Science Fair

Product Comparisons:

The Evergreen  Science Fair is a culmination of learning the scientific process and applying it to an experiment each student will design. The list below is just a guide.

stain removers


plant foods

teeth whiteners

diapers (seal, strength, capacity)

athletic equipment

paper towels

plastic bags

paper bags




adhesives (glues)

products found on infomercials – compare to traditional options



glass cleaner


shoe traction

other (clear with teacher)

insulation (clothes/ home)


Efficiency can be compared for a number of products. Can borrow/ check out:

Light meters, Kill-a-watt meters, etc.

Can compare:







Other (clear with teacher) 

 Investigative Question

Materials List

We will work on science fair each week buiding up to the contest. Your
project will be graded "as you go." Below are examples of various steps to the project .  Science fair will be the night of open house. Plan on doing the experiment at home, after it has been cleared with a teacher. Good Luck!

Decide if you are doing your project on your own, or with a partner.

Rules: Partners must be in the same homeroom, No more than 2 per
group, working alone is recommended - but if you choose to work with a
partner - you will each receive the same grade. Only choose someone
you believe will do their fair share.

Topic - This is a product comparison. You must choose at least 2
products to compare. (ie laundry detergent, paper towels, etc.) A simple
survey, or making a volcano out of vinegar and baking soda does not
count. See science class for numerous examples.

Title/ Investigative Question

Title: An average title (or "C") would be: Comparing Laundry Soap
To get a better grade, be creative and create a title that will perk
interest. "Which Suds are Superior" or "Battle of the Bleach" may hook
visitors into reading on.

Investigative Question: This is where you give a reason or "who cares"
for your experiment.

Should have 3 parts:

Personal "gripe"
"expert" opinions (parents, friends...)
Ask a question you will answer with your experiment. (Don't forget the question mark!)

An average question: There are many different laundry detergents. I
want to know which one will clean my soccer socks the best.

To get a better grade: When I go to the store, I notice that there is a sea
of choices in the laundry soap aisle. Some claim to make clothes the
whitest, some say the softest, some are simply the cheapest. When I
ask my family, my parents use Tide, my grandparents use All, and my
neighbor says that she buys,"Whatever is cheapest." Since I play
soccer, my socks get stained every Saturday. Which detergent will get
the stain out best? Tide, All. or "The Cheap Stuff?"

Hypothesis: "An educated guess."This tells what you predict and why.
Remember this is an educated guess - you must have 3 good reasons.

An average Hypothesis: I think that Tide will remove grass stains the
best because it is most expensive and my parents use it. (fairly weak

A better hypothesis: I think that Tide will get grass stains out of my socks
the best because of many reasons. First, Tide is the recommended
detergent of the American Soccer Association. If they endorse it - it must
be good. Also, I have noticed that when my parents buy another
detergent, my clothes do not seem to get as clean. Finally, when I asked
my fifteen teamates, eleven of them said that their parents also use
Tide. Let's see if I am right...

Materials List/ Procedures:
This week we design the experiment. Students have until the end of
break to complete it.

Materials List: Is exactly that. List every item needed to do the
experiment. Here is a complete example:

Paper (to record the results)
4 white socks - Fruit of the Loom Brand size 10-12
1 cup of grass from the Intermediate School field
1 cup Tide
1 cup All
1 cup Sams Best Laundry Soap AKA:"The Cheap Stuff"
1 Whirlpool Washing Machine Model #AH6875Y3

Procedures: Must be in List Form! The "recipe" on how to do your
experiment. Be sure to be detailed - if anyone were to repeat in in the
world, they would get the same results.
Here is a "bad" example:

#1: Gather materials
#2: Decide Variable: type of detergent
#3: List controls: temperature of water, amount of laundry soap, size of socks, material of
socks,machine used, length of cleaning cycle
#4: Stain socks. place 1/4 cup of grass on 4 socks, stand on grass with
213 pounds. Twist 2 times around. Partner must hold sock to ground.
#5: Pour Tide in washer, put washer on warm water / regular load
setting. Put one unwashed sock in and start cycle.
#6: Repeat Step #3 with All.
#7: Repeat Step #3 with no soap.
#8: Compare results with unwashed sock.
#9: Write results / conclusion.

Here is a "good" example:

#1: Gather Materials
#2: Decide Variable: Type of Detergent
#3: List Controls: temperature of water, amount of laundry soap, size of socks, material of socks,
machine used, length of cleaning cycle, no other items in that cycle, drying
#4 Lay 4 socks on the same hard surface.
#5 Place 1/4 cup of grass on each sock.
#6 Starting on sock 1, stand on grass with 213 pounds.
#7 Twist 2 times around while partner must hold sock to ground.
#8: Put washer on warm water / regular load setting.
#9 Put one grass-stained sock in and start cycle.
#10 Remove Sock from washer - hang dry
#11: Repeat Steps #6-10 with All.
#12: Repeat Step #6-10 with Tide.
#13: Compare results with unwashed sock by estimating the percent of stain removed.
#14: Write results / conclusion.

This is a graph that clearly shows the results of your experiment. This can be a pictograph, line
graph, pie graph, vertical bar graph, horizontal bar graph, scatter-plot, chart, table, or other
visual representation cleared by the teacher. An A+ graph includes:

Extremely neat, easy to read
Good use of color
Key or legend
Numbers labeled and evenly spaced
Perfect spelling
"winner" is obvious
Can include more than one piece of information (ie percent stain removed and price)
Products labeled and capitalized
Made in a creative way.

Here is a link to an online graph-making tool:

This is where you say whether your hypothesis was right or wrong and why. To get the highest grade
possible, add what you would do differently next time. Your hypothesis can be wrong, and you can
still get an A on your conclusion... Lastly, take this opportunity to thank the people who helped you.

My hypothesis was correct because Tide removed all of the stain, while All and hot water did not.
Tide does cost more than my other variables, however clean socks are worth it. If I were to do this
again, I would try Tide with different temperatures of water in order to see if that made a
difference. If not, it would save energy to just use cold. A great big thank you to my parents for letting me do so many small loads in our washing machine and taking me to the Intermediate school field to get the grass!

Here is an unformatted version of the science fair project checklist:

Name(s)_____________________ #____
______________________ #____
Science Fair Checklist
Date Due:
Late projects lose 10pts./Day
Student Score
Teacher Score
Investigative Question - - _______/10 _______/10

Hypothesis - - - - _______/10
* �I think______________because......�

Experiment - - - - _______/20
* Materials list
* Procedures (exact)
* Variable/ Control List

Results- - - - - - _______/20
* Information (data or evidence)
* Data in visual form (table, graph, etc.)
* Actual experiment materials (or pictures/ drawings)

Conclusion - - - - - _______/10
* Answers original investigative question
* Proves/ disproves original hypothesis

Grammar/ Spelling - - - _______/10
* Perfect spelling
*Complete sentences & paragraphs

Aesthetics - - - - _______/20
*Catchy title
* Flow/ logical order
* Contrast
* Visually Pleasing
Total Points - - - - _______/100
Key: A+ A- B- C- D- F
10pts 10 9 8 7 6 5-0
20pts 20 18 16 14 12 11-0

Cut and paste the below labels:

Investigative Question


Materials List



Title missing the word "Fight'" - but you get the idea...