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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 thrilled to announce that this year’s science fair will be held Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024! Get ready to get your STEM on!

Science & Engineering Fair

Project Guidelines and Information

Once you have an idea, make sure you design your project to meet the requirements of the Science and Engineering Fair.

  • Download the 3th-8th Information Packet – BF Science and Engineering Fair or the K-2nd Information Packet – BF Science and Engineering Fair for all the guidelines and instructions you will need to design, conduct, write up, and submit your project successfully.
  • Pick up your Science and Engineering Fair board from your classroom after requesting a board via Board Request –  Board Request – BF Science & Engineering Fair; Boards will be dropped off within 5 days.
  • Register your project before the science fair via Registration –  Registration – Science & Engineering Fair. Please print and attach the board label from the last page of the info packet to the back of your board.
  • On the day of the fair, take your board to the MPR, where it will be displayed near similar grade-level boards. If you missed registration or attaching the board label, this can be completed the morning of the fair.
  • Parent volunteers will escort students from their classrooms during the judging period (8:40am-1pm) so that every student can give a 5-10 min presentation to the scientist/engineer judges.
  • Families are welcome to attend a special morning announcement awards ceremony (8:20-8:40) the day after the science fair in the main quad.

Types of Projects

There many different types of projects that can be entered in the Bay Farm Science & Engineering Fair: science, engineering, and product testing/design.

Science Projects

  • Define a testable question.
    • What is the effect of a change in the amount of sunlight on the growth of tomato plants?
  • Identify a control (a “standard” group) and test group to compare against.
    • I will put one tomato plant (the control) in a sunny window.
    • I will put 5 tomato plants (the test group) in the same window and leave them their for different lengths of time.
    • I will daily, record how many hours of sunlight it receives and its growth.
  • Describe how you will run the experiment.
    • I will put 1 control and 5 tomato plants (the test group, labeled test #1-5) in a sunny window. I will take out one tomato plant (test #1) after 2 hours of sun; take out a second tomato plant  (test #2) after 4 hours of sun; take out a third tomato plant (test #3) after 6 hours of sun; take out a forth tomato plant (test #4) after 8 hours of sun; and take out a fifth tomato plant (test #5) after 10 hours of sun. I will put the test plants back in the window at the same time each day for several weeks and record how much they grow each day.
    • I will leave the control plant in the window and, every day, record how many hours of sunlight it received and how much it grew.
  • Define your variable. Make sure that you only change one variable at at time.
    • The variable in the tomato plant experiment is the number of hours each test plant stays in the window each day. The plants will be put in the same window each day.
  • Describe what you are measuring (what is changing). These are the quantitative measurements you take during the experiment.
    • I will measure the amount of growth observed in each tomato plant (both the control and the test group). I will measure the plant growth in cm/day.
  • If possible, repeat your test to see if your results are reproducible.
  • Analyze your data and draw conclusions. It is good to put your data in graphs/tables.
    • I will compare the difference in plant growth between the test group and the control plant.

Engineering Projects

  • Clearly define the problem or need the engineering project will solve.
    • For example, I would like to build a solar-powered desk fan to keep me cool while I study.
  • Establish criteria and design constraints. Criteria are physical and functional characteristics of the design (the shape, weight, function, etc.) Design constraints are things that limit the project; such as time you have to spend on the project, the project’s budget, and the availability of materials needed.
    • In our example, the criteria could be:
      • small enough to fit in the right-hand corner of my desk (15cm x15cm x 15cm)
      • powered entirely by the sunlight coming into my window
      • keeps me cool while I am in online classes
    • Design constraints and limitations could be:
      • the budget I have to buy materials I need, like a solar panel and soldering iron.
      • finishing the project by the end of January (so I have enough time to put together the presentation for the February 8th, Bay Farm Science & Engineering fair)
      • the materials available, like a broken fan.
  • Research and evaluate alternatives to develop a plan
    • In our example, you might:
      • find out how much electricity a conventional, batter-powered fan of similar size uses.
      • identify solar-panels that can supply a similar voltage
      • compare the available options to determine which best meet the project criteria.
  • Construct a prototype or computer model to test your design.
    • This is when you start building your solar-powered fan!
  • Test and refine your prototype and settle on a final product.
    • Test your solar-powered, fan against your established criteria. Does my fan fit in the space I have on my desk (a 15cm x 15cm square)? Does it run using the solar-energy available through my window? Does it move a sufficient volume of air to keep me cool while I take my online classes?
  • Failure analysis, tweak and re-test as many times as possible.
    • Keep a journal to record what you do: how you fix problems, what you change, and what works/doesn’t work.

Product Testing/Design Projects

  • Clearly identify what kind of product (candles, hair products, etc.) you plan to test.
    • In this example, I will test commercial and natural laundry stain removers to determine if there is a difference in efficacy.
  • Define a test group of similar items.
    • I will compare Shout™, Seventh Generation™, vinegar, and baking soda.
  • Define the experimental procedure.
    • I will make tomato sauce stains on five white t-shirts. I will treat four of the stained t-shirts with the different stain-removers in my test group. The last stained t-shirt will not be treated (the control). I will then run the white t-shirts through a normal laundry cycle (wash & dry). I will compare the stains remaining, if any, on the five shirts.
  • Describe how you will take measurements.
    • I will look at the t-shirts to determine how clean they are. I will use a color wheel to compare the stain intensity.
  • Define criteria for changing qualitative measurements into quantitative measurements.
    • I will make a graduated scale from 1-10 where increasing numbers indicate increasing levels of cleanness. For instance, 1 = stain before any stain treatment, 3 = dark stain, 5 = lighter stain, 7 = very light stain, and 10 = perfectly white. I will use a color wheel to differentiate the stain intensity.
  • Analyze and draw conclusions from your test measurements and observations. It is a good practice to put your data in graphs or charts.
    • Based on the stain intensity, I can conclude which stain-remover in my test group is most effective in removing tomato stains from white t-shirts.

Experiment Ideas

Its a great time to start thinking about what you’d like to enter in the Science & Engineering Fair and have fun with science! Here are some helpful resources:

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