2016 Science Fair information packet
Waugh Chapel Elementary School’s
Judging on Thursday, April 14, 2016
Viewing Fair on Friday, April 15, 2016
Open to grades K-5.
Here is your official
2016 Science Fair Information Packet!
What is a Science Fair and a Science Fair Project?
A Science Fair Project is an investigation that is designed to solve a problem (or answer a
question) using a procedure called the scientific method. The problem, hypothesis,
experiment procedures, and results of the experiment are then presented on a display
board. The “fair” part takes place when everyone who has done a project gathers together
to showcase their work. Projects are evaluated and ribbons are awarded. One winner from
third, fourth, and fifth grades will be invited to submit their project to the County Science Fair!
What is included in this packet?
1. WCES 2016 Science Fair Timeline- This is a guideline to help you complete your project on time.
2. Science Fair Project Guide- This sheet suggests how to complete a science fair project and explains the
scientific method. It will also help you fill out "County Form #1.”
3. County Form #1, “Elementary Science Fair Safety Form”- This form is REQUIRED from each participant and
should be submitted PRIOR to starting an experiment. The following items are NOT allowed for use by K-5 students
in any part of a science project. Using these items will result in exclusion from AACPS Science Fair activities:
alcohol, (including wine); bacteria or mold; cigarettes or other tobacco products; fire; household bleach, dry ice,
liquid nitrogen, and other caustic/poisonous household products; medicines; science lab chemicals; and
vertebrate animals. County Form #1 must be turned in to your teacher or placed in the science fair box outside
the office by March 16, 2016. Yes, please get your science teacher’s signature on the form. This form will later be
returned to the student with a stamp of approval to proceed with the experiment, or suggestions to get it
approved. Depending on the experiment plans, additional forms may be required from the county. Again,
please do not begin work on a project until you have received approval to do so.
4. Judging Criteria- This is a guideline to help you prepare your project for judging.
Note: These sheets are also available on the PTA website: www.waughchapel-pta.com.
Please direct any questions to Christina Zimmerman on [email protected]
WCES science fair projects are not graded. They are voluntary and for fun!
WCES 2016 Science Fair
1. Choose a topic that interests you.
2. Decide your problem. "What do I
want to find out?"
3. Research your topic to get
experiment ideas and create a
4. Fill out County Form #1 and return
it to your teacher or place it in the
appropriate box outside the office.
Wait for an approval.
If you need to conduct more research on
your problem, now is the time.
County Form #1,
is due by
March 16, 2016
Conduct your experiment at least 3
times! Make observations and collect
Analyze the data, draw a conclusion, and
report your results on a display board.
Be sure to include all the necessary
items on your board!
Bring your Science Fair Display Board to
school by 9:00 am in the morning or
between 3:30 and 5:30 after school!
Bring your family to school, show your
work, and find out who gets 1st, 2nd, 3rd,
and Honorable Mention Ribbons.
(3 weeks before
(2 weeks before Fair)
(1-2 weeks before
or 3:30 – 5:30
6:30 to 7:30
(But earlier is
April 14, 2016
April 15, 2016
Science Fair Project Guide
Ask a Question.
What do I want to find out?
Student should select a topic of interest and determine a cause-effect relationship
that lends itself to experimental research. Is this something you or others would want
to know? Note: There are books on Science Fair Projects available at the local library or you
can Google your topic + “science fair.”
Plan your Experiment.
How can I test what I want to find out?
Ask yourself the following: Can I conduct a safe experiment to answer my question
that will allow me to measure changes (from a control/constant) of important factors
(variables)? Will I be able to conduct a fair test (change only one variable in my
experiment and keep all other conditions the same)? Do I have all the materials I’ll
need? Will I have enough time to complete my experiment?
List the necessary materials needed and write a step-by-step guide of each operation
to be carried out in the experiment. Remember the list of forbidden items for use by K-5
students in science fair projects and remember that conducting 3 or more trials of your
experiment is very important!
Create a Hypothesis.
What do I think will happen?
Student changes their question into an “If ____, then ____ will happen because____”
statement and includes what they expect to happen as a result of the experiment.
Conduct the Experiment, Make Observations, and Collect Data.
Data from observations are collected and recorded as the student conducts the
experiment. This raw data is a necessary component of your final results and should
be clear and organized. It can be displayed on the board or separately. Remember,
a good experiment will test 3 or more trials!
What happened? How does it compare with what I thought would happen?
Explain, compare, and display the data. Discuss what could be done in the future to
make the experiment even better. Would you do anything differently? The data
needs to be presented/compared in graph or chart form. Graphs and charts must
include a title, labeled axes, and increments. Extra points are rewarded for more than
one chart or graph!
Student interprets the data to determine if their hypothesis was true, false, or partially
true. It is important to support your conclusion with data and evidence from your
Let others see your work on a display board. All display boards should include:
1) the problem or question asked
2) the hypothesis
3) the step-by-step procedures of the experiment (conducting 3 trials is very important!)
4) a list of materials used
5) data/observation logs (qualitative data)
6) display of (quantitative) data in a chart/graph (xtra points if more than 1 chart/graph
7) explanation/analysis of the data (extra points if future plans (like what you’d do
differently, better, etc.) are mentioned.)
8) the conclusion
This is very important for judging! Remember, presentation also counts!
Note: Please do not place your name on the front of your board. Names on the back only.
***Note: If you need a presentation board, the PTA will gladly provide one. Ask your teacher. We
will have a limited number of boards available and they are first-come, first-served.***
The Scientific Method
Plan an Experiment
Test with an Experiment
Hypothesis is True
Hypothesis is False
or Partially True
Be sure you understand the difference between a
DEMONSTRATION and a SCIENCE EXPERIMENT!
A Science DEMONSTRATION is a quick little science “show” that explains a science concept
like building a volcano and watching it erupt. It shows how something works, but is NOT a
A Science EXPERIMENT is usually more involved and in most real experiments you compare
results. An example would be “What fertilizer works best on plants?” For this example, you
ask a question and then perform an experiment to get the answer. Remember, a GOOD
EXPERIMENT will test at least 3 trials! Our science fair is looking for EXPERIMENTS!
WCES 2016 Science Fair
Below is Anne Arundel County’s rubric for completing a science fair project.
What is the question you are trying to answer with this experiment?
Based on what you already know, what do you predict will happen, and
Describe your procedure and explain how this is a fair test of the
Data Log/ Observation Log
Is data numerical and clear?
Do the graphs and charts display the data accurately?
Analysis of Data
Does the analysis explain what the data means?
Is the conclusion based on the data? Does the conclusion include
evidence from the Data/Observation log? Does the data support the
Is the student able to discuss the project in a knowledgeable way?
Waugh Chapel Elementary’s science fair judging will NOT include a student
interview. Instead, we reassign 5 of those 10 points to Procedures, add 1 point
for a List of Materials, and 4 points for Display Presentation.
WCES Science Fair judges are volunteers. They use a scoring sheet based on the county’s
rubric above to assign points to each project. Projects are judged by grade level. Primary
grades with more than 3 entries will have more than one judge assigned to that grade, if at
all possible. Since intermediate grades are eligible to go to the Anne Arundel County
Science Fair, a minimum of two judges will be assigned to each of grades 3, 4, and 5 unless
there is only one entry in any of those given grades. Judging is not taken lightly and ranking is
verified multiple times. All students have a fair chance to place!
GOOD LUCK, everyone!!!