Do you like to research animals or plants? Or perhaps you enjoy using physical science to create things like guitars or inventions? Or maybe you are more of a biological and bacteria-based scientist?
If you can apply yourself to any of those, you are the perfect pick for the Iowa State Science Fair (or SSTFI).
The science fair is a great opportunity. It allows you to have a better understanding of your respective science type, allows for better work with partners (or by working with yourself), and allows for better resumes. As a result of participating in the state science fair, I now have five new accomplishments, including state and nationalist awards. This improves the appearance of my applications and resumes and makes the person reviewing them slightly more impressed!
Table of Contents:
What is the science fair?:
You might ask, "What is the science fair? What do I do and what will happen after finishing the work?"
The chronological list includes:
Researching and finding your topic
Finding the base level information on the topic and filling out the needed permission forms
Making a hypothesis around the question you are answering
Starting your research and experiments and writing them down in your trusty notebook
Finishing your research and beginning a conclusion and end result
Making a fun, creative poster and practicing a speech around each aspect of the process
Finally, you then present your project to judges, who are super nice and fun to talk with (it isn’t as scary as you believe!!)!
Why should you compete in the science fair?:
The science fair opens a lot of doors. After competing, I was invited to apply to a national-level competition for people who were in the Top 10%. I was then listed as one of the Top 300 in the country, and I'm currently awaiting word on whether I made the Top 30. In addition to being ranked among the top 300, I also took first place in the agriscience and Iowa State Fair categories. These successes look fantastic on a resume and in an application. Not only were my triumphs shown, but my effort, teamwork, communication, and literary talents were also demonstrated. You should enter the science fair since you might be the best applicant for your ideal job or college!
Stories from old science fair competitors or people connected to the fairs: *
Cael Mess, 9th Grade, How Tonal Properties Change When the Type of Wood in an Electric Guitar Differ:
I look forward to this year of science fair, along with all of the new people trying it out. I would like to say that science fair is an amazing experience. It taught me a lot about speaking skills, time management, and proper presenting skills. It was a lot of fun to go around Ames, and taking to the judges was amazing. One main bit of advice I have is to go to the meetings and stay on schedule.
Mr. Hunter, AG Teacher:
Hello, my name is Mr. Jacob Hunter. I help lead science fair with Mrs. Jennifer Sambdman and Ms. Courtney Wiedenman. I also teach agriculture classes and agricultural biology. I always saw people on TV participating in a science fair and I thought it would be cool, but my school didn't do anything. So, when I came to North Scott, I was excited to get started. I think the biggest thing I've learned since our first project in 2018 is that sometimes, you just have to try. It can be scary to try, but you can have fun along the way as you discover emerging areas of science. One of my favorite memories from last year's season was seeing the love and support that each student gave to each other. I am so proud of the teamwork all students exhibited throughout the whole year of work.
*Sorry there aren't many; no one answered my emails.
Science fair ideas for people who are interested!
Does music affect plant growth?
Does the color of our food and drinks make a psychological change if we are hungry?
Where are the most germs in your school?
Which kind of food do dogs (or any animal) prefer best?
And there are many more!
Websites with many more ideas since I can’t list them all:
Tips on how to win nationally!
Repeatedly, read aloud what you have written. On paper, things don't always sound as good as they do in your thoughts.
Make sure your project, explanations, and experiments don't contain any "wormholes" or "plot holes"!
Make all experiments consistent with no inconsistencies that break the chain of evidence from being true!
Take photos so you have evidence that it happened!
Practice the speech frequently and mention that you were consistent throughout.
Consider the questions the judges might have about a supposed flaw in your project and come up with responses to them (I always made sure to mention that we have a perfect system to keep it consistent and they loved it)!
Don't talk over them, don't play on your phone, don't dispute, and don't laze around with judges around you or judging you.
Finally, be confident and professional!!
Thanks for reading and good luck to all those who take that extra step and decide to attend a science fair!