Welcome to Science Buddies! I think you are doing this really great project from the Science Buddies website:http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p044.shtml
This is great that you are getting crystals; the most common problem with this project is that no crystals form, however, I can imagine that the melting water from the ice sheet is interfering with obtaining results.
1. Your idea to use parchment paper and aluminum foil was great to try to solve the water dilution problem, I recommend that you use a solid cold surface as a heat sink to do the experiment. Depending on what you have available you could try:
1. Freezing a granite or marble cutting board.
2. Freeze a brick and metal baking sheet
3. Freeze a solid metal object like an block of aluminum
4. Place a metal baking sheet on top of dry ice
5. Maybe a frozen cast iron skillet would work.
6. Ask your daughter to think of something else dry and solid that would stay cold for a while after it is frozen.
One of these options should solve the problem. Please let us what you decide to try and what happens.
2. Theoretically, the crystals that form slowly as the hot sauce pan cools will be larger than the crystals that form quickly on a cold surface. However, results are empirical, depending on your experimental protocol. So you should report the results as you have observed them.
3. The results can be presented in a table and could be based on crystal size (measured in centimeters) or time. Since this is a science project, it’s important to report a measurable result. However, you have had technical difficulties in conducting the experiment, so I would recommend estimating the time for the sauce pan and including the measured time for the cold samples. If you have the time and energy, you could do one more sauce pan experiment and try to measure the actual time.
If you have taken photographs of the crystals, this would be a good addition to the results section of the board.
Your daughter can include the details of the difficulties encountered in doing this project in the discussion section, and write about her observations and how she solved the problems. The discussion should also include the limitations of the data (it was necessary to estimate some times), and some suggestions of what she would do differently if she were to do the experiment again. Science fair judges always appreciate a good discussion section.
I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any other questions.