12th Grade Physics Science Fair Project

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12th Grade Physics Science Fair Project
Hydraulics is one possible area of investigation for a physics science fair project. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The 12th-grade science fair is the highest-level school science fair and may impose requirements that seem above the high school level. In choosing physics as your science fair category, you will need to apply the scientific method to an observable physical phenomenon to validate or reject a thought-provoking hypothesis.

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Phenomenon

The phenomenon you choose to investigate should be complex from a physical standpoint. For a project in physics, choose a phenomenon that does not require high technology equipment to investigate. Examples are laws of physical motion, electromagnet forces and hydraulics. For example, you may choose to investigate pendular motion, a form of motion complex enough to warrant investigation by Kelvin and Galileo but simple enough that a pendulum apparatus will satisfy your equipment requirements.

Hypothesis

Your hypothesis is your initial educated guess of the relationship you will investigate. It need not be correct, but should be in accordance with the laws of physics. It addition, it should be simple enough to not impede your investigation. For example, if your project is investigating pendular motion, you may hypothesise that the swing period of a pendulum is the same regardless of the arc travelled.

Investigation

The investigation part of the project should be an experiment or an observation. In either case, you need to follow the scientific method in the investigation's design and employment. For the pendular motion example, though it seems simple to confirm the hypothesis, a poor design may lead to the wrong conclusions. Your design must account for variables that may influence the experiment's outcome, such as wind resistance, and your method must be scientifically valid, such as avoiding using subjective timing methods.

Conclusion

The conclusion is often the most important aspect of a science fair project because it shows your professionalism as a science student. Your conclusion should state clearly the problem to be investigated, an introduction to what you previously knew about the problem (perhaps through your science courses), your hypothesis, the method of investigation and your results. Charts and graphs, if applicable, will help your project appear more polished. Avoid adding any kind of false information or embellishments to the study, even if you believe such things will make your results more meaningful.

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