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This table describes how to format your research paper using either the MLA or APA guidelines. Be sure to follow any additional instructions that your teacher provides. MLA Guidelines APA Guidelines Paper Standard size (8.5 x 11" in the U.S.) Page Margins 1" on all sides (top, bottom, left, right) 1" on all sides (top, bottom, left, right) Font 12-pt. easily readable (e.g., Times… Read more
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Results According to my experiments, the Energizer maintained its voltage (dependent variable) for approximately a 3% longer period of time (independent variable) than Duracell in a low current drain device. For a medium drain device, the Energizer maintained its voltage for approximately 10% longer than Duracell. For a high drain device, the Energizer maintained its voltage for approximately 29% longer than Duracell. Basically, the Energizer performs with increasing superiority, the higher… Read more
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In order to have confidence that your survey results are representative, it is critically important that you have a large number of randomly-selected participants in each group you survey. So what exactly is "a large number?" For a 95% confidence level (which means that there is only a 5% chance of your sample results differing from the true population average), a good estimate of the margin of error (or confidence interval) is given by 1/√N, where N is the number of participants or… Read more
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Overview: What is soldering and when should you use it? Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and then flowing a filler metal into the joint—the filler metal having a relatively low melting point. Soldering is used to form a permanent connection between electronic components. The metal to be soldered is heated with a soldering iron and then solder is melted into the connection. Only the solder melts, not the parts that are being… Read more
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To capture enough data on the overall health of your plants, we recommend that you record at least one final weight measure, one measure of root health, and all of the observation measurements that pertain to the type of plant you are using. Weighing Plants: Fresh vs. Dry Weight Measuring Fresh Weight: While you can technically measure the fresh weight of plants without harming them, the simple act of removing a plant from its growing "medium" can cause trauma and affect the… Read more
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Overview Now that you have come up with a hypothesis, you need to develop an experimental procedure for testing whether it is true or false. The first step of designing your experimental procedure involves planning how you will change your independent variable and how you will measure the impact that this change has on the dependent variable. To guarantee a fair test when you are conducting your experiment, you need to make sure that the only thing you change is the independent variable. And,… Read more
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An abstract is an abbreviated version of your science fair project final report. For most science fairs it is limited to a maximum of 250 words (check the rules for your competition). The science fair project abstract appears at the beginning of the report as well as on your display board. Almost all scientists and engineers agree that an abstract should have the following five pieces: Introduction. This is where you describe the purpose for doing your science fair project or invention.… Read more
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Finding an Idea for Your Engineering Project You know that you want to do an engineering design project, but how do you come up with an idea or find a problem to solve? How do you uncover a new problem that no one has tried to solve yet? Or how do you pick and choose, from all of the products, systems, and environments already out there, one that you might want to improve? This process of uncovering a problem, or identifying the need for change or improvement to an existing solution, is… Read more
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Why the Need for Background Research? So that you can design an experiment, you need to research what techniques and equipment might be best for investigating your topic. Rather than starting from scratch, savvy investigators want to use their library and Internet research to help them find the best way to do things. You want to learn from the experience of others rather than blunder around and repeat their mistakes. A scientist named Mike Kalish put it humorously like this: "A year in the lab… Read more
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The key to obtaining good data through a survey is to develop a good survey questionnaire. Whether you are conducting interviews or mailing out surveys, you will need to know how to design a good survey questionnaire. What is a survey questionnaire? Survey questionnaires present a set of questions to a subject who with his/her responses will provide data to a researcher. On the surface, it seems a fairly simple task to write up a set of questions to collect information, but there are many… Read more
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Free science fair projects.