researcher3 wrote:Dear Scientists,
For the 1c form for Intel and other science fairs, where your mentor writes about whether your study was part of a larger study, etc. Does it look bad if your study was part of their study, but that you completed all the experimentation by yourself? Do the judges judge you on whether the idea was your's to start with?
I wouldn't worry about working as part of a larger effort. That's very common in the sciences -- grad students, for example, almost always begin by acting as a research assistant for a faculty member before starting on their thesis research. Even after obtaining a PhD most researchers work as part of a collaboration for some of their work. What matters is independent thought applied to the research, critical thinking, competence, and hard work. For science fairs, the more advanced the research is, the more likely that it will require resources beyond those available to students working on their own. That said, as Amy noted it is important that the work you submit to the science fair still have the basics -- hypothesis, test, critical evaluation, and carefully considered conclusions. The judges will have no trouble picking out what you yourself have accomplished from the context within which it was performed.
Hope that helps. If you have particular points of concern, feel free to post again for more specific advice.