Ann Arbor Open Mack. Student. Ann Arbor Open Science, Technology & Invention Fair

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1 Ann Arbor Open Mack Student Handbook Ann Arbor Open Science, Technology & Invention Fair 1

2 Frequently Asked Questions What is the Open School Science, Technology and Invention Fair? It is a chance to share science experiments, collections, demonstrations, inventions, technology and mathematics. Is the Fair judged? No. It is not a competition. All students receive positive feedback and recognition. Volunteers from our community will review fair entries. What do I need to do? To enter the fair, you must do a science project. Present your experiment, invention, or demonstration on a display board. Where do I start? Ask your teachers, check out the school library, or visit the public library. Look in this packet for ideas and suggestions and for definitions of project types. Who can I work with? Scientists most often work with other scientists. You can work with parents, brothers and sisters, or friends to do your project. The only rule is to give credit to everyone who helped you with your project. 2

3 Suggested Project Timeline Choose a topic that interests you. Ask yourself: What is the question I want to answer? Research. Read. Contact people who may help you. Organize. Answer the questions: What materials do I need? What will I do? This is your plan: what to do first, second, etc. By following this plan, you will answer your question. Keep careful records. List your materials. Gather them. Begin following the steps you ve outlined. Collect information (data) by taking notes on everything you do and see (observations). If appropriate, organize the results in charts, graphs or illustrations, based on your notes, your data. Look carefully at the results. Write down the answer to your question. Make a display board. You may begin construction before the experiment is finished. Important Information DEAR PARENTS: GET INVOLVED!! You can be a real help and truly enjoy working on a science project with your child. First, become familiar with the guidelines for the fair. Allow plenty of time to do the project, at least 4 weeks. Try to set aside time, perhaps short 20 minutes sessions to allow for slow but steady progress. Don t get hung up on details. Try not to get possessive about the project at this point (or any other). Let it end up looking like exactly what it is: the work of a youngster learning about something that interests him or her. Have fun! Science projects should follow the scientific method. The scientific method is an organized way of thinking about problems. It has evolved over hundreds of years. We have attempted to develop a systematic approach to problem solving. There are five parts to this method: STATING THE PROBLEM : A question comes to mind. It is often established from the observation of nature. Why does something 3

4 appear to happen as it does, or what if this were different? HYPOTHESIS: This is an explanation for the established problem. A student establishes an explanation to be tested. OBSERVATION AND EXPERIMENTATION: Observation has led to the original problem and the student s hypothesis or explanation for it. Now an experiment must be designed to test the validity of the hypothesis. INTERPRETATION OF DATA: During the experiment, measurements and data are collected. The student must evaluate and interpret these results. CONCLUSIONS: Finally, the interpretation of results compared to the original problem and hypothesis will lead to the establishment of conclusions. The hypothesis is either supported or disproved ad conclusions can be drawn. OR, LOOK AT IT THIS WAY: What is the question I want to answer? (HYPOTHESIS) What materials did I use? (MATERIALS) What did I do? (METHOD) What did I change? (VARIABLES) What things did I keep the same? (CONTROL) What changed as a result of what I did? (RESULTS) What is the answer to my question? (CONCLUSION) What books did I use? (REFERENCES) Who helped with my project? (COLLABORATORS) 4

5 Science Fair Safety Rules: 1. No open flames are permitted. 2. No dangerous or combustible chemicals are permitted. (Rockets or other engine must not contain fuel). 3. Controlled substances (chemicals, drugs, etc.) are not permitted. 4. All electrical safety rules should be obeyed. 5. Expensive or highly fragile items should not be displayed. If items are essential to the project, use photos or simulations. 6. Students should avoid using live or preserved animals or parts of animals as part of their experiment. An exception may be made for sealed insect collections. Some exceptions may be allowed if permission is given by the principal. All projects must be cruelty-free. 7. No active chemical reactions may be performed in the exhibit hall. (Vinegar and baking soda volcanoes). You may choose to do a volcano at home, but it may not be a hands-on activity in the exhibit hall. 8. Please be considerate with the table space. The presentation must share a table with at least 3 other projects. 9. The presentation should be self-standing. It should not lean on other projects. 5

