Before I give you some of my project ideas, let me tell you something. You can win a Science Fair with ANY project idea… when done correctly. Science Fair judges are looking for a few things…
1. Scientific thought: This is, after all, what Science Fair is about. Following the Scientific method. You had a question, you researched, formed a hypothesis, tested it, and can process and apply those findings.
2. Creativity: Yup. Creative thought. This mostly applies to the way in which you tested your hypothesis. I once judged a fair where the winning project was testing the durability of nail polish brands. Nail. Polish. The young lady built a Kinex machine to apply the nail polish evenly in order to control the application process. Genius. She took the whole fair.
3. Timeliness/ Application/ Uses: We use the Scientific Method to better the lives of humans, animals, the environment, and society. Having a project that accomplishes this task makes it SO much more applicable and important. I once sponsored a young lady, who, during the infestation of the invasive Spotted Lantern Fly, built a trap that working a million times better than that sticky paper that scientists were urging people to wrap around their trees.
4. Grit. I once read a study that had determined the #1 predictor of a child’s success in life was not race, gender, socioeconomic status, marital status of the parents, parental income… the #1 predictor of success is grit. It’s also a predictor of who will win Science Fair. What is grit? It’s working hard – doing the hard things. And when it doesn’t work out – you try again. Judges look for this. Did you repeat the experiment? Re-design half-way through because it wasn’t working? My young Science Fair lady who built the Spotted Lantern Fly trap, prior to experimenting, researched other types of insect traps that went on trees to test her design against. She had grit. She placed 2nd in the country. The COUNTRY.
So, you came here for a project idea. That’s a great place to start, and it IS important. Pick something that lights a fire inside of you. Something that you WANT to learn and know about. Take a project idea and twist it. Be creative. Be original. Keep an open mind.
**Disclaimer: These are Middle School project ideas.
During which Moon phase are women most likely to go into labor?
Can ocean waves be used to generate electricity?
How does weight distribution effect flight time of a paper airplane?
How does birth order effect personality?
Do people choose a spouse based on their opposite gender parent?
Are there more bacteria on the restaurant menu, toilet seat, or lemon in your water?
Which fruit attracts the most fruit flies?
How does blade pitch effect electricity generated by a wind turbine?
How does flour type effect the density of a muffin?
How do varying amounts of hydrogen peroxide effect hair color?
How does music effect your heart rate?
What’s the best method of removing sticker residue from children’s clothing?
Can germination time be reduced by microwaving seeds?
How does cell phone radiation effect ant productivity?
Can soil be used to generate electricity?
Can silver nanoparticles be used to kill bacteria?
Which monopoly properties are most valuable? (This is a computer programming project).
Ultimately, it’s not the project topic that wins, it’s YOU. YOU make the difference. You didn’t like one of these ideas? Pay attention to news headlines. Find a problem and solve it.
If you’re a teacher, you can check out my Science Fair Guide HERE.
If you want to know how much parents should help, read THIS.
Best of luck on your Science Fair.