Poster Board Presentation

When used:

This form of communication is very common at conventions and meetings of various science societies such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), National Academy of Science (NAS), and the American Chemical Society (ACS).  Each year members of these societies converge in some city where scientists share their research findings either by giving an oral presentation or a poster board presentation.  A poster board presentation is less formal and has the advantage of being able to discuss your work with others as they walk past your poster.  The presenter of the poster generally stands next to his poster to talk with people about their poster.

Materials Needed:

  • Poster Board. 
    • This can be bought from Staples, Meijer, a craft store or an office supply store.  It can be any color and does not have to be white.  Some poster boards have folds in them and can stand on their own.  Typically they are 36 to 48 inches wide and/or long.
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Standard 8.5 x 11" copier paper

Poster Board Examples and Acceptible Styles:


Fig. 1.  Fold out style.  This style can either stand up on it's own on a table or it can be pinned to a wall as well.  This style has the project title in the top center.  On the left panel is the Abstract (or summary) page and below it is the Methods (or Procedure) page.  Underneath the title in the center goes the Data Tables & Figures, including any pictures.  On the right panel generally goes a Results Page and underneath that a Conclusions page.


Fig. 2.  Flat poster style.  The separate sections are clearly shown here.  This style of poster board usually is pinned to a wall as it cannot stand up on its own.

Sections of a Poster Board in Figure 1 Explained:


  • The abstract is a summary.  In the sciences, we always summarize our experiment first for people to get an overview of what was done, why it was done, how it was done and what were our conclusions.  So it is usually a minimum of four sentences making up a single paragraph. 
    • The first sentence explains what the experiment is about and why you tested what you did. 
    • The second sentence explains how you did the experiment. 
    • The third sentence describes the results found. 
    • The fourth sentence summarizes your conclusions.
  • Methods explains how the experiment was carried out and answers the following questions:
    • What was the test group?
    • What was the control group?
    • How were these two groups treated?
    • What was the independent variable?
    • What was the dependent variable?

Data Tables & Figures

  • Present your results in picture form, u sing a table or a graph.  Remember to only show your averaged results!  Repeat:  Do not show the results of each experiment unless you only did one experiment.  Show the results of several experiments by averaging your results together.  The idea is to make your results as simple and easy to read as possible; not to show people how much work you have done!
  • The results page is usually the shortest of the written sections.  It merely restates in words what the tables or graphs are showing.  So it is important that your words do support what you show.  If not, observers will conclude that you don't know what you are doing!  You can word your results such that its the same information, but just in a different form.  For example, if the graph or table shows that on average, high school junior boys are 5'11" tall and girls are 5'8" tall, you don't have to repeat the exact height.  Instead you could say that the results showed that on average, girls are shorter than boys by 4%.


  • The conclusions page simply states two things:
    • Was the change in the dependent variable due to the changes made to the independent variable?
      • If so, then state what that correlation is; is it a direct correlation or an indirect correlation
      • If not, then state that the changes in the dependent variable were due to chance and not the independent variable.
    • How well did your results support your original hypothesis?
      • If the data supported the hypothesis completely, then state that the data supported the hypothesis with no need to revise.
      • If the data only somewhat supported the hypothesis, then state that while the data did not refute the hypothesis, there is a need to revise the hypothesis.
      • If the data did not support the hypothesis at all, then state that the data did not support the hypothesis and then if you have another hypothesis that agrees with your data and all data up to this point, then state what your new hypothesis is.

Sections of a Poster Board in Figure 2 Explained:

Testable Question

  • This is a single question that is worded in a way that demonstrates it is a testable question.  Examples are given below:
    • Not testable: Why does the sun appear orange or red when it is rising and when it is setting?
    • Testable: Does the atmosphere bend light from the sun causing it to appear orange or red?


  • This is a single statement that is a rewording of the testable question. Examples are given below:
    • The atmosphere bends light from the sun causing it to appear orange or red.

Materials Used

  • This is just a list of materials used in your experiment.


  • This is the same as the Methods Section in Figure 1 above.  See that section for details.


  • This is the same as the Data Tables & Figures section in Figure 1 above.  See that section for details.

Data Analysis

  • This is the same as the Results section in Figure 1 above. See that section for details.


  • This is the same as the Conclusions section in Figure 1 above. See that section for details.

A sample Poster Board is presented below:


Text Box

Pedigree Analysis of Eye Color in the Smith Family
Sally Smith
Calvary Schools of Holland


It is known that brown eyes are dominant to blue eyes.  Since my eyes are brown, it is not known if my genotype is homozygous dominant (BB) or heterozygous (Bb).  By talking with my immediate family members and calling my relatives, data on eye color in the family was collected.  Based on the constructed family pedigree, it was determined that my genotype for brown eyes is heterozygous. 

Data Tables/Graphs

  B b
 B BB Bb
 B BB Bb


Based on the family pedigree, Punnett Squares were constructed of known genotypes.  Based on these Punnett Squares, it was determined that my genotype was heterozygous (Bb) for eye color.



Immediate family members were questioned about their eye color.  Parents contributed their own information.  Grandparents from the father's side of the family were called.  The eye color for the deceased grandparents from the mother's side of the family were obtained from pictures and from the mother's recall.


The results agreed with my hypothesis that my eye color genotype was heterozygous.  Though there was no initial reason to suspect this, that was the hypothesis.  Pedigree analysis is a useful method for determining genotypes of certain traits.