Traditional Style project

Traditional Style Science Fair Experiment 

Below is a suggested format for a Traditional Style Science Fair experiment.  A complete project should have the following components:
  • Title / Question 
    • What are you trying to find out?
  • Hypothesis 
    • What do you expect to happen?
  • Materials 
    • What did you use? 
    • How many? 
    • How much?
  • Controls 
    • What are all the things you keeping the same or are being very careful not to change?
  • Variable(s)  
    • What is the ONE thing you are testing?*recommended, but not required - 5th grade SHOULD have the two in blue: controls and variables.
  • Procedure 
    • What are all the steps - IN ORDER - of how you put together your experiment?
  • Results Show at least one - or more - of:
    • data table
    • charts
    • graphs
    • photos you took
    • sketches you made. 
  • Analysis and Conclusion 
    • How did things turn out?  
    • Why do you think it worked that way?  
    • Was your hypothesis right? 
    • What else did you learn?
  • Help and Research
    • What help did you get in doing your project?  
    • Where did you find background information?
  • Lab Notebook 
    • This goes on the table in front - it can be a little "dollar store" notebook, notes you kept on your computer and printed, binder paper stapled together... just show your collection of: ideas, brainstorming, planning, research, observations, plans for your display board, etc.  THIS IS YOUR ROUGH DRAFT AND RECORD OF EVERYTHING.
  • ...and remember to put your name on all your hard work!!!!
Here's a SAMPLE lab of this format:

QUESTION:  Does Time in Space Affect The
Germination of Tomato Seeds?

The purpose of this experiment is to compare how many seeds sprout, or germinate, from two
groups. The groups are a set that went to the International Space Station and another set that
have only been on Earth.

We think that tomato seeds that have been in space for a while will not
germinate at the same time or the same rate as ones that have only been on
Earth.  We don’t get to know which set is which until we turn in our data to


  • 1 set of tomato seeds that have only been on Earth
  • 1 set of tomato seeds that have spent time on the International Space Station
  • Equal numbers of peat pots
  • Equal numbers of plastic cups
  • Potting soil to fill each peat pot
  • Water
  • light
We are controlling things that we do not want to affect the experiment, so both
sets of containers get the same amounts of water, dirt, the same temperature in
the room, and the same amount of light from the overhead light. Both get the
same kinds of everything.  Each pot gets 5 of the same kind of tomato seed.
Each pot gets a stick saying which set of seeds they came from.

Our independent variable is whether the seeds are the ones from the ISS or
the ones from Earth.  We can compare the two sets of containers to see which
germinates sooner, or if they germinate at the same time, and if the same
amount of each germinate.

Our dependent variables  are how many seeds germinate in each set and
when the seeds come up.

  These are the steps for what we did:

  1. Fill all the peat pots plastic with the same amounts of dirt. 
  2. Put each peat pot in a plastic cup to catch the extra water.  
  3. Put the same amount of water in each so the soil is moist.
  4. Add 5 tomato seeds to each pot and mark which set they are with a stick.
  5. Put all pots under the same lighting.
  6. Observe daily for several weeks. Record each day how many seeds germinate into seedlings each day.

This is our record of what we discovered and measured.  

(Cut out and attach your data table.  Also make a small sketch. You can use:
)  photos                 sketches graph                    chart measurements )

We found out that there is a difference between the two sets of seeds.  There
are more K seeds that sprouted than J seeds. That means that the seeds that
went to space and spent time on the International Space Station were definitely
affected by being in space.  We just don’t know yet if they grew better or worse
than the Earth seeds, but there is definitely a difference.

Two things may have affected the seeds:
  1. Being exposed to the radiation of space.  Our atmosphere protects us from a lot of space radiation.  Being on the International Space Station is like getting 20 X-rays a day.
  2. Being in micro-gravity. On the International Space Station, you don’t feel Earth’s gravity because you are actually falling around the Earth, so it seems like there is no gravity.  We don’t know if the seeds noticed this, since they didn’t try to grow in space.

Our hypothesis was correct.  Being exposed to micro-gravity and the extra
radiation outside of Earth’s atmosphere caused those tomato seeds to
germinate at different times and in different amounts from those on Earth.

We also learned that tomato seeds are very tiny.  We learned that tomatoes
are actually fruit!

(Here you can put things like:
My hypothesis was:    (choose one)
different than the way the experiment turned out               
right but I also found out __________________________________________________)


(Here you want to list your research sources, who helped you, etc.)

Project by:  
Glenshire Science Lab - 1st and 2nd grades primarily
     3rd - 5th grades by observation

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