Every year Stardome provides a prize for the NIWA Auckland Science Fair. If you’re working on your entry you might find these quick tips useful for creating a winning science fair entry.

  1. Choose a topic that you can be excited about. Passion for a project will keep you motivated. Don’t be afraid to tackle a topic that is new to you.
  2. Prepare! Spend a good amount of time planning, preparing and researching your topic before beginning your experiment. It will pay off when you’re in the middle of the experiment and come across something you weren’t expecting.
  3. Keep referring back to the guidelines, rules and your own aim and hypothesis. This will help keep you on track.
  4. Make sure your aim isn’t too broad. A broad topic will make it harder to make progress in the short amount of time. Try to narrow in on a certain aspect of the topic.
  5. As Adam Savage of Mythbusters says “The only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.” Keep your log book at hand and make notes all the way through, you never know what will surface when you go back and review. You don’t want to forget something important either.
  6. Check and double-check your data, calculations and results. However, don’t worry if the experiment doesn’t have the results you thought it would. Science is all about learning and discovery, even if you discover your hypothesis is wrong.
  7. Ask for help. If you’re stuck, confused or not sure on the next steps ask a teacher, parent or friend for advice.
  8. If a problem seems too difficult to overcome, find ways of breaking it down into smaller issues that can be solved one at a time.
  9. Practice explaining your experiment and findings to different audiences. Each audience will have a different question that could be a question a judge will ask. Practicing will also give you a deeper understanding of your project.
  10. The Science Fair displays need to be a certain size and shape, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. Use colours, interactive displays, and images to clearly communicate your project findings.