Divisions

scientific experiment uses the scientific method to answer a question or solve a problem. It involves formulating a hypothesis and analyzing data using the scientific method. Most fifth graders and older (and many in the lower grades) should be able to handle a scientific experiment. Students planning on entering their experiment at the state fair should select this category and follow ISEF guidelines.

 

An engineering invention/maker is the design of a new device, machine, tool or process–or the improvement of one that already exists–that performs a practical function including, but not limited to, tools that mend, make life easier or safer in some way, entertain or solve everyday problems. It involves formulating a hypothesis and analyzing data using the engineering design process. Students planning on entering their experiment at the state fair should select this category and follow ISEF guidelines.

 

collection/observation is another simple project for a lower grade student. In a collection, groups of objects such as shells or rocks are displayed in ways that allow easy comparisons.  A great project for grades K-4 or students new to the science fair.

 

demonstration or model shows how something works, either an object such as the heart or a scientific principle such as osmosis. It lacks a hypothesis and analysis and is easier for the lower grade student to accomplish.  A great project for grades K-4 or students new to the science fair.