What Makes a Good Science Fair Project?
December 21, 2012
Monetary awards for students and supervisors
January 7, 2013
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16 tips to create Science Fair Project Display

1. Proofread Your Text

This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how often students submit their work without proofreading the project first. Judges may deduct points for typos, so don’t let poor spelling cost you the prize!

 2. Correctly Use “Effect” Versus “Affect”

Learn the difference between the two words. Remember that “effect” is a noun and “affect” is a verb. (“This is the effect that earthworms had on the growing conditions in Pot #1…” versus “The growing conditions in Pot #1 were affected by the presence of earthworms.”)

 3. Forgo Fancy Fonts

Go easy on the judges’ eyes by using crisp, clean fonts that are simple to read.

 4. Center the Title

Keep the title in the center panel of your science fair board; a title that wraps around to the left or right sides can distract readers.

 5. Get Out the Glue

Using glue on your board helps create a clean and professional appearance. If you need to use tape for models you are designing, use it sparingly.

 6. Think Before You Glue

Before gluing down the various text boxes and graphics for your board, try out different configurations to see which looks best. Put the most eye-catching, important material in the center panel.

 7. Create a Picture-Perfect Project

A picture’s worth a thousand words—and may help the judges look favorably upon your project. Add photos to your board to tell a visual story about your experiment.

 8. Select a Simple Background

Make sure that the judges’ eyes are drawn to the pictures and info on your board rather than on distracting decorations.

 9. Balance Your Board

Distribute pieces evenly throughout your project board. You may need to enlarge pictures or add pieces to avoid giant areas of white space. (Too much white space might make your presentation seem incomplete.)

 10. Create Tasteful Borders

Highlight the pieces in your project by placing colored construction paper behind the cut outs. Keep borders thin.

 11. Choose Complementing Colors

Create a sense of unity by selecting just one or two colors to use throughout your board.

 12. Type Out Your Text

Give your project the professional edge it needs to win. Type out every part of your project, from the title to the descriptions. It’s okay to include hand-drawn sketches, but make sure to use a computer program to create graphs and charts.

 13. Get It Straight!

Use a ruler to make sure that your pieces are glued on straight. If you plan to glue the pieces at different angles, make sure the design looks intentional and consistent.

 14. Create Catchy Titles

Keep titles short, sweet and clever! For example, “A Phosphate Worse Than Death” borrows from the expression, “A fate worse than death.” Sometimes statements and questions are the best science fair project titles.

 15. Think Outside the Box

A winning science project doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can choose a new topic or put a new spin to an existing topic.

16. Keep the Science in the Project

Your ability to reason scientifically, use the scientific method and integrate scientific concepts all count towards creating a successful science project. Whether you build a model or perform an experiment, your project must show results. Plan ahead and design an experiment that you’ll have time to complete.

Good luck and have fun!