Finding the Best Science Fair Project for You

By Maxine Levaren

Science fair projects can range from the simplest experiment to a complex project that involves experimentation, observation, and advanced mathematical calculations.

Where you fall on that scale naturally depends on your prior knowledge of science, particularly in the subject matter you are dealing with.

Identifying the different types of projects

You can choose from several different types of projects:

  • In an experiment, you conduct a test to prove that a certain assumption is true.
  • With a computer science project, you do one of the following:

• Develop one or more computer programs to perform a specific task.

• Test and analyze computer performance.

  • In an engineering project, you do one of the following:

• Design and build a new device that performs a specific function.

• Test and analyze the performance and capabilities of an existing device.

  • With a research project, you gather data, either by doing research or conducting surveys, and then mathematically analyze that data.

Making the project suit you

A science project can be a great experience if you’re working on something that’s interesting and fun. Just ask someone whom computers fascinate whether she’d like to spend four months developing some new software. Surely, the answer would be a resounding yes!

So, it really doesn’t matter whether you choose botany, physics, or computer science — the winning formula is selecting something that you like, that you have the skills to do, and that stretches your abilities.

Looking at other students’ past projects is another good way to see what types of things may appeal to you. This activity may also show you what’s involved in doing your own project.