Science Fair: My 2014 Project


I usually love science fair. But this year’s project is not exactly turning out like I thought it would. I decided to use plants as part of this year’s experiment, and the plants didn’t exactly cooperate.

Science Fair

The trouble with using plants in a science fair project is that they aren’t predictable — and if you set them too close to the edge of a shelf, the dog’s tail can “wag” them off onto the floor. That’s one happened here, which means one of my six samples had to be replanted and started over.

For one thing, one of my samples got knocked off and had to be replanted. For another, the data isn’t exactly clear. If you look at it one way, it seems to lead to one conclusion — but if you look at it slightly differently, you get the opposite conclusion. I will figure it out.

But I wasn’t really planning on spending the last three days of my Christmas holiday working on my science fair project, and that’s what turned out happening. The project is due next week.

My grandpa is a retired science teacher, and my grandma paid her way through college with prize money she won in science fairs. So they have strong opinions about how a science fair project ought to be done. Their biggest opinion is that it’s my project, and I have to do the work myself, including cleaning up the mess the dog made of one of my samples.

My grandpa gave a presentation at my school about how to help your kid win a science fair without doing the work for them, or going crazy or broke in the process. If you happen to be reading this, and you want some help on a science fair project or how to help your kid win a science fair, you can download his presentation here: How to Help Your Child Win a Science Fair by Fred Holland

Personally, I don’t see what parents have to complain about. They won’t be the ones getting graded on the project.

I guess I had better go back to work on my data tables. I only have a few more days until it’s due, and I still haven’t figured out why some of the samples behaved the way that they did.

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