You chose a blue-ribbon science project and got incredible results, and now it’s time to show off your hard work. But judging a science fair project is about more than just the data itself. Professional presentation matters, so it is good to have an impressive science fair board. Here’s how you can set your science fair board design apart.
1. Keep track of the details as you go along
It will be much easier to create your science fair board design if you keep precise records all along the way. Consider taking special note of the different stages that might make for an interesting pictorial representation through a chart, graph or other visual for an interesting science fair board design.
These notes can also become the basis for the lab notebook you can include with the project.
2. Use a science fair board design that will clearly share the information
The top goal of the science fair board is to present the project and findings to someone who doesn’t know anything about the topic. That’s why it’s important to make sure the key parts of the project are clearly labeled and summarized.
Consider including details on:
Your purpose, or the question you were trying to answer
The hypothesis that you proved or disproved
Explanation of variables
Summary of research findings, materials and procedures
Data charts and graphs
Results and your conclusions
Of course, that’s a lot to succinctly represent on one science fair board so you’ll have to use some clever design tricks.
3. Unleash your inner artist
Yes the fair is technically about “science,” but we all know how important it is to sell the “sizzle” with the “steak.” Judges are attracted to a science fair board with some flair, help yours stand out with the following tips:
Make it visual: That means including data in chart and graph format as well as using pictures and 3D elements to visually represent the results.
Use a variety of science fair decoration ideas: Your science fair board can be more engaging if you use different mediums, from glitter to stickers to poster letters, lights and more to augment the data and other narrative parts with style.
Use quality materials: A flimsy display board and slipping adhesive can be distracting. You want your science fair board to show the same thought and care that your experiment itself did so consider choosing your materials carefully and try to make sure they will stand up to the travel and then the hot lights of the science fair.
Choose an appropriate font: The fonts you use can plan a large role in overall legibility. The Science Buddies website recommends a “traditional” font like Arial or Times New Roman, and font sizes that are easy to read, such as 150+ for your title, 32+ for your headings and then 16 – 18 for the body copy. Try to avoid all caps and reverse type (white type on a dark background) as both are hard to read.
4. Practice answering questions
Most science fairs include your interview as part of the judging criteria for the science projects, so try to know your facts cold so you can answer questions confidently. Try to practice referring to your science fair board so that the judges can quickly grasp the visual nature of what you are discussing. Also try to make mental notes of some of the details that you weren’t able to include on the science fair board so you can show your depth of knowledge on the topic.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
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