Planning a project for a science fair can seem like an impossible task at first, with choosing a topic as the most important step. Science projects are designed to be courses of independent research and study. Plenty of answers need to be found, so picking a topic, formulating the research question and planning your timetable can be unique. Choose a topic that interests you personally or you may not find the time or enthusiasm needed to complete the project.
One way to start looking for a topic is to think about something you have always wondered why. How does a bumblebee or hummingbird hover in the air? Why do evergreens stay green in the winter? If A happens, how does that affect B? On the other hand, does it not affect when you think it should.
Reading a book or newspaper may make you think how the author came to that conclusion. Television and movies are full of questionable results that may beg to be approved or disapproved. Of course, the student’s age, level and time frame will modify the science project.
Biology is a large science category with potential projects suited to any age. How well do plants grow under various conditions? Which type of fertilizer is the most effective for flowering plants versus vegetable plants? Even why does bread mold and do different breads have different types of molds. Experiments with ants and worms can be modified for all school levels without too much difficulty.
Chemistry has great potential and not just the explosive type either. Baking soda and vinegar are great ingredients to use in science projects. Someone could test how well different brands of sealed plastic bags keep various foods fresh. Eggs and potatoes are easy foods to use in a variety of experiments. How are they sized for resale? Are there differences in eggshell thickness versus their size? Potatoes can be cooked in various oils to test for taste or tenderness.
Physics is a great category for science projects. How does an electric motor work, complete with diagrams? How do the planets differ from Earth and each other? Speed of light and gravity can figure in a number of ways. What are the differences between asteroids, comets and meteorites? Electricity is always fun. Which fruits and vegetables make the best batteries? How is energy stored in a battery anyway? What is the difference between AC and DC? Moreover, why is one used in certain situations and not the other? Force and motion are great effects that can be applied to any number of objects. Careful charting of results can yield great answers and even greater projects.
Earth sciences have the whole world as potential science projects. What are the different types of rocks and how are they formed? What kinds of conditions are best for creating fossils and which parts are preserved the most frequently? What exactly is a mineral and how do various chemicals act on it? Salt water from various oceans have different levels of minerals, why is this?
Some places on the Internet that have suggestions for science projects are Science Fair Central from Discovery Education, All Science Fair Projects, Science Fair Center and Science Fair Projects and Experiments. Use these places to spark ideas. You can always ask an adult to give you a hand, but do not expect them to do the work.