Project Guide

Expo is a display of scientific projects. A scientific project is an  investigation in which you try to solve a problem or answer a question that you have identified. When you do an investigation, you follow a  method that allows you to test an idea or solve a problem and come to a  clear conclusion.

Projects for Expo must have original work done by participant e.g. a survey of more than a 100 or experimental work.

Click on the links below if you are needing guidance and advice for your projects

 

Expo Project Guide

 http://www.super-science-fair-projects.com/support-files/sfgb2.pdf
 http://www.freesciencefairproject.com/
 http://www.ehow.com/how_2295516_choose-winning-life-science-fair.html
 http://www.ehow.com/how_2295515_choose-winning-earth-science-fair.html
 http://www.ehow.com/how_2295514_choose-winning-astronomy-science-fair.html
 http://www.education.com/topic/great-science-fair-project-ideas/
 
http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/science-experiments-around-your-home/#.Vytp64R97IU

 

TYPES OF PROJECTS

EXAMPLES 

1. EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION
An investigation undertaken to test a scientific hypothesis using experiments. Experimental variables, if identified, are controlled to some extent.

To investigate the influence of different fertilizers on the growth of wheat.

2. INNOVATION / INVENTION
The development and evaluation of innovative devices, models, techniques or approaches in technology, engineering, computers (hardware/ software). Focus on innovative ideas and inventions, rather than applied technology in a systematic manner.

To design and build an electronic lock and key

3. RESEARCH/ STUDY 
Collection and analysis of existing data to reveal evidence of a fact or a situation of scientific interest.  It could include a study of cause and effect relationships or theoretical investigations of scientific data.

To research the effectiveness of different anti-retroviral drugs.

10 STEPS TO A GOOD SCIENTIFIC PROJECT

STEP 1: Choosing a topic
The topic for your project should be something that you are interested in and that you want to learn more about.  You may think of a good topic straight away just by looking at the list of Expo categories or you may need to look for ideas for your topic.  You can get ideas for projects from:
 Newspaper and magazine articles
 The internet
 Television programmes
 Your own previous Expo project, which you can add to, but not repeated (a continuation form must be submitted and a copy will be needed for judging)
 Practical problems from your community

 Your idea for a project should be an original one.   This means that it should be your own idea and not somebody else's idea.  Do not repeat an experiment from the school syllabus or choose a problem for which people already know the answer.  For example, "Determining the specific heat capacity of iron" is not an original topic for your Expo project.  The method to follow is well known from school textbooks and you can easily look up the answer.

 The best Expo projects are not always complicated, but they are imaginative and well carried out.   A good project is often:
 A clever solution to a problem;
 A new idea for a piece of apparatus; or
  A study or survey that no-one has done before.

 Be original, but DO NOT choose a project that:
 Could be dangerous to yourself or others;
 Needs experiments on live animals; or
 Involves collecting plants or animals that are protected by Nature Conservation laws.
Ask your teacher for advice if you are not sure whether your topic will make a suitable Expo project.

STEP 2: Project description
 Describe your topic in short sentences or as a question and then state a hypothesis (what you think the answer is going to be).

STEP 3A: Collect background information
 Use books, internet, for your project and research which must be summarize for your introduction.

STEP 3B: Generate data
 Do experiments
 Interview people who are knowledgeable about your topic
 Do surveys or send out questionnaires – a minimum of 100 people
 Keep dated notes in a journal (e.g. file, diary or scrap book).

STEP 4: Evaluate your progress
 Check if you have sufficient information, to prove your hypothesis. (If you unsure ask your educator). If not go back to step 3B.

STEP 5: Working Model (if applicable)
 Make a model or apparatus to illustrate the solving of your problem.  Use what is at hand, for example, materials from home.

STEP 6A: Analyse results
  Generate graphs from your tables
 Add photos and
 File a blank copy of your questionnaire, survey in your file/journal
 

STEP 6A: Analyse results
  Interpret the data or make comparisons,
 Look at trends and patterns
 In your discussion note limitations and errors.
 

STEP 7: Conclusion
 Write down your conclusion.  Did the conclusion prove or disprove the hypothesis? It must answer the research question.

STEP 8: Evaluate the whole project
 Review
 Revise
 Redo

STEP 9:  Write a report
 Hypothesis: clearly stated
 Introduction: including information collected and a short description of your project
 Method: numbered, logical, concise, written in the third person
 Results: use tables and graphs
 Analysis and discussion of your results
 Conclusion: link up with your aim and your results
 Errors and modifications
 Bibliography / References (with a list of books, magazine articles or internet sites where you got important information)
 Acknowledgements: list all of the people who helped you and mention how each person helped you. For example, someone might have lent you a piece of equipment, taken photographs for your poster or given you some important advice.

STEP 10: Showing your work

 Your presentation must be neat and interesting
 Show important aspects of your work
Your exhibit shows visitors to the Expo what your project is about. Your exhibit is a display of your work. An exhibit is usually made up of a poster together with any special apparatus you used. Your display may include a working model you constructed as part of the project. Keep the information on your display short, and make it easy to understand and interesting. People who know nothing about your topic /file / diary and journal should understand what you did, just by looking at your exhibit. Your report is also a part of your exhibit, so that people can read more about your project.

