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Student Page|Science Posse Science Fair Resources

Principle Investigator

Every research project, whether carried out by professional scientists or student scientists for the science fair, has one or more Principle Investigators.  As the Principle Investigators for their science fair project, students design, conduct, analyze and explain their scientific research.  In other words, Principle Investigators need to have an in depth understanding of every part of their research project and be able to explain it to others.

THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF A SUCCESSFUL SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT: IT MUST BELONG TO THE STUDENT!

Although he or she will receive help and support from parents, teachers and perhaps even professional scientists, the student as Principle Investigator must take primary responsibility for envisioning and carrying out the project!

REQUIREMENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT:

  • a considerable time commitment,

  • a willingness to think hard about the challenges the project presents

  • the dedication to see the project all the way through until it is presented to the judges.

THE HEART OF A SUCCESSFUL SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT: SCIENCE IS A VERB!

Scientific investigations and research are carried out in order to learn about the world, and that learning is what science fair is all about. The process of the project is as important (if not more important) than the final product. While winning the competition is nice, that alone is not a good reason to get involved with science fair!

Students need to remember that the  science fair judges are going to be just as concerned with the scientific process used in the project (and what the student scientist learned) as well as the end results.

TIP: Select the right project!

STEP BY STEP HELP: Designing, carrying out and completing a project

 


 

The best Principle Investigators:
  • are interested in and excited about the selected project;

  • understand and are able  to explain and use the scientific method;

  •  take responsibility for creating and carry out the project with minimal help;

  •  ask parents, teachers, and professional scientist questions when they have them;

  •  can give an in-depth explanation of all parts of their project when presenting.

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