Speak Up, Speak Out

Speak Up, Speak Out

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Speak Up, Speak Out Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance for the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Since 2001, 27 January has marked Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. This date was chosen because it was on this day in 1945 that the largest Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated. Each year there is a theme which provides a focus to the event. The theme for 2012 is Speak Up, Speak Out.
  • pm storytelling
  • opportunity for everyone
  • special screening of a film
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  • short holocaust
  • holocaust
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Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 3
I
A GUIDE TO
SCIENCE FAIR
PROJECTSPart I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 4Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 5
Chapter 1
The Scientific
Method
Once the topic is selected, you begin whatscience project is an investigation using
is called project research. This is r esearch tothe scientific method to discover the
help you understand the topic, expr ess a prob-A answer to a scientifi c problem. Before
lem, propose a hypothesis, and design one orstarting your project, you need to understand
more project experiments—experimentsthe scientific method. This chapter uses
designed to test the hypothesis. An exampleexamples to illustrate and explain the basic
of project research would be to place a fr eshsteps of the scientifi c method. Chapters 2
loaf of white br ead in a br ead box and obser vethrough 4 give mor e details, and Chapter 5
the bread over a period of time as anuses the scientific method in a sample pr oject.
exploratory experiment. The r esult of thisThe scientific method is the “tool” that sci -
experiment and other r esearch gives you theentists use to fi nd the answers to questions. It
needed information for the next step—identi -is the process of thinking thr ough the possi-
fying the problem.ble solutions to a pr oblem and testing each
possibility for the best solution. The scientifi c Do use many references from printed
method involves the following steps: doing sources—books, journals, magazines,
research, identifying the pr oblem, stating a and newspapers—as well as electr onic
hypothesis, conducting project experimenta- sources—computer software and
tion, and reaching a conclusion. on-line services.
Do gather information from profes-
sionals—instructors, librarians, and RESEARCH
scientists, such as physicians and
Research is the pr ocess of collecting infor - veterinarians.
mation from your own experiences, knowl -
Do perform other exploratory experi-edgeable sources, and data fr om exploratory
ments, such as those in the 50 scienceexperiments. Your first research is used to
project ideas in Par t II.select a project topic. This is called topic
research. For example, you obser ve a black
growth on bread slices and wonder how it PROBLEM
got there. Because of this experience, you
The problem is the scientifi c question todecide to learn more about mold gr owth. Your
be solved. It is best expr essed as an “open-topic will be about fungal r eproduction.
ended” question, which is a question that is(Fungal refers to plantlike or ganisms called
answered with a statement, not just a yes or afungi, which cannot make their own food,
no. For example, “How does light af fect theand reproduction is the making of a new
reproduction of bread mold on white br ead?”offspring.)
CAUTION: If you ar e allergic to mold, this Do limit your problem. Note that the
is not a topic you would investigate. Choose a previous question is about one life
topic that is safe for you to do. process of molds—reproduction; one
5Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 6
type of mold—bread mold; one type of Do write down your hypothesis befor e
bread—white bread; and one factor that beginning the project experimentation.
affects its growth—light. To find the Don’t change your hypothesis even if
answer to a question such as “How does experimentation does not suppor t it. If
light affect molds?” would r equire that time permits, repeat or redesign the
you test different life processes and an experiment to confirm your results.
extensive variety of molds.
Do choose a problem that can be solved
PROJECT EXPERIMENTATIONexperimentally. For example, the ques -
tion “What is a mold?” can be answer ed Project experimentation is the pr ocess of
by finding the definition of the wor d testing a hypothesis. The things that have an
mold in the dictionary. But, “At r oom effect on the experiment ar e called variables.
temperature, what is the gr owth rate There are three kinds of variables that you
of bread mold on white br ead?” is a need to identify in your experiments:
question that can be answer ed by independent, dependent, and contr olled.
experimentation. The independent variableis the variable
you purposely manipulate (change). The
dependent variableis the variable beingHYPOTHESIS observed that changes in r esponse to the
A hypothesis is an idea about the solution independent variable. The variables that ar e
to a problem, based on knowledge and not changed are called controlled variables.
