Getting Project Ideas, Writing Testable Questions,Hypothesis and Expanding on another person's idea.
Forming Testable Questions, Hypotheses or Engineering Problem Statements:
Testable Question is: One that can be answered through scientific experimentation.
Here is a brief tutorial at this link or type into your browser - https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/science-fair-project-question
A testable question can be answered with engineering approach that will solve a problem.
Here is a brief tutorial at this link or type into your browser - https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/engineering-design-process/engineering-design-problem-statement
Expanding upon another person's idea - Look below for some solid suggestions:
This is what scientists do all of the time...they collaborate to move science forward so we can have better medicines, diagnostics etc...
Below this example of expanding on another person's idea you'll find some links to projects done by others - All have been WINNERS!
- Let's say you see a project idea from one of the internet sites where a student previously investigated getting oil from a cactus plant and determining if it could be turned into a green alternative and useable fuel. Then what?
- You change it up a bit by thinking of a different test subject or a different way to do what others have done. In this example we thought of a different, maybe more abundant plant, such as an invasive weed, (choose one that is NOT poisonous) from which you could extract oil and investigate its use as a green alternative and useable fuel. We chose to use the same method as the student.
- You turn it into a testable question such as Is dandelion leaf oil functional as a green alternative and useable fuel?
- Next do an internet search using the question to see if you can find the exact answer to the question. We often tell students to just “Google it”. If you CAN’T find the exact answer…GREAT you have a unique opportunity for research. If you can find the answer then continue thinking of how this idea can be changed and then go through the process again. By the way we googled it and did NOTget any hits at all - so it IS unique and has not been done.
Links to other successful project ideas...These are NOT to be repeated!!! They are to give you some ideas... Take a look for some ideas.
- This site has abstracts from winning projects from all over the state of California. - Pick a year and then click on "Projects organized by category". Browse the categories & open what interests you. Look through the project titles that are "hot linked". Read the abstract it may spark some idea for a new investigation that is your own. Whatever idea you come up with - be sure to Google it to be sure it is unique. California State Science Fair
- This site has entire science project summaries including entire write ups by students. Pick an award level, grade level and category to browse. Click "view project". Whatever idea you come up with - be sure to Google it to be sure it is unique. Canada virtual Science Fair
- This site takes you to the topic selection wizard at the Science Buddies site.
Browse around - be sure to select the difficulty level of advanced regardless of your grade level. When the ideas come up - click to open each - look at the menu bar on top to view the components of the project. Pay most attention to "make it your own". Look the suggestions over and think of additional ways to change the project then google the idea you come up with. WARNING - students all over the world are looking at these projects...so use them as a jumping off point to build your own unique idea. Science Buddies Browse topics or use the Topic Selection Wizard
- This site is geared more toward middle school: Numerous project ideas by category that can be modified to become unique and new. Click on a topic. When the projects come up look at the menu bar above and sort by difficulty - and then BROWSE looking for ideas that are middle school or higher & remember to try to give each a new twist - turn into a testable question and google it. Science Fair Projects
- Geard toward High school but suitable for middle school students that want to think of more challenging project ideas to expand upon. These are the best of the best project abstracts from science fair winners from all over the globe! Whatever idea changes you come up with - be sure to turn it into a testable question and Google it to be sure it is unique. Intel ISEF project Abstracts (2003-present)