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If you haven’t done research before, don’t sweat it!
Most people do not have access to expensive encyclopedias and science journals to help them – luckily there is a great, free, on-line encyclopedia available to everyone: Wikipedia. ) different, the facts about your project will probably be different from an example we could come up with.
here have been concerns in the past about the quality of information coming from Wikipedia, luckily we’ve done our research too and this is an article from Nature magazine detailing their comparison between Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica. Even great sources of research information are not infallible 100% of the time (not even Britannica.) It’s good a practice to find more than one source of information for each of your facts – your judges and teachers will appreciate the effort and look upon that kind of diligence favorably. A trick to this process is to use the stream of consciousness approach. Basically it boils down to this: think about your idea and your focused topic – then write down everything you can think of relating to it, anything that comes to mind.
Your research report should accompany your data or project representation at a science fair.
For example, if you made a tri-fold project board, each section noted on that board should be included in detail in your research report.
There are many aspects to the science fair project including researching the topic, designing the experiment, analyzing the data, and making an eye-catching display board.
A lot of professional scientists and researchers use previous work as inspiration for new ideas.
This notebook doesn’t have to be paper – you could use the computer (If you do like using this computer to store your project info, you could bookmark this page by pressing CTRL-D, so you don’t have to remember the name of the site each time you want to come back.)Depending on how you want to present your project in the future to judges or teachers, you might also want to have a timeline of discovery– meaning that you write down the date that you discover each fact you use in your project.
Another aspect of science project research is good record keeping - since you might not want to write down everything about a particular fact when you find it, it would probably be useful to you to write down where you got each fact – that way, if you want to know more details later on, you can quickly find the fact source and get anything else you want. Now you’re all set to get facts, but where to get them?
Think about a topic you're interested in and while you're doing your background research, consider what questions current research hasn't answered or how you might modify their approach to solving a particular problem to address a new or outstanding question.
At a science fair, there are usually at least two requirements of each participant: a research report and a visual accompaniment.