Science Fair 2017 Science and engineering project resources

The Sexton Mountain Elementary STEAM Fair (science, technology, engineering, art and math) will be Thursday, April 28th from 6:30-8:00 pm. Fourth graders will be required to complete a science inquiry or engineering design project for the fair.

Incredible Growing Gummys!

To review the scientific inquiry process, we will first complete an experiment together as a class. We will observe what happens when a gummy bear is soaked in water.

We will conduct background research to try to find out the "why" of what happened. Have other scientists tried this in the past? What were the results?

Based on what we find out, we will design a question to test one variable.

We will make a hypothesis to answer our question.

Next we will design our procedure, step by step, detailed and thorough so the experiment could be recreated by anyone. We will include a materials list of everything needed to complete the procedure including quantities of supplies and equipment.

Before we conduct the experiment we will create a data table to record our data.

Then it will be time to conduct the experiment! We'll make sure to take lots of pictures of the process.

Once the experiment has concluded we will compile our data, create graphs and find averages.

Once we have all our data put together, we will analyze and interpret the data with a summary of the project. We will state whether our hypothesis supported our results or not, make comments about the effectiveness of the experiment and suggest changes or other possibilities for future study.

We will present the entire scientific inquiry process on a display board.

Water filter frenzy!

To review the engineering design process, we will complete an engineering design project as a class. Using the engineering design process and various common materials, we will explore and design water filters capable of filtering three different types of contamination.

Define the Problem

Background Research

Develop Possible Solutions

Choose the Best Solution

Develop a Prototype

Test and Redesign

Data: record and label measurements, graph results

Analyze and Interpret the Results: Evaluate the performance of the most successful design, explain the parts of your design that worked well and what parts that did not work well, describe ways to improve the design/solution in the future, list at least one problem with your design

Once we complete our class inquiry project and our class engineering design project, students will then choose their own project topic to explore.

Find a project idea.

If you are going to do a science inquiry project, make sure your project idea has only one variable. Use the variable checklist. 

If you are going to do an engineering project, make sure there is something to measure. Use the engineering project checklist.

Once your project topic has been approved by teacher and parents, you are ready to start preparations. 

If you're doing a science inquiry project, we'll be following the exact same process we did in the Gummy Bear experiment.

If you're doing an engineering design project, we'll be following the exact same process we did in the Water Filter Frenzy project.

Once you have completed the preparations below you will be ready to do your experiment/project.

Science Inquiry: question, hypothesis, procedure, materials

Engineering Design: define the problem, background research, develop possible solutions, choose the best solution

Once students reach this point, they will complete the actual experiment/build prototype at home. Make sure to take pictures for the display board. Measurements, observations and pictures need to be brought into school for the compilation of the data and the construction of the display board. Display boards will be available for purchase through the front office for around $3.

The first thing students will do with the results is create a table or graph to organize the data .

Once the data is organized, students will analyze and interpret the results/refine the design.

For engineering projects the Refine the Design section should include: evaluate the performance of the most successful prototype. Why did it work? Explain the parts of your design that worked well and the parts that did not work well. Given more time or different materials, what would you do to make this work better?

For science inquiry projects the Analyze and Interpret the Data section should include: was your hypothesis supported? Tell how you know. Share observations supported with data and vocabulary. Tell what your experiment proved. What is another experiment you could do on this topic?

Once students have completed the inquiry and engineering design processes on their chosen topics, they will each create a display board to showcase their projects. Final copies will be typed, a color scheme chosen, text matted, title created, pictures arranged and the final layout decided.

After the display boards are complete, students will give a speech to their class about their project and then boards will be set up in the gym for the STEAM Expo.

Credits:

Created with images by andresantanams - "scientist lab caterpillar" • Alexas_Fotos - "gummibärchen giant rubber bear gummibär" • Alexas_Fotos - "gummibärchen gummi bears bear" • Ian Sane - "Green Filtered" • Unsplash - "rocks stones pebbles" • Samuel Mann - "Sustainability entry Otago Science Fair" • Andrea Pokrzywinski - "IMG_1505.JPG" • Samuel Mann - "Sustainability entry Otago Science Fair" • Samuel Mann - "Sustainability entry Otago Science Fair"

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