5 steps to complete a science project


Every elementary school student will need to complete a hands-on science project as part of the curriculum. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about the scientific method as well as experience kinesthetic learning. Whether students will present the project directly to the teacher or an entire group of classmates, it’s important that they know how to go about completing such an endeavor.

First, let’s take a look at the scientific method as a refresher.

I-Formulate hypothesis
II-Test predictions
III-Collect data
IV-Accept/reject hypothesis
V-Further develop theories
VI-Make observations
VII-Ask questions

Next, students should determine their topic and start looking at the scope of work. Many students choose a topic that seems fun but then later find out that the research required is too in-depth or that there aren’t enough sources out there. Students who want to use nature as part of their project may also be limited by the time of year. As a result, students should choose their topic well in advance of the due date and have a couple of backup ideas just in case. Additionally, it’s important that students choose topics that interest them personally because they will be spending a lot of time conducting research throughout the assignment. Students who are interested in the work they’re doing are more likely to succeed and view science as a fun and important subject (READ: Irvine Math Tutor Tips: Four Math Apps for Young Students).

Third, students will need to start carrying out their research and collecting data. Many students will collect water or soil samples or conduct other outdoor data collecting as part of their field research. Students will also need to think about how much online or book research they need to do to work out the specific components of their individual projects. Data collection can take a long time, so it’s important that students leave themselves enough time in their schedule to get it done or collect alternate data if pertinent. Research is one of the most important elements of science assignments in general thus students are encouraged to ask for help from a classroom teacher, parent, or tutor if they’re struggling to find excellent research methods. Good research habits are learned over time and with ample practice.

Next, students may need to readjust their hypothesis based on their findings. Most students set out to prove their hypothesis but, many projects result in students disproving their original theory. If this is the case, students can create a new hypothesis and take their project a step further. It’s important for young scientists to note that disproving a hypothesis is just as important as proving one because it advances their particular area of science and helps them understand the scientific method. When using the scientific method, failures often lead to success and should be viewed as a positive thing. Additionally, students will benefit from looking at some famous scientists from years past and discovering that many successful research scientists disproved their own theories time and time again and readjusted their line of questioning before making a big discovery.

Finally, students will need to present their project in a clear and concise manner in which their classmates and teacher can understand. The findings should be displayed in a visually pleasing format and be clear enough that another student could repeat the project and get the same results. Being able to repeat a project is a major part of the scientific method and research science in general. Students who have the time and energy can add an excellent artistic element to their science project presentation and learn about the importance of visual communication skills in any particular field.

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