Middle School Science Projects – Three Mistakes That Could Cost You a Blue Ribbon
1. Choosing a project that isn’t an experiment. Teachers and science fair judges usually want true experiments. That means they are looking for a question, hypothesis, procedure, results that are measurable (with numbers), and a conclusion. No matter how hard you work, models, demonstrations, collections, and reports are not experiments.
If your project title is “Can you make a Trebuchet that works?”, “How an egg can go into a bottle”, or “The five types of butterflies indigenous to Elgin, South Carolina”, you do not have a project that can be classified as an experiment. When you’re looking for your project guide, look for the word “hypothesis”, and you’ll probably be on the right track.
2. Trying to do a project that you don’t understand. There are many great experiments available that are too advanced for middle schoolers. Although the procedure may go well, and the result may look great on a display board, your lack of basic understanding will show in your report, in your ability to explain your project in a classroom, or in your answers to questions posed by a judge. You may be tempted to do a project on the permeability of phospholipid bilayers, but remember, it’s more impressive to do a more basic project that you understand fully.
3. Copying a project. Unfortunately, many students (and parents) try to take the easy way out and copy a project that someone else has done. There are three reasons to avoid copying. First, it’s dishonest. It’s cheating, stealing, and lazy. (And that’s mincing words.) Second, the purpose of a science project is to learn. If you copy, you’re not learning. Third, your teacher will find out.
So what’s the easiest way to avoid these mistakes? Grab a copy of our Middle School Science Project guide and read all of our great ideas on how to choose a winning science project. We have lots of great projects guides and tips at http://www.middle-school-science-projects.co
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