From Intermediate Grades And Beyond
At the eighth grade level in science, students are expected to display originality and creativity in their science fair projects. While this doesn't mean completely new topics and experiments are expected, those that do get presented are expected to have the intermediate grader's unique take on the matter.
What Is Expected of Intermediate Science Fair Projects?
The judges will expect the student to demonstrate thorough command of their subject and experiment. This often means that a smaller experiment presented by a more knowledgeable experimenter will be favored over a larger experiment with more flash but whose presenter shows less mastery of the topic or subject matter.
At the eighth grade level, the young scientists are expected to have graphs and charts; the same thing is usually not expected of children in the earlier grades. This implies the use of spreadsheets and presentation software. Also, the team or individual presenters should also cite the sources of information used in their projects, using the proper format of course.
As with science fair projects from any other grade level, displays are very important in getting the results across. If the project is data-heavy, the usual three-by-five single panel can always be expanded. Well-constructed models, slideshows and films are always welcome and they could help the students choreograph a stunning and excellently organized presentation.
However, presenters should avoid using too much media and too much material; too much of anything can actually lead to a poorly organized and badly integrated presentation. If electronic equipment like projectors and laptops are going to be part of the display, it may be a good compromise to have these running only when the presenters are with their project and to stow them in a safe place when the presenters are absent.
Some Intermediate Science Fair Project Ideas
Some ideas which can be used in eighth grade science fair projects include:
· Construction of water-propelled rockets from recycled plastic soda bottles and finding a way of measuring how high they fly - and, by extension, a way to measure the heights of objects such as buildings and trees.
· Comparative characteristics and performance of different types of locally-available light bulbs.
· How the local water is cleaned and made safe to drink. This will probably require a visit to the water authority or filtration plant. A model could be set up to demonstrate how different grades of sand and various chemicals like alum can be used to filter water.
· Is more force required to pull an object straight up or when using an inclined plane as a ramp? This will entail the use of spring balances or other instruments to measure force.
· Comparative display of particles in air samples from different places in the local area.