, do research, formulate an hypothesis, list variables, test the hypothesis, report results and formulate a conclusion. (Did you feel the fun start to evaporate?!)

It’s also important not to choose a science project so complicated that the child is only a spectator. Find an experiment that allows the child to participate, to understand the scientific principles, and to have fun!

Yes, we know how difficult this can be. We have four sons, and have done more science projects than we can count. One year, we did three elementary school science projects and a middle school project. We’ve had more than our share of problems, and made way too many mistakes. But somewhere along the way, we started to figure it out! We began to come up with project ideas that met the teacher’s standards, yet were easy to do, affordable, interesting and fun.

A couple of years ago, we took our best projects and put them into packages of science fair projects that we sell online. Our project guides will help you and your child discover that science projects can really be fun.

Summer Science!

Have a week off in your action packed summer?

Wanna fill up that week with a SCIENCE EXPERIMENT?!

Did you just answer that question with “Dude… no way”?

If so, then you’ve obviously been stuck with some boring science projects. Let’s find a good one, shall we? How about finding a way to make oil and water mix! Did you know it was possible? Yes, it usually isn’t but when there’s a will, there’s a way, and this fun experiment will teach you how!

So what are you waiting for? Get science-ing!

CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED ON YOUR SCIENCE PROJECT!

What’s the Correct Hypothesis?

insulation hypothesisThis week a mom emailed me asking me to tell her the correct hypothesis for her son’s experiment. Truth be told – there really isn’t any such thing as a ‘correct’ hypothesis. Here’s why.

When I was in school we learned that the hypothesis was ‘an educated guess’. In all my science project experience, I’ve yet to run across a better definition. The hypothesis really is just a guess.

Each experiment has one main question being asked. “Which cereal stays crunchiest in milk?” “Which type of insulation works best?” “Which type of soil retains the most water?”

The hypothesis is what your child thinks is the answer to that question. It’s your child’s guess as to what the answer will be. It doesn’t have to be correct. In fact, most of the time, a ‘real’ scientist’s hypothesis is not correct. If they knew the answer, they wouldn’t have to do the experiment in the first place!

When you’re helping your child ‘formulate’ an hypothesis, first of all, simply ask the big question. If your child doesn’t know, simply ask “What do you think? Can you guess?” Then ask, “Why do you think that?”

great  science project for kidsIn the end, your hypothesis should read like this.

“I think that pink insulation will work the best because it is the fluffiest.”

or
“I think that spray insulation will work best because it won’t move around.”
or even
“I think that the paper insulation will work best because it’s the most expensive.”

All of these are correctly stated hypotheses. The experiment may prove that the hypothesis itself was wrong – but learning new things is the fun of science!

24 Hour Science Projects makes it easy for your child to come up with the hypothesis. Go here and get your guides now, and be finished this time tomorrow!

Get Ready For a Great Science Project for Kids Early

You need to start thinking early about a great science project for kids…

But if you don’t  there are quick and easy science fair projects for kids that are just as good

 

great  science project for kidsScience fair season gets into full swing in January and  goes through spring.  Some schools even wait until the end of the year for their science fairs, while others do in the fall, but in general looking for a great science fair project for kids to do begins after the Holidays. It would not be wasting your time to start thinking about it beforehand. Parents can use science fair projects at home in lots of ways, not just for science fair

Start looking early

  • Get the project dates and topics when you go to parent conferences in the fall. That will help save some time and energy.
  • You don’t have to make a finals decision early, just start looking so when the time comes you have done the ground work and weeded out bad ones and have a stash to choose from.
  • By looking for a great science project for kids early, you can be sure to have the supplies on hand.  Sometimes there might be a special ingredient  to order ahead of time.
  • For large projects, it give you time to clear some space so when the time comes you don’t have to deal with finding space to do it.  Or at least plan ahead for the time it will take to make space in the garage or basement.

 Read through the entire project before choosing

  • You need to know how long it will take before you start.
  • You need to see if there are any hard to find materials to start searching for
  • You need to double check and make sure the proper steps to  science experiments are followed
  • You need to be sure it is the right age level for your child.
  • You also need to make sure it is the right type of project, a common mistake.  Is is a demonstration, an experiment or  a collection?

Reality does kick in and lots of time you find yourself kicking yourself for not starting early. If it is the last minute you can still find a great science project for kids, they just need to be quick and easy science fair projects

  • In addition to reading the directions for time and odd materials,  check to see if they use common everyday things you already have at home.
  • Instant download comes in handy with any last minute science projects for kids, and pre-loaded spreadsheets
  • Even simple science fair projects can follow the scientific method and study cool science stuff.
  • Directions that are written in kid language help when you are working in a time crunch!

balloonexpandedWe have had quite a bit success with our 24 Hour Science Projects that are kid tested and teacher approved.  All of our home science projects for kids to use were written for real kids who used them at school and even won awards.  We like they because they not only have the pre-formatted spreadsheets and can be downloaded in an instant, but they also include research links and use the scientific method. Nice and quick and easy science fair projects!

Visit 24 Hour Science Projects today and get your great science project for  kids!

 

Judging a Science Fair- How Do They Do It?

How are science fairs judged?  Knowing how they will be judging a science fair makes a difference!

blue ribbon projectKnowing how your science fair project is going to be judged can be really helpful as you know the things that they will be looking for as they go around judging a science fair project.

Here is how judging a science fair works in most elementary school science fairs:

A rubric is developed based on the goals and the specific  points in the assignment.

Usually this involves five different areas, that cover the whole process, not just the final presentation.  So the early steps of making a science fair project get equal credit

Example of what five areas a science project will be judged on:

  • Hypothesis– Is it written to reflect a specif goal and one variable?
  • The experiment  itself– Were the directions followed, were there at least three trials were the steps followed clearly listed.
  • Conclusion drawn from data– did the conclusion come directly from the results and not from what you “know” already
  • Oral Presentation or Written Report- did the report follow the format given,  the right length, grammar, spelling etc.

Each teacher or school will have specific elements they are looking for for each step, or they might choose five different things to judge their science fair.

Scoring

Each step is worth 5 points-  so you get a score of 1-5 on eaach element.
A perfect score would be 25 points.

Sometime different people judge different part.  Like one person would judge the displays while the language Arts teacher might grade the report teacher, and a team of judges would divvy up the other three.

Some school use three judges who judge the whole project and the average of the three scores is used.  So If one student got 25 points from one, 23 from another and 22 from a third the total would be 70, divide by 3 and you get a  23.33 for your average

Other schools use the same rubric, but it is what the teacher uses to give the project a grade, and there is not real judging or prizes awarded. A good science fair project will have all the elements there and ready to go.

Before worrying about judging a science fair, you need a great project that is kid tested and teacher approved!

We have  lots  great projects  through this link, some can be finished in one day!

 

 

http://www.24hourscienceprojects.com/ezGaffurl.php?offer=s7n17y&pid=2&tid=co081611