Science Fair Lab Notebook: ENGINEERING DESIGN PROJECTS ONLY
Students are required to use a bound composition book (cover color/design does not matter) for their Science Fair Lab notebook. Spiral notebooks, binders, and electronic notebooks will not be accepted.
The front cover of your lab notebook should be labeled “Science Fair Lab Notebook" with your name and class section. We will tape over this section before science fair.
· Write ONLY in blue or black pen when you make log entries.
· ALWAYS date your entries.
· If you make a mistake, cross it out with 1 line and continue on – NEVER scribble, use white out, or tear out pages.
· YES you can write on both sides of the pages.
· NO you do not need a Table of Contents or numbered pages.
· YES you can make more than one entry on a page – just be sure to head each new entry with the correct log number/title and the date.
· NO you cannot use your lab notebook for class notes.
PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO DUE DATES. Many due dates are intentionally NOT aligned with written assignment/handout due dates. This allows time for the teacher to review the assignments BEFORE they are entered in the lab notebook.
example: The Background Research Plan Worksheet must be turned in by October 9th, but Log Entry #4 – Background Research Plan is not due until October 16th. This allows time for the teacher to review the plan and return it to the student so the student can make any necessary changes before entering the information in the lab notebook.
It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to keep your lab notebook current! I WILL NOT collect your lab notebooks each time an entry is due, however your book will be turned in and graded with your display board. I will also check your lab notebooks periodically, and you should always bring your lab notebook to class as you do your regular science notebook.
Log Entries - Engineering Design Notebooks
Log Entry #1 – The Engineering Design Process (completed in class)
List the step of the engineering design process in order, giving a brief description of each step.
Log Entry #2 – BRAINSTORMING (complete by October 2nd)
Create a personal brainstorming chart of topics you like and possible problems you might be interested in solving.
If you already know your topic, write it down and explain why you are interested in solving this problem.
Complete and submit your Engineering Project Proposal Form by October 2nd.
Once your proposal is approved...
Log Entry #3 –Problem (complete by October 9th)
1. What problem have you chosen to solve for Science Fair?
2. What do you already know about this topic? Give as much detail as possible!
3. Real-World Application: How will the knowledge you gain from your experiment be helpful in the real world? Who will benefit and how?
Now you can plan your research! Complete your Background Research Plan and submit by October 9th.
Now that you have your approved Background Research Plan...
Log Entry #4 – Background Research Plan (completed by October 16th)
1. Your Problem:
2. Keywords: (Write all relevant keywords from your plan here).
3. Research Questions: (Choose 5 of the best questions from your plan to copy here).
RESEARCH: Between Entries 4 and 5, you are conducting your research. As you conduct your research, take good notes in your lab notebook and record your sources using your Bibliography Worksheet.
Science Expert Expo! October 18th, 6-8 pm. Here you will present your project proposal to experts in the field and get valuable feedback. Be sure you bring your lab notebooks to this night. Be ready to record information from the experts, being sure to properly cite their information so you can use them as a source!
As you conduct your research, gather all the key information for solving your problem in one place!
Complete and submit your Design Brief Worksheet and Design Matrix by October 23rd.
As soon as you receive the above sheet back, you will begin designing your prototype. Log Entries #6-9 go directly in your lab notebooks with no worksheets due.
Log Entry #5 – Requirements (completed by October 30th)
List all aspects of the design that are necessary to solve the problem.
Log Entry #6 – Brainstorm Solutions (completed by October 30th)
List all possible solutions to your problem.
Log Entry #7 – Choosing a Solution (completed by October 30th)
Using your Design Matrix, choose the best possible solution.
Log Entry #8 – Risk Assessment (completed by October 30th)
1. Identify and describe any risks involved in your experiment. List any hazardous activity, device, chemical, or microorganism and explain the risks involved.
2. Describe safety precautions and procedures that will be used to reduce potential risks.
*If there are NO RISKS associated with any part of your experiment, write that down!
Log Entry #9 – Data Table (completed by October 30th)
1. Design a data table that you can use to record specific observations while you test your prototype. This may take multiple attempts.
2. Explain how and when you will collect the data. Be specific.
*If you need classroom space and/or time, be sure to arrange this with your teacher well in advance.
Log Entry # 10 – Prototype Design (completed by November 13th)
THIS is your experimentation! Sketch your design in your notebook, and include labels. List all materials necessary to build your prototype, including amounts in metric units.
Build your prototype. As your ideas change, sketch and explain redesigns in your notebook. Prototypes rarely turn out exactly as you expect on the first try. Design and redesign based on your observations - that's what engineers do!
Once you have a prototype that satisfies your requirements, test and collect data in your data table.
Log Entry #11 – Graph (completed by November 20th)
Design an appropriate graph to visually summarize the data collected during your experiment. (This may take several attempts. Do NOT tear out pages in your lab notebook!)
1. My x-axis variable (and unit of measure) is:
2. My y-axis variable (and unit of measure) is:
3. The title of my graph is:
Log Entry #12 – Results (Data Analysis) (completed by November 20th)
1. State the results of your experiment based on the data and observations you collected.
2. Calculate an average for each test group as well as the control group (if applicable).
3. Do you think your results are reliable? Why or why not?
Log Entry #13 – Conclusion (completed by November 20th)
1. Summarize your science fair project results in a few sentences and use this summary to support your conclusion.
2. Include key facts from your background research to help explain your results as needed.
3. State whether your solution meets the requirements you set.
4. Summarize and evaluate your experimental procedure, making comments about its success and effectiveness.
5. Suggest changes in the experimental procedure (or design) and/or possibilities for further study.
ABSTRACT: Complete your abstract by November 20th so it can be edited and returned to you before your board is due!
Log Entry #14 – Reflection (completed by November 27th)
Write a paragraph reflecting on your experience in this year’s science fair project. As you reflect, consider these questions:
How do you feel about your project overall?
What went well? What didn’t go well?
What could have been done to improve your experience?
What are some things you will do differently next year?
Science Fair Board and Lab Notebook Due December 4th
Classroom Oral Presentations week of December 4th - 8th
Grades 5-6 Science Fair December 12th
Grades 7-8 Science Fair December 13th