The scientific method consists of forming, testing and, if applicable, re-evaluating a hypothesis, or educated guess. The hypothesis evolves into a working theory and eventual established fact as data is systematically measured and recorded. Sixth grade science fair project ideas using the scientific method must have a hypothesis, clear means of measuring the data collected and result in demonstrating the validity or lack thereof of the hypothesis being tested.
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Heat and Evaporation
Hypothesis: Heat can be directly correlated with water evaporation rates.
Methodology: Several cardboard boxes of the same size are constructed, installing a different watt light bulb in each. Eight ounces of water is placed in glass containers in the boxes, exposing the water to light sources. Eight ounces of water is additionally placed in a glass container in a control box which has no light source. The light bulbs are turned on and the remaining water is measured after 30 hours. The student uses the scientific method to establish that the greater the bulb wattage, the faster the evaporation rate, repeating the experiment four times, documenting and comparing outcomes via written records and photos.
Musical Rat Mazes
Hypothesis: Rats learn most effectively and efficiently in silence.
Methodology: Three different rats learn to navigate a series of three mazes while influenced by three different auditory factors: rock music, classical music and no music. Each rat is tested in each maze and with a different auditory factor to allow for possible differences in intelligence, hearing and difficulty of the maze. Results are measured and documented, enabling the scientific method to be used as a tool to demonstrate the rats learn best in silence with minimal distractions.
Magnets and Plant Growth
Hypothesis: Due to iron in plants, radish plants grown near a magnet will grow shorter, leaning towards the magnet, than radish plants grown with no magnet.
Methodology: A group of radish plants are grown with magnets placed beside each plant. A control group is grown without magnets. Light and watering conditions are kept the same, proving the hypothesis to be correct.
Predicting Crater Size
Hypothesis: The size of a crater is in direct proportion to the impact and mass of the object forming the crater, allowing crater size to be predictable after enough data is collected.
Methodology: Different sized balls of wet plaster are dropped from varying heights into wet plaster, simulating craters forming. Sizes of craters are measured after the plaster hardens. After enough data collection, students are able to reasonably accurately predict crater size.
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- The Free Science Fair Projects Network: Free Science Fair Projects Database
- The Franklin Institute: Heat and Evaporation
- The Free Science Fair Projects Network: Musical Rat Mazes
- Selah Scool District: Do Magnets Affect Radish Plant Growth?
- University of Southern California: California State Science Fair 2006 Project Summary