Dawn Boyer at Journey's in Grace has also written a wonderful 10-week Home Educator's Syllabus that is perfect for providing structure and breaking down any project into manageable steps. This is also a useful aid for those wishing to do their projects in coordination with a Science Club.
~ 2-3 Months Ahead ~
1. Pick a Topic by deciding on an interesting field. (See Project Suggestions).
2. Research selected Topic. The local library and interviewing an expert are wonderful resources!
3. Begin logbook/journal, and make sure to keep it up-to-date as you go. (See Rules for more information on journals).
4. Decide which Science Fair entry category to pursue (Demonstration, Model, Experiment, or Collection).
5. Determine procedure and begin working on project. (This will vary depending upon which entry category is chosen).
~ 1 Month Ahead ~
1. Evaluate results of Project
2. Continue updating journal and writing down Project results, as well as determining the conclusion of your Project. (Remember, just because your conclusion differs from your initial hypothesis does not mean that the Project was not a success. Scientists often learn just as much from their mistakes as their victories!)
3. Begin writing paper (if required; see Rules).
4. Put all written work in order
5. Write Abstract (if required; see Rules)
~ 2 Weeks Ahead ~
1. Finish Paper by proofreading and including all resources and other information necessary.
2. Put together Display
3. Prepare Oral Presentation by condensing the information from your Journal and Paper into a 2-5 minute speech. Practice in front of an audience of friends to help gain confidence and to determine if there is any further research that might need to be done. (Judges may ask questions to gauge the student's understanding of the project.)
4. Finish adding information to Journal
1. Decide what to wear. Feeling well-dressed can add confidence!
2. Gather all supplies, Paper, and Journal and set it in front of Display.
3. Continue to practice Oral Presentation
4. Enjoy the process and relax, knowing that you have done your best and are ready and excited to share what you have learned!