6 Different Types of Projects Experimental Project An experimental project can be done by anyone. Find something that interests you. Questions for an experiment: 1. What is the question I want to answer? 2. What materials did I use? 3. What did I do? 4. What did I change? 5. What things did I keep the same? 6. What changed as a result of what I did? 7. What is the answer to my question? 8. What books did I use? 9. Who helped with my project? Guidelines for an experiment: 1. use the scientific method 2. do a real experiment 3. base your conclusions on your data 4. make your display show that you understand what happened 5. include some ideas of your own in your project 6. make your display so that someone who hasn t studied your subject understands your experiment Demonstration Project Demonstration projects give students the opportunity to research a topic and/or build a model of something they are interested in and then present it. Learning about the heart, the digestive system, or the solar system can be very exciting. The Questions for a demonstration: 1. What is the question I want to answer? 2. What materials did I use to build my model? 3. How did I use those materials to build my model? 4. What is the answer to my question? 5. What books did I use? 6. Who helped with my project? 6

7 Guidelines for a demonstration: 1. Pick something you are interested in studying 2. Show that you understand what you studied 3. Tell about and show things completely and correctly Collection Project Collection projects help students to learn observation and classification skills. Each student will reach a conclusion about their collection and then be able to generalize that information. The display of a collection could include the actual collection, photographs, graphs and charts, or anything that shows what kids learned by doing the collection. The Questions for a collection: 1. What question did I ask about my collection? 2. What materials did I use, including what I collected and tools I used in my collecting? 3. What did I do? How did I do my collecting? 4. How did I sort my collection to help me to answer my question? 5. What did I notice when I sorted my collection? 6. What is the answer to my question? 7. What books did I use? 8. Who helped with my project? Guidelines for a collection: 1. Sort your collection 2. Tell when and for how long you collected it 3. Tell where you collected it 4. Tell how many things are in your collection 5. Tell what you figured out from your collection Invention Project You can use scientific principles to work on an invention. Start by thinking about something that would be useful. Is there a problem that an invention could solve? Use scientific principles to plan your invention, test it, revise your plan and test again. As with an experiment, keep notes about what worked and what didn t. 7

8 The Questions for an Invention 1. What do I want my invention to be able to do? 2. What materials did I use? 3. What did I do? 4. While I was working on my invention, what did I change? 5. What changed as a result of what I did? 6. How well does my invention work? Would anyone buy it? 7. What books did I use? 8. Who helped with my project? Guidelines for an Invention: 1. Keep careful notes of what worked and what didn t 2. Make your display show your process as well as your finished product (photos at various stages would be good here) Technology and Mathematics When considering a topic for your project, don t forget about technology and mathematics. You can investigate a mathematical question or a statistical probability, learn about how a particular technology works or use technology in an unexpected way. 8

9 Let your child lead. Enjoy the process. Science is fun! Entry Form DUE Friday, February 12th Entry Website Fair Date Reviewing Classroom viewing Bring Project to Gym Remove Project from Gym Don ts Project includes Thursday, February 25th 6:00PM-8:00PM Thursday, February 25th 4:00PM-8:00PM Friday, February 26th, 8:30AM-2:00PM between 2:30 and 5:30 pm on February 25th between 2:00 and 3:00 pm on February 25th No messy, dangerous or valuable displays. No raw eggs Put your NAME prominently ON YOUR PROJECT Display board Project Identification card attached to project Hands ON or Hands OFF sign Typical display dimensions Contact 32 inches high, center panel - 24 inches wide side panels - 12 inches wide each. Must be self-standing. Please be considerate with the other projects that must share the same table. Tim Wright Sarah Baird

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