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How to Create a Science Fair Display

A science fair display is the perfect way to show others, including family and teachers, what someone has learned from a science project. A good display catches the eye, is neat and follows the scientific process. Creating a display board requires numerous steps; the steps and tips found here are great places to begin.

Who Needs to Make a Science Fair Display?

Science fair displays are seen in many types of educational settings. Almost every person in elementary school, junior high and high school will need to create several of these displays before graduating. Even college and post-graduate students create highly detailed boards describing theories that they have made and experiments that they have completed. Of course, display boards will become more elaborate the further along in education one gets. However, they are required projects for many science, biology, chemistry and physics classes.

How to Choose a Topic and Experiment

The very first step is to choose a topic to study. A good science fair topic should be a theory that the individual can test with materials that he or she has or can easily acquire. However, it is good to note that an interesting topic is not what usually makes the best science fair display. Rather, it is the level of work done on the display board itself. Most importantly, the student should have an interest in what he is studying; otherwise, he or she will not care to put in the necessary time on the project. In addition, a science fair experiment should always contain a control group because nothing can be definitely proven without one.

What Supplies Are Needed?

Next, students should gather the supplies that they will need to make the display. First, the student will need a sturdy board. The best choice is a tri-fold board with a foam core or a tri-fold corrugated board. These boards are lightweight but have adequate space. When opened, the board should measure approximately 36 inches high by 48 inches wide. Wooden boards can also be used. However, they are heavier to carry and more difficult to make than foam-core boards are.

The student will also need to have access to a computer and a printer to create the written work for the board. A color printer is best for printing out pictures and diagrams. He or she will also need a scissors, ruler and glue or double-sided tape. A paper cutter may be used in place of a ruler and scissors. Students will want to decorate their boards to make them pleasing to the eye. This can be done with a variety of supplies. Some options include stickers, construction paper, markers, borders and even paint.

What to Include on the Board

First, the student should create a title to display on the board. The title should be creative and should catch the interest of those walking past. However, one should make sure that the title accurately portrays the subject matter of the science project in the fewest words possible.

Second, every part of the science project should be displayed on the board. It is easy to do this by looking at the science paper that goes along with the board. For example, there should be an introduction to the project, which states what the person wanted to study and prove. There will also be an abstract. It will state in approximately 200 words what the project studied and the general conclusions that were reached. Next, the student should include the hypothesis or the question that he or she wished to study. There should be a list of materials that were used for experimentation as well as a description of how the experiment was conducted. The student should list the results of each experiment and the conclusion to which he or she came after the experiment was completed. Finally, there should be a list of references that the student consulted regarding the topic.

How to Design the Board

Science fair displays should be designed in a way that makes them easy to understand by any observer. The materials should be presented in a logical manner with information presented from left to right and from top to bottom on the board. For example, the introduction should be at the top left and the conclusion should be on the bottom right. The title should be displayed in the largest font and at the top middle of the board. In addition, each section should have its own title, which should be slightly smaller than the main title. Under the subtitles, there should be a printout for each section of the paper.

It is vital to make the display look interesting by using color, pictures and graphs. The best pictures are those taken of one’s own experimentation. A colorful board catches the eye and makes viewers want to look more in depth at it.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Of course, one of the most important parts of a science fair display is it neatness and orderliness. There are several ways to accomplish this goal. First, the student should type out the titles and information rather than write it by hand. He or she should also consider using a laser printer rather than an inkjet printer because regular ink will run if it gets wet. Second, papers and pictures should be cut out neatly using a ruler and a scissors and should be hung perfectly straight on the board. The student should consider using a paper cutter for precision.

Creating a science fair display board is a lengthy process that requires a great deal of thought and attention to detail. However, it can also be a fun process that helps children and even adults to learn more about an area of interest and to test and display interesting theories that they have had. These steps and tips will help anyone to create an orderly and winning board for the next science fair.

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