The following resources may be helpful in preparing a Science Fair Project. Particularly useful may be the information about developing the idea and beginning the project.
Youth Science Foundation: Smarter Science is part of Youth Science Canada's program for engaging youth in science and providing a curricular connection to project-based science and science fairs. This site provides many excellent links for all ages that can help your child plan, carry out and present a successful Science Fair project.
Science Fair Central from Discovery Education offers free resources ranging from getting started to presenting final projects. There is also a very good guide for parents.
Anatomy of a display board and preparing a log book:
This link also incudes an excellent description on how to create a log book. Please check it out.
In addition, the following e-book contains many tips on how to teach effectively in an on-line world. Chapter 15 in particular focuses on inquiry-oriented science projects.
Ayyavoo, G. & Accettone, S., (2020). Online Inquiry-Based Science Projects for Grades 3 to 12. In Thriving in an Online World – For Busy K-12 Educators. Creative Commons Attribution - 4.0 International License.
Exhibiting your Toronto Science Fair Project:
What should your project look like?
Your science fair project display should tell the story of your project using a Tri-Fold backboard and the display space on the table. You can use pictures, graphs, text, artifacts, models, prototypes, etc. Your aim is to do the following:
Identify the question that you were investigating.
Show how your experiment/investigation/innovation design was developed and implemented
Explain what you discovered as a result of your investigation and why your results matter.
The Science Fair Tri-Fold Backboard
NEW THIS YEAR: The size of the Project Display Board is smaller this year than it has been in the past. Projects must fit on a 30 inch wide by 24 inch deep table. The height of the project is up to the Exhibitor but keep in mind that projects that are too high are hard to read. Tri-Fold backboards of varying heights are available from stationery and dollar stores.
Here are some tips for making a backboard display as effective as possible.
Make sure your project is well-organized. Information should be presented logically and be easy to follow. Many students use the various steps of the Scientific Method to organize their project but this is not the only way to do it.
Make sure that the question you are investigating is stated clearly and prominently.
Double check to make sure that all text is free of spelling and grammar errors. Use only words that you understand and can explain to others. Be an expert on any scientific terms that you need to use to explain your project.
Take pictures and/or videos as you develop your project. Choose the best of these to be part of your display. If you use images from the internet, make sure you credit the source.
Do not display large blocks of text copied directly from the internet even if you credit it. If it is important to include some background information about your project in your display, consult a number of sources about the topic, make your own notes and then summarize the ideas you want in your own words. Don’t let some AI chatbot speak for you.
Include only relevant information in your display. Everything you use in your display should contribute to explaining how you did your investigation and what you discovered.
Use attractive colours and your best artistic skills as you design your backboard. Use a font size that can be read easily if you are standing in front of the board.
What else could be on display?
You will have a space on the table in front of your backboard. Use it to advantage to help you explain your project. A project always looks more interesting if there is something on the table for people to look at. Here are some items that could be included.
Models or actual experiment apparatus if it fits and passes safety checks. Otherwise, take pictures. Check the section on SAFETY for a list of items that SHOULD NOT be displayed because they are safety risks.
Your log book – your day-to-day record of what you did and what you learned
A binder or folder containing Ethics forms (if you worked with humans or animals)
Bibliography and references in a separate folder if this information is not on the display board
Any videos of your experiment in action which you can show to the judges on your cell phone or other device. WiFi access will be available in the Exhibit Hall.
Additional pictures of your experiment which are important but which didn’t fit on the backboard.
For more advice on how to display your project information effectively, take a look at the powerpoint,
“Preparing a Science Fair Project”, which is under Resources on the TSF website.