Otero Junior College
Arkansas Valley Regional Science Fair

Start A Project

Appreciating the Sciences

All Projects will require Forms 1, Form1A, Form1B and a Research Plan which  must be written in the future tense (a plan of what you intend to do) with 5 references other than wikipedia.

The following type of projects require additional paperwork and must be approved by your local Internal Review Board (IRB) and by the AVRSF Scientific Review Committee BEFORE YOU MAY BEGIN WORKING ON YOUR PROJECT.  This approval can be obtained by contacting the new fair director or Dr. Joel Gray.  Your failure to gain this approval will result in failure to qualify for the fair; there will be no exceptions made for any reason.  

Projects that require IRB and SRC approval:

1) vertebrate animals,

2)  human subjects

(such projects usually require supervision by a DVM and MD respectively, in addition to new regulations for vertebrate animal projects that apply for this years' fair);

3) projects that require professional adult supervision, or work in a laboratory;

4) projects that require parent or sponsor supervision due to potential hazards on data collection/experimentation. THIS INCLUDES ANY STUDY INVOLVING THE GROWTH OF ANY KIND OF MOLD OR MICRO-ORGANISMS (These type of projects must be done in a lab they are PROHIBITED at home).


If you don't have an idea for a project and you want to tackle a science fair project, don't fret there are  a number of good web sites that contain ideas for science fair projects.  You will find links to these sites at the bottom of this page.   However, your science teacher is your best source for ideas or suggestions for your science fair project. 

You should not select a project just because you think the project will impress science fair judges.  Instead, select a project that interests you or one that you think would be fun.  Please remember that your work should be experimental or computational.  Putting together a display based on some concept from math or science is not a good project.  One of the basic reasons for science fair is to provide incentives and opportunity for conducting an investigation and applying the scientific method.  So your project should focus on experiments, measurements, or calculations that you make to answer your question. In other words, judges are looking for inquiry based science projects.  They want to see you ask a question and be able to answer your question by designing an experiment and analyzing the data collected from your experiment.  These projects will do better than demonstration projects regardless if your results confirm or deny your hypothesis.

Here are a couple of comments relating the the research hypothesis.  A hypothesis statement is a statement of an educated guess or an assumption that can be tested by experiment or calculation.  The hypothesis statement must not be biased.  What does it mean to be unbiased?  Here is an example of how bias can be avoided in the hypothesis.

Suppose that you wanted to test the drying times of several quick drying glues.  An example of a biased hypothesis statement might read as, "I think Brand X will have the shortest drying time."  An unbiased hypothesis statement might read as, "I believe the drying times of the brands of glue selected for this study will be significantly different."  Do you see that the second statement does not declare a "winner" before the tests are made, hence no bias.  The statement of the "winner" is made in the conclusion of your project.

Science Fair Web Sites:

1.  In this site you can search on a keyword.


2.  Go to the ISEF web site by clicking the ISEF button above and then scroll down to the "Science Fair Primer" link.

3.  Math projects


4.  This site is a commercial site, but having looked through their catalog, it is well worth a look for both students and teachers.


5.  Another commercial site is Edmond Scientific.  In the past I've several of their items.


6.  Yet another commercial site is PITSCO (also for the hobbyist)


7.  A commercial site that offers books and guides on science fair projects:


8.  Kids Chemistry 101" - a site that offers many great chemistry resource links:




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