For those of you who have been asked to interview an expert as part of your science fair project, please remember and abide by the following:(1) The posting of your personal contact information, such as email addresses, phone numbers, instant messaging IDs, etc. is prohibited
to protect your safety and privacy.(2) Please do not ask the Experts for their contact information.
All communication at Ask an Expert takes place within the Forums in order to protect the safety and privacy of those who use the Forums. That means that if you ask questions, the Expert(s) will respond to them here in the Forums.(3) Post your interview questions AT LEAST 3 DAYS BEFORE your due date (earlier is even better!), otherwise it is unlikely you will get answers in time.
While we have a diverse group of Experts who volunteer in the Forums, most of them check the Forums once a week, and we do not have an Expert in every single possible area of science. For this reason, if you do not receive a response to your questions within 48 hours, please make alternative arrangements/seek out an expert elsewhere.(4) Please do NOT post background research questions about your project.
Examples of background research questions are: "What ingredients are in bread?" "What is DNA and how does it replicate?" "Why do plants need the sun to survive?" "How does an electric motor work?" It is the student's job to try and answer such questions by doing their own research. Interview questions should be about the expert being interviewed, NOT questions you want to have answered about your project. Examples of good and relevant interview questions are: "How long have you worked in this field?" "Why did you become a scientist?" "What do you like most about being a biologist?" "I think my project is useful and important because [discuss why you think it is useful]. Do you agree?"
If you are having trouble finding a resource to answer a background research question, or you don't understand a particular concept, it is fine to ask a more specific question AFTER doing your best to figure it out on your own. However, such questions still do not make good interview questions. Please ask those questions in a different post under the same topic.(5) You will have the most success if you make your questions relatively general (i.e. instead of asking specific questions about chocolate, ask about working in chemistry or physics).
Questions that are too specific will potentially go unanswered unless the Expert happens to work with exactly the topic mentioned. Your interview questions might ask about working in a certain field (physics, chemistry, etc.), or how the Expert became interested in science, etc.
Please give your teacher this information if his or her instructions for interview questions differ from these guidelines.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Science Buddies Staff