Science Fair Timeline

This list will help you organize your time for a Science Fair starting near the beginning of February.

12 weeks before the fair (or sooner!) October/November

Pick Your Topic. Ideas come from hobbies, interests, or problems needing solutions. Limit your topic to concentrate your time and resources. Many ideas are available through books and web sites.


Study Your Topic. Go to the library, talk to professionals in the field, write to companies for information, obtain or construct needed equipment, arrange where you will work (research lab, school, other) and who will supervise your work, if necessary.


Organize and Theorize. Organize everything you have learned about your topic. Narrow down your hypothesis by focusing on a particular idea.


Write out a Research Plan. This plan includes Problem, Hypothesis, Procedures, and Bibliography. It should explain how you will do your experiment before you begin and exactly what it will involve.


Obtain Your Forms. Complete necessary forms before experimentation. Obtain all signatures.


ALL STUDENTS - Consult with your Adult Sponsor. Get all needed signatures and additional forms you may need.


9 weeks before the fair (or sooner!) December

Begin Experimentation. Keep detailed notes of every experiment, measurement, and observation in a bound log book in ink. Remember your control and experimental groups with at least 3-5 test subjects in each.


4 weeks before the fair - January

Examine Your Results. Examine and organize your findings. Statistically analyze your data and organize your results into charts and graphs.

Draw Conclusions. Did your experimentation support your hypothesis? Discuss this, any problems you had, and future plans.

3 weeks before the fair - Mid-January


Write Your Abstract. Your abstract is a summary of your research using 250 words or less, on Official Abstract Form.(if necessary)

Prepare Your Report. Your written report is a complete discussion of your research including your problem, hypothesis, materials, procedures, results, graphs, charts, conclusions, acknowledgments, and bibliography.


Prepare Your Display. Attractive, simple, informative. Follow the Official Regulations for size and display safety limitations.

1 week before the fair - Early February

Practice your presentation and make all finishing touches to your poster board. Get ready for the big day!