research. While the hypothesis is a single The problem in this chapter concer ns the
statement, it is the key to a successful pr oject. effect of light on the r eproduction of bread
All of your pr oject research is done with the mold. The independent variable for the experi -
goal of expressing a problem, proposing an ment is light and the dependent variable is
answer to it—the hypothesis, and designing bread mold reproduction. A control is a test
project experimentation. Then all of your pr oj- in which the independent variable is kept con -
ect experimenting will be per formed to test stant in order to measure changes in the
the hypothesis. The hypothesis should make dependent variable. In a contr ol, all variables
a claim about how two factors r elate. For are identical to the experimental setup—your
example, in the following sample hypothesis, original setup—except for the independent
the two relating factors are light and br ead variable. Factors that ar e identical in both the
mold growth. Here is one example of a experimental setup and the contr ol setup are
hypothesis for the earlier pr oblem question: the controlled variables. For example, pr epare
“I believe that br ead mold does not need the experiment by placing thr ee or four loaves
light for reproduction on white br ead. I base of white bread in cardboard boxes the size of
my hypothesis on these facts: a bread box, one loaf per box. Close the boxes
so that they r eceive no light. If, at the end of a• Organisms with chlorophyll need light to
set time period, the mold gr ows, you mightsurvive. Molds do not have chlor ophyll.
decide that no light was needed for mold
• In my exploratory experiment, bread mold reproduction. But, before making this deci -
grew on white br ead kept in a dark br ead sion, you must deter mine experimentally if
box.” the mold would gr ow with light. Thus, contr ol
groups must be set up of br ead that receives
Do state facts from past experiences or light throughout the testing period. Do this
observations on which you based your by placing an equal number of loaves in
hypothesis. comparable-size boxes, but leave them open.
6Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 7
The other variables for the experimental and a statement of how the r esults relate to the
control setup, such as the envir onmental con- hypothesis. Reasons for experimental r esults
ditions for the r oom where the boxes ar e that are contrary to the hypothesis ar e
placed—temperature and humidity—and the included. If applicable, the conclusion can end
brand of the br eads used must be kept the by giving ideas for fur ther testing.
same. These are controlled variables. If your results do not suppor t your hypothesis:
Note that when designing the pr ocedure of
Don’t change your hypothesis.your project experiment, include steps for
measuring the results. For example, to mea - Don’t leave out experimental r esults that
sure the amount of mold gr owth, you might do not support your hypothesis.
1draw ⁄2 inch (1 cm) squar es on a transpar ent
Do give possible reasons for the dif ferencesheet of plastic. This could be placed over the
between your hypothesis and the experi -bread and the number of squar es with mold
mental results.growth could be counted. Also, as it is best to
perform the experiment mor e than once, it is Do give ways that you can experiment fur -
also good to have mor e than one contr ol. You ther to confirm the results of your origi -
might have one contr ol for every experimen- nal experiment.
tal setup.
If your results support your hypothesis:
Do have only one independent variable
For example, you might say , “As stated induring an experiment.
my hypothesis, I believe that light is not nec -
Do repeat the experiment mor e than once essary for bread mold to r eproduce. My
to verify your r esults. experimentation supports the idea that br ead
mold will reproduce without light. After 21Do have a control.
days, bread mold had gr own both on testing
Do have more than one contr ol, with each samples kept in the dark and also on the con -
being identical. trol samples in the light. It is possible that
temperature is a factor and that the tempera -Do organize data. (See Chapter 5, “A
ture was higher inside the closed boxes dueSample Project,” for information on
to lack of air cir culation. For further testing, Iorganizing data from experiments.)
would select temperature as the independent
variable and test the ef fect of temperature
PROJECT CONCLUSION changes on the gr owth of bread mold.”
The project conclusionis a summary of
the results of the pr oject experimentation and
7Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 8
Chapter 2
Topic Research
repeatedly jump from one topic to another .ow that you understand the scientifi c
You may in fact decide to stick with your origi -method, you are ready to get star ted.
nal idea even if it is not as exciting as you hadN
expected. You might just uncover some ver y
interesting facts that you didn’ t know.KEEP A JOURNAL
Remember that the objective of a science
Purchase a bound notebook to ser ve as project is to lear n more about science. Y our
your journal. This notebook should contain project doesn’t have to be highly complex to
topic and project research. It should contain be successful. Excellent pr ojects can be devel -
not only your original ideas but also ideas you oped that answer ver y basic and fundamental
get from printed sources or from people. It questions about events or situations encoun -
should also include descriptions of your tered on a daily basis. