Science Fair Journal
A strong project shows a long period of time involved in collecting data, reflection, & thought. If your journal is clean without errors and different colors ... it is NOT a journal but a copy of your PJ.
Information that should be in your journal:
All ideas you have on creating your question including conversations
Any email conversations should be written in the journal-a synopsis of important emails with contact listed
Main ideas on conversations should be included not every word
Every research source and main ideas gathered ... you do not have to have a full bibliography but the name of the source should be listed above info
When you collect data:
All data should be written in rough draft data tables
If you collect in the field (outdoors) include info about the day-how hot, clouds, sun, time of day, etc.
Make comments next to data if it looks odd or expected ... little notes help later when you are in a different mind set
This is the purpose of a journal - to show thoughts and you analyzing your data.
Your first reflections should be in your journal, not on a computer
Give yourself room on a page for writing
Simplest 2 options: bottom 1/3 of page is blank for reflection or back of previous page can be used for reflection
Journal should not be a copy of your project but your original reflections and thoughts on data
Make a sketch (yes draw!) of what you think your graphs will look like with comments on trends or patterns you see
Never erase ideas, data, or reflections ... cross them off with a slash or X
You want to be able to read the errors
The error might not be errors so you want to be able to see them
Showing your errors will allows for stronger reflections when you review your journal
M. Curie's journal is still radioactive today ... but you can see her thoughts on the left drawn in for connections.
Darwin's journal shows thoughts on the right after he drew his idea ... his reflections.
Sir Isaac Newton's notebook shows the connections in drawings with reflection.
The ultimate journal of connections ... here you see Demtri Mendeleev making ideas but realizing they are incorrect.