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High School Science Fair  

Last Updated: Oct 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Welcome to the LibGuide for the Charles County High School Science Fair! If you have any questions about due dates, project selection or how to fill out the forms, please see your science teacher as soon as possible!

Each student enrolled in Honors Level Earth and Space Science is required to complete a science fair project that includes submission of forms, various rough drafts, and a final report of a controlled experiment.  In addition, for each experiment the student will create a display (PowerPoint presentation) of their work, a composition data book and a research paper.  

Students enrolled in Honors Biology, Chemistry or Physics may also opt to complete a Science Fair as an Optional Enrichment project. Participating students need to begin their projects within the allotted timelines provided by the teacher. Credit is awarded based on the quality of tasks submitted by the specific due date for each task.  All project due dates will align with the due dates for students who have a Science Fair project as a requirement.  This optional enrichment project will include assignments for each quarter and will count for 10% of the student grade for the 3rd Quarter only.

**Outstanding projects from each school will be chosen to advance to the Charles County Science Fair. These students will produce a Backboard to enter into the Charles County Science Fair and may need to make adjustments to their Data Book and/or Research Paper for their entry.**

To get the best grades on the forms listed on the timeline, rough drafts and final project, students must follow all directions and complete work by the due dates given

All projects must be preapproved and must follow the scientific method.  They must contain original data and/or original data analysis involving quantitative data (data that is numerical).  Data must be observed and recorded by the student.  Presentations must include some proof that the project was actually done by the student.  This could be a demonstration of a technique used, display of experiment or pictures of the experiment.  If pictures are used, please be sure to keep the students' faces out of the pictures for judging purposes.



Grade Distribution

Your Science Fair project will be made up of the following components. The components listed below will contribute towards the Science Fair grade:

Quarter 1

Quarter 2

Quarter 3

Quarter 4


Protocol Forms

ALL Science Fair Projects require the following forms:

  • Checklist for Adult Sponsor Form 1
  • Student Checklist AND Research Plan Form 1A
    • you MUST do the Research Plan (either print neatly or type)
  • Approval Form 1B

If your project is completed anywhere other than at home - for example: at school or in a regulated location (in a Vet's Office, Research Laboratory, etc...) fill out:

  • Regulated Research Institutional/Industrial Setting Form 1C

Any Science Fair Projects that involve vertebrate animalshuman subjectspotentially hazardous biological agents or hazardous chemicals, activities or devices MUST fill out additional protocol forms. Each type of project requires specific forms. See below:

  • Vertebrate Animals
    • Vertebrate Animals Form 5A (performed at home or school) or Vertebrate Animals Form 5B (performed at a Regulated Research Location)
    • Qualified Scientist Form 2 - filled out by a verterinarian
  • Humans (even surveys!)
    • Human Participants Form 4
    • Sample of Informed Consent Form
    • Qualified Scientist Form 2 - filled out by school psychologist
  • Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents (microorganisms, rDNA, tissues, etc..)
    • Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents Risk Form 6A OR Human and Vertebrate Tissue Form 6B
    • Qualified Scientist Form 2 - by a scientist or a qualified science teacher (must have a Bachelor's Degree)
  • Hazardous Chemicals, Activities or Devices
    • Risk Assessment Form 3
    • Qualified Scientist Form 2 - ONLY for DEA-controlled substances

If you need help with these forms, please see your science teacher AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!


Charles County High School Science Fair Handbook


Science Fair Data Book Requirements

The purpose of the Data Book is used to record progress on your project. If your journal is maintained properly, your final report will be fairly easy to prepare. The journal is required to be turned in with your PowerPoint Presentation and Research Paper! Your Data Book will include the following:

Science Fair Data Book Sections

Tab Color

Page #

Science Fair Checklist & Dates


Inside Cover

Table of Contents


Front Page

Data Book Check Rubrics



1. Topic Selection Worksheet



2. Reference Records and Resource Summary



3. Experimental Design Worksheet #1



4. Experimental Design Worksheet #2



5.Experimental Setup (Photos/Drawings/Receipts)



6.Data Collection



7. Data Analysis (Graphs & Tables) and Conclusion



8. Abstract



9. Scientific Research Paper



10. PowerPoint Slides in Handout Format (File→ Print→Settings→Choose 4 Slides Horizontal)



11. Self-Assessment




Formatting References

If you utilize the county provided databases or the new Universal Search feature in Destiny, citations are available in APA format. If you create a Resource List through Destiny, your citations will be in MLA format. Each student will need to re-format their references in APA format. This is a very easy process if you use a citation building website. Here are some great examples that you can use: - make sure you click on the tab for APA format - this website will allow you to format in MLA or APA format. Be sure you choose APA format!

If you need help with your citations, you should see your science teacher or your school's Media Specialist.


Judging Criteria

Science Fair Criteria for Grading & Judging:

Scientific Thought:  Illustration of application of scientific principles and methods, organization of project, record of accurate observations, understanding of synthesis of scientific information.

Creative Ability:  Originality of approach, ingenious uses of materials, purposefulness. 

Thoroughness and Clarity:  Relating of a complete story with appropriate labeling, descriptions, and sequence of thought to guide visitors.  Evidence of consistent and continuous effort.

Skill and Neatness:  Workmanship in handling of material, neatness in arranging of parts or mounting of specimens.  Overall attractiveness of exhibit.


PowerPoint Requirements

All PowerPoint presentations for Science Fair must include the following slides:

1.     Title

2.     Abstract

3.     Question/Problem & Hypothesis

4.     Materials & Procedure

7.     Results (this includes: data tables, graphs, charts and/or pictures)

8.     Conclusion

9.     References (minimum of 5 references in APA - NOT MLA format)



Writing a scientific research paper is similar to writing one for English, but there are some differences. There are some example research papers in the Science Fair Handouts and Files section of this website. Pay close attention to the FONT SIZE, SPACING and MARGINS. Also, notice that there are NO PERSONAL PRONOUNS in a Scientific Research Paper. Your paper will need the following sections:

1. Title Page

2. Table of Contents & Abstract

4. Introduction

5. Materials and Methods

6. Results

7. Discussion

8. Conclusion

9. Acknowledgments

10. References (At least 5 in APA Format)


    Science Fair Self Assessment

    Each student completing a Science Fair Project is required to complete a self-assessment in their data book. This self-assessment may either be hand-written or typed and glued into the Science Fair data book.


    Turning In Your Assignments

    Your Science Fair PowerPoint presentation, Science Fair Research Paper Rough Draft and Science Fair Research Paper Final Draft will be submitted through

    Basic information for the use of this website can be found below. Student Training


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