How to Choose a Science Fair Topic
Competing in a science fair can be one of the most rewarding experiences in one’s educational career. It is intellectually engaging, while at same time it promotes familiarity in creating and presenting projects that will be useful in one’s future. Additionally, competing in a science fair is a fun and exciting way to exercise a one’s abilities. Of course, the first hurdle in creating a science fair project selecting a topic. Selecting a science fair project can be half the fun, but also half the trouble.
First, when deciding on an appropriate topic you will need to consider your strong suits. Choosing a topic in an area where understanding comes naturally to you will make the project less daunting and the prospect for success greater. Many students choose topics in areas that they are not familiar with and find later that they are in over their head. Selecting a focus in a familiar area will not guarantee the project will be a breeze, but it will minimize excessive research and preparation.
Secondly, you should choose a project tailored to what you wish to achieve. If it is your goal to win a prize or continue onto higher level competitions, there are some issues you may want to keep in mind. One of the most overlooked factors in choosing a science fair topic is the competitiveness within the different areas. Most often at the school, county and state level, prizes are awarded in each field. There will be separate prizes awarded to projects in botany, physics, chemistry, engineering, etc. Some fields tend to be more popular than others, meaning it will be more difficult to secure an award in those fields. For example, if one were to submit a topic in botany, he or she should bear in mind that botany is one of the most popular areas in the fair. The more people who submit a project in botany, the more competitive the area of botany will become. Generally, the divisions of physics and engineering tend to have fewer submissions and therefore make the chances of success larger. Areas like zoology and botany tend to have many submissions and are therefore more competitive.
A science fair topic should also reflect the means of the student. While ambition can take a project quite far, you would be well served to consider the price or accessibility of the materials required for a specific topic. An easy solution to this is simply to ask your science teacher what types of ingredients or tools may be too expensive or hard to obtain. Parents may also want to use discretion as to what materials are permissible and try to monitor the student’s selection as such.
Another great way to furnish a top-quality science fair topic is to ask your science teacher for a bit of guidance. The teacher will have been able to observe your progress and offer excellent suggestions personalized to your abilities and inclinations.
Still, the most important factor in selecting a science fair topic should be your own interests. A project in a certain area may seem like it has more potential for achievement, but if your passion is another field you will end up dissatisfied. It is important to remember that science fair projects can become very involved and can require a great deal of time and devotion. Choosing a topic that sparks your curiosity will increase not only the quality of your project, but also the enjoyment you receive.