"How To" Guide & Ideas




The workshops are over for this year,  but click here  to see the Workshop presentation.  (Use Options to open speaker notes)

You Can Do a Science Fair Project! 

Printable At-Home Guide for Beginners

There are also a lot of websites with really good, detailed instructions about how to do a science fair project. Links to our favorites are given at the bottom of this page. You may follow any of these guides or your teacher's instructions when preparing your project for the GATEway Science Fair. 

Here are the general steps for preparing a science fair project:  

1. Pick an experiment that interests you. Examples:
  • Does age affect memory?
  • Does a glow stick last longer if it’s cold?
  • What lubricant works best on a Pinewood Derby car?
  • Are two lemons better than one when making a lemon battery?
  • Does temperature affect how fast borax crystals grow?
  • Does soaking popcorn kernels in water make them pop bigger?
  • Do people remember pictures or words better?
  • What method is best for turning a nail into a strong magnet?
  • Does talking on a cell phone affect reaction time in the “ruler drop” reaction time test? 
  • Does ice melt faster on a windy day?
  • Does storing helium balloons in a black plastic garbage bag make them last longer?
  • Do flippers make people swim faster?
  • What sum comes up the most often when rolling two dice? 
  • Does forcing paperwhite flower bulbs in salt water stunt their growth?
  • How do household acids and bases affect the color of red cabbage juice?
  • Is it true that there are sounds that only young people can hear? How does age affect a person’s ability to hear tones in the 8 khz to 18 khz range?
  • Does temperature affect seed germination?

2. Predict what will happen. This is your hypothesis.

3. Do the experiment and record the results.

4. Prepare a display board for your experiment.

5. Explain your display board to reviewers and others at the fair.


Purpose: Describe the question or problem you are trying to answer.

Hypothesis: Tell what you think will happen.

Procedure: Give a list of your materials and the step by step procedure you used.

Project Title
Your Name, School & Grade


Data Tables & Graphs


Results: Describe what happened.

Conclusions: Tell why you think you got the results you got. Tell whether or not your hypothesis was right.



List of books, websites, or experts you used.

Possible Project Board Layout


This is just a suggestion for your project board layout. You can put things in different places, but it is best to label your sections (Purpose, Hypothesis, Procedure, Results, and Conclusions). If you are doing your project for school, follow the format your teacher gives instead. If you used resources (internet, books, or experts) to learn about the science of your project, add a Resources section to your board to list them.

You can buy a tri-fold display board at an office store, hobby store, discount store, or make your own.  For the Science Fair, the display board must be freestanding and fit into an area 3 feet wide by 1.5 feet deep.  Make your display fun to see - with color and pictures. The most important thing is that your presentation is well organized and is easy to read! 















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