"How To" Guide & Ideas




Learn how to do a science fair project at a free workshop! 

See  Workshops  page. 

You Can Do a Science Fair Project! 

Printable At-Home Guide for Beginners

There are lots of websites with ideas for projects as well as 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. Choose a topic that interests you.  Learn more about your topic.  Form a question that you can test.

  • 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. Write your hypothesis - a testable explanation to answer your question.

3. Do the experiment and record the results.

4. Prepare your project display board.

5. At the science fair, explain your display board to reviewers and others.  Sample Reviewing Sheet

Sample Project Display Board Layout


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

Hypothesis: Write a testable explanation to answer your question.

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

Project Title

Your Name, School & Grade



Tables, Graphs, Charts

Results/Analysis: Describe what happened.

Conclusions: Tell why you think you got the results you did. Tell whether or not your results supported your hypothesis.

Resources:  List of books, websites or experts you used.

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.

his is just a suggestion for your project board layout. You can put things in different places, but it is best to label your sections. If you are doing your project for school, follow the format your teacher gives instead. 

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!


Other Science Fair websites: