1. Think Up a Topic
Consider your interests and come up with a testable question about a topic, just like a real scientist.
2. Ponder Your Purpose
Explain the purpose of the experiment in just a few sentences. You can begin with: "The purpose of this project is..." Share your idea with your teacher to see if he has any comments about your project.
3. Hone a Hypothesis
Write down an educated guess about what you think will happen during your experiment. (For example: "I predict that plants will grow better in soil containing earthworms than in soil without earthworms.")
4. Search and Research
Borrow books from the library and do some online research to learn more about your topic.
5. Muster Up the Materials
Create a list of the materials you'll need for your experiment. After gathering your supplies, start your experiment. Repeat your tests so that you have plenty of data. Take good notes and, if necessary, adjust your testing methods and add new materials.
6. Be Vigilant About the Variables
Variables help control the conditions so it's easier to collect results and draw conclusions. For your experiment, have one independent variable that affects the dependent variables. (For example, grow one type of plant in a pot that has earthworms and one type of plant in a pot that does not have earthworms. Make sure that both pots get the same amount of exposure to sunlight and water.)
7. Determine Your Data
Interpret the data you collect from your experiments. Organize your observations into charts, logs, tables and/or graphs.
8. Create a Conclusion
After you record your results, restate your original hypothesis then explain how accurate your hypothesis was.
9. Write Your Report
Scientists reveal their discoveries in written reports, which are organized in a research paper. A commonly used format includes the abstract, title page, table of contents, purpose, acknowledgements, literature review, materials, methods of procedure, results, conclusion and bibliography.
10. Present Your Project
Besides writing up a report, consider creating a trifold display that summarizes your experiment. Use concise and clear descriptions, and include photos, graphs and diagrams to supplement the text. Let your hard work shine!