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Pick a Topic

Pick a Topic and prepare a hypothesis


Resources for picking topics, collecting data, putting together your display, and presenting


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Scholarships available for science fair competitors


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About Our School

Schalarman is a Catholic High School in Danville Illinois 

school hours

M-F: 8am – 3:30pm


Danville, IL 61832



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Choosing a Topic

There are many topics to choose from, and countless experiments to perform; how do you choose one? Consider the following questions:

What topics are you studying for science
this year?

What interests the student?
What is possible and affordable?

Students do not need to come up with an original idea; they can even choose an experiment from a book (as long as it is an experiment and not a demonstration). 

While most projects are considered General Science Projects, some are engineering or computer projects, which are judged according to different criteria.


Conducting your Experiment

All project work must be done at home under parental supervision or at an institutional site under the direction of a qualified scientist. Students must do their own projects. (Parents should never do the project for the child! Remember that each child will be judged on his or her knowledge of the subject.)

All experiments should follow a scientific method, the systematic method scientists use to conduct experiments. Even Kindergartners can follow a scientific method … The important thing is that students choose an experiment in which something can be measured.  The basics are:

  1. Ask a Question. Choose a question that can be answered by observation and measurement.
  2. Form a Hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess about what will happen.
  3. Conduct Your Experiment. Write out your procedures and follow them closely. Be sure to have controls and only one variable at a time. Repeat the experiment to validate your results.
  4. Present Your Results. Your results are the measurements and observations you made during experimentation, often presented in a table or graph.
  5. Discuss Your Results. Explain your results — why did things happen the way they did?
  6. Draw Conclusions. Answer your original question and state whether your hypothesis was correct. Does this have applications to everyday life?

Tips for a Successful Experiment

Start Early
Measure something
Change only one variable at a time
Keep records of everything
Summarize your data in a chart or graph

Preparing your Exhibit

Upon completion of the experiment, students should prepare to present their projects. The following are general expectations by grade level:

Grade K-5 projects should include:

  1. a display of the experiment and the results,
  2. a separate, written project summary*, and
  3. a brief (2- to 3-minute) oral presentation to and interview by judges. (How are projects judged?)

Grade 6-12 projects should include:

  1. detailed records (a journal or logbook),
  2. a written report* (including an abstract),
  3. a display of the experiment and the results, and
  4. a brief (2- to 5-minute) oral presentation to and interview by judges. (How are projects judged?)

*Copies of these papers are due one week prior to the fair, but they should also be displayed at the science fair.

Students who conducted projects requiring prior approval (those dealing with restricted topics) should also have their paperwork with them at the fair and be prepared to show them to a judge, should s/he ask to see it. However, this paperwork does not have to be displayed.

Student Resources

Approval:  ALL projects need e-mail approval from their teacher BEFORE starting the research and project.  

  • Allow yourself 2 to 3 months before the Fair to begin your research.
  • Decide on a project.
  • Hypothesis:  If an experiment, write your hypothesis.
  • Logbook:  Start your logbook and write in it every time you work on your project (it’s ok to type in a word document).  You may want to consider keeping your log book in a document on your computer.  Do not list your name or show photos of the faces of people in your project.
  • Display Board:  All projects will be submitted as projects with posters.  Do not list your name or show photos of the faces of people in your project.
  • Finish:  Complete your project and complete your logbook.


What is the question or problem being addressed and expected outcome?

Describe in detail the method and procedures including all safety precautions.
Include all procedures to be used for data collection and/or building your prototype, if engineering project

Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to complete the project safely.

Teacher or parent oversight. Who will be supervising your project
(Parent/Guardian or your teacher)?
For approval, parent or teacher must be present and supervising during
experimentation or prototype development and building. 



February 2, 2022


Danville, IL 61832



Science Fair

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