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The Fair Way: Basics

Welcome to the Fair Way, your partner in Brevard County science research! Evans Library has assembled information, resources, and instruction to help you write the parts of your research plan.

Research Plan Basics

Science research is a keystone of modern society. Asking questions and discovering answers through applied research is what gives us the power to make creative, positive changes in our communities and ultimately our entire universe!

The high tunnel produces amazing tomatoes.

United States Department of Agriculture. (2011). Yields of tomatoes within the high tunnel almost doubled from previous years where tomatoes were grown under normal field conditions.

Your research plan is the proposal for your project, and defines all of the components of your project. You will revise your research plan over the course of your study to reflect any changes that you make, including adding your data analysis and discussion/conclusion once your research is complete. You will follow the guidelines to write your plan (form 1a of the ISEF packet), and each plan will be different. 

Read brief descriptions of the title, statement of significance (part of the rationale), hypothesis, and procedures below:

Title

This is a very brief summary of your project, often (but not always) stated as a research question. Include the dependent (aka responding) and independent (aka manipulated) variables in your experiment. Make it short and descriptive, and make sure to include the main concepts of your project. Here are some examples:

How does changing the amount of fertilizer affect the number of tomatoes a single plant can produce?

Increase of tomato yield from fish meal fertilizer application

Effect of Sevin Dust on high-density tomato crop health

Statement of Significance

What is the value of your project? Could your research help bring about new understanding of a subject, explain its impacts on the environment or society, help develop new methods of doing something, foster learning, encourage experimentation? Think about the following examples when phrasing your statement of significance:

By determining the effects of ________ on ________, we come closer to helping ________. In the future this could lead to better ________. 

This project is significant because it could help foster a better understanding of horticulture and farming. Determining the effects of fertilizer on tomato plants helps bring us closer to providing more successful farming techniques. In the future this could lead to higher yields of food products.

Hypothesis or Engineering Goal

What are your predictions, based on your rationale? You will most likely work on this with your science fair advisor.

Procedures

These are the steps that you will take to test your hypothesis. What are the conditions of your experiment? Which factors will you change in order to get results? How will you collect data? How will you measure results? How is your control group set up?

Licensing Information

The Fair Way was developed by Brevard County science educators and Rose Petralia.

This content is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. Please feel free to use the information in this guide in your own courses, and provide attribution to Evans Library at Florida Tech.

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