Each exhibit at Expo is given a space of maximum 1.5m table length. There is also a space behind the table to pin up a poster. The Expo in your region may allow you a little more or a little less display space. Your teacher will check with the organisers first. Display space is often limited. If you use extra space, then others will have too little. Look at the drawing below to see how to make the most of the space you are given.

POSTER (It must be, a summary of your project)

If you make your poster with three sides you will be able to get a lot onto your table.

Left Side of your poster

Centre of your poster

Right Side of your poster

1. Problem
2. Hypothesis
3. Background information

 4. Large heading (Font size 150)
5. Name
6. Grade
7. Title (same as submitted on entry to
Regional and National Finals)
8. Method
9. Results
10. Graphs

7.  Interpretation
8.  Conclusions
9. Acknowledgements / Bibliography / References
(if space on poster and/or in report)

 Your poster is the most important part of your exhibit. Your poster should be easy to read and understand. It should explain what you did, how you did it and what you found out. Make your poster eye-catching and interesting. You want visitors at Expo to stop and read about what you did.

Summarised information must be laid out in a logical order. Anyone who wants more information can read your report. (Your report is very important)

INTERVIEW:
Please take note of the following points:

  Introduce yourself by name and do not chew gum
 Know your topic
 Be enthusiastic
 Speak clearly and with confidence
 Use appropriate language
 Listen to the judge's questions
 Don't read off notes or recite a prepared speech
 

REFERENCES
You should use the heading "References" and the list should contain all the material to which you referred and from which you quoted in your assignment. All sources should be arranged alphabetically according to the surname of the first author.

The references should be written in the following order: Author's surname and initials, year of publication, title (underlined), edition, place of publication, publisher.

1. BOOKS:
e.g. 1. Kritzinger, A.A.C. and Fourie, C.M.W. 1996
Basic Principles of Financial Management, Cape Town: Juta

2. JOURNALS:
The journals should be written in the following order: author's surname and initials, year of Publication of the journal, title of article, title of journal (underlined as before), volume, pages.
e.g. 1. Manning, T. 1996 "Three steps to the future",
Human Resource Management, 12(8), 8-9.

3. CHAPTERS IN BOOKS:
e.g. Smith, R.J. Comparative themes in higher education, in "Trends in Higher Education" edited by J.N. Green. London: Benton.

4. NEWSPAPER ARTICLES:
The reference should be written in the following order:
year, newspaper, date and month, page.
e.g. 1980. Business Day. 25 June: 7

5. INTERNET REFERENCING:
www Pages: e.g. Unkown(1995)Sentient microfilaments:
A tempest in a tubule (On-line). Available: http:somecomputer.printer.edu/pub/harnad/psyc.95.3.26/consciousness/11/bixley

6. THESES and DISSERTATIONS
e.g. Smith, R.H 1998. Critical Theory and University Transformation. DPhil thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.

ENTERING A SCIENCE EXPO
A project must be entered into a Regional Expo, at which projects will be selected for participation at Expo National Finals ( Grade 5 to 12 only)

N.B. Not all gold medal winners at regional level will be selected to participate at Expo National Finals.

When do Regional Expos take place?

Regional Expos are usually held between July and early September each year. Interested learners and educators should contact their nearest Regional Expo Coordinator (see Contacts) or visit our website for more information www.exposcience.co.za. Ensure that entry forms are filled in fully, and that the information is clearly readable and you have entered your project in the right category. Learners may enter only one project in one region in one year.

Useful points to remember:

 Bring your own drawing pins, staples, Prestik, Velcro, masking tape or whatever else you need to put up your display
 Bring your own extension cord if you have a model or apparatus that needs 220 volt electricity to work
 Bring a plastic sheet to put on the floor if your display has chemicals or liquids, especially dyes. The plastic sheet will protect the tiles or carpet
 If the exhibit is meant to work - ensure that it does work!
 Do not include any live animals, insects, spiders, fish with your display. Photos and video clips must be shown.
 Do not burn any substances or use open flames as part of your exhibit
 Do not leave valuable items on your display. The organisers will endeavour to make sure that things are safe
 Bring your own drawing pins, staples, Prestik, Velcro, masking tape or whatever else you need to put up your display
 Bring your own extension cord if you have a model or apparatus that needs 220 volt electricity to work
 Bring a plastic sheet to put on the floor if your display has chemicals or liquids, especially dyes.  The plastic sheet will protect the tiles or carpet
 If the exhibit is meant to work - ensure that it does work!
 Do not include any live animals with your display.  Being at Expo is too stressful for animals and will harm them
 Do not burn any substances or use open flames as part of your exhibit
 Do not leave valuable items on your display.  The organisers will endeavour to make sure that things are safe at Expo,  but they will not be responsible for any losses
 Valuables such as laptop computers should preferably be taken home each evening of the competition for safe-keeping.

 

website design software

[Home] [About Expo] [For Teachers] [Educator Academy] [For Judges] [International] [Results] [Project Guide] [Ethics] [Categories] [Links & Related sites] [Timeline]