Yesterday we looked at steps three & four of the science fair project. In today’s post, we are going to look closer at step five, in which the students will perform their experiment, and step six, where the students analyze the data they have collected.
Step 5: Perform the Experiment
The fifth step of the science fair project is to perform the experiment. This phase is patterned after step four and five of the scientific method.
In this step the scientist develops and performs an experiment and records the results from that experiment. These steps may take him several weeks or several years depending upon how involved his experiment is and how many trials he may need to run. During the experiment, he will record all his observations and measure his results. Still, the scientist will wait until the experiment has come to a close before he analyzes the data that he collects.
By this time in the science fair project, the students have completed their design and are now ready to perform their experiment. This step may take several weeks depending on how long they have designed it to take.
The students need to:
- Get ready for their experiment by gathering and preparing the supplies.
- Run their experiment from start to finish using the plan they developed in the last step.
- Record their observations and results as the test progresses.
Now that the students have gathered their data, they are ready to analyze it to determine the answer to their question.
Step 6: Analyze the Data
The sixth step of the science fair project is to analyze the data. This phase is patterned after step five and six of the scientific method.
In this step the scientist analyzes what he has observed and recorded so that he can make a statement about whether or not his hypothesis was true. This statement will communicate his results to other scientists and hopefully answer his original question. The scientist may find that his hypothesis was false or that his experiment design did not really answer his question. If this is the case, he will formulate a new hypothesis and begin the process again until he is able to answer his question.
The students doing the science fair project have finished their experiment and are ready to analyze the data they have collected. They need to:
- Review and organize the information they have collected.
- State the answer to their original question which they discovered through their testing.
- Draw several conclusions detailing what they have learned through their experiment.
The testing is finished. The answer has been discovered. Now, the students just need to put it all together to share with others which is exactly what we will cover tomorrow!
- Day 1: Step 1: Choose a Topic & Step 2: Do Some Research
- Day 2: Step 3: Formulate a Hypothesis & Step 4: Design an Experiment
- Day 3: Step 5: Perform the Experiment & Step 6: Analyze the Data
- Day 4: Step 7: Create a Board & Step 8: Give a Presentation
- Day 5: Planning a Homeschool Science Fair (Guest Post by Marci @ The Homeschool Scientist)
Do you want pages for your students as you guide them through their science fair project? Then check out our step by step guide: The Science Fair Project: A Step by Step Guide!This book is designed to give you the tools you need to guide your students as they complete a science fair project. The first part of the book explains the keys to each step in greater detail than the above post, including a sample project where you will see each of the keys in action. The second half of the book contains sheets for you to use with your students as they proceed through their project.