Extendend Experimental Investigations
How to Pick Your Project
Deciding on an idea
This may take some time and thought as you have to come up with an idea that is workable, and if possible original. It is often one of the most difficult things about doing a science project. When you think you might have a good idea go to the library or Internet and learn everything you can on the topic. Talk to professionals in the field, write or email companies for specific information, and obtain or construct needed equipment. Sometimes the most interesting projects come from things that you like to do in your spare time or maybe some course you did over the summer holidays. Think of your hobbies, sports, clubs, chores at home, etc. Is there some aspect of these that you could measure and test?
- Talk to parents, teachers, and friends
- Check out the Internet and the school library
- Watch the news, check out a newspaper, a science book or magazine
- Think about interesting topics in science or investigate a hobby
- Get a large sheet of paper and brainstorm with the team
- Make a shortlist of ‘3 best ideas’
- Research and brainstorm further
- Discuss the ideas with teachers, parents and friends
- Check that all experiments are safe and that harmful chemicals are not needed
- Make out a list of all the things needed Is the idea workable?
- Can measurements be taken?
- Is there something that can be changed (independent variable)?
- Can all other variables be controlled?
- Is the equipment available?
- Could the project be completed in time?
- Is there enough information available?
- Is there a mentor, i.e., someone from a company, a hospital or a third level college who might be a source of information and/or resources?