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Science & Engineering Fair

Our science & engineering fair is an opportunity for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade to showcase their discoveries, pursue scientific inquiry, and nurture possibility. We are committed to holding Bay Farm’s annual Science & Engineering Fair in early February 2021. Middle school students who participate in the Bay Farm Science & Engineering Fair may be eligible to compete in the  Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair, March 13th & 14th, 2021.

Experiment Ideas

You don’t have to wait for a Science & Engineering Fair to have fun with science! Below are some links to useful information for conducting science or engineering projects any time of the year:

Science Projects

  • The project has a testable question such as, “What is the effect of a change in the amount of sunlight on the growth of tomato plants?”
  • Describe and set up a control (a “standard” group) to compare the test groups against.
  • Describe the test groups where only one variable in each test group differs from the “control” group. Each test group can use a different test variable such as a different % test solution per group. Each variable should be decided upon using good logic.
  • Describe the measurable endpoint(s). The endpoints (or outcomes), determined for each test group, are the quantitative measurements required by the objectives.
  • Plan to change only one variable in each test cycle (trial). However, change the variable in several ways (several concentrations of a chemical ( 1%, 3%,etc), several temperatures, or several time points (5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc.).
  • Repeat your test to see if your results are reproducible.

Engineering Projects

  • Clearly define the problem or need the engineering project will solve.
  • Establish criteria and design constraints (Criteria – Physical and functional characteristics of the design (shape, weight, etc). Design constraints/limitations (cost, time, available materials, etc).
  • Research, evaluate alternatives, test plan
  • Construct a prototype or computer model etc.
  • Test against established criteria
  • Failure analysis, tweak and re-test as many times as possible

Product Design Projects

  • Clearly identify what kind of item (candles, hair products, etc.) you plan to test.
  • Define a test group of similar items
  • Define what will be measured
  • Describe how you will take measurements
  • Define criteria for changing qualitative measurements into quantitative measurements; such as “on a scale of 10 = (cleanest is 10, moderately clean is 8, less than moderately clean is 6, not clean at all is 1). An important first step in qualitative analysis and observer impression is to discover patterns. Try to find frequencies, magnitudes, structures, processes, causes, and consequences which can be changed to numerical data.

Middle School Projects

As a middle school student, you have additional choices and the opportunity for your project to go on to compete in the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair. ACSEF is still working out the details for the 2021 regional science fair. We will update this section with information about regional eligibility and criteria as soon as we have it.

In the meantime, start planning to participate in this year’s Bay Farm Science & Engineering Fair.

Participate in the Bay Farm Science & Engineering Fair ONLY

Summer: Decide if you want to do an Alameda County Science & Engineering Fair eligible project. 

Summer/Fall: Start a project journal. Look for project inspiration including using Science Buddies and other resources, but make sure your idea is unique (a quick search should not show the project has been done before). Do background research on your idea. 

Fall/Winter: Begin your experiment or engineering project.

Early Feb (TBD): Participate in the 2021 Bay Farm Science & Engineering Fair!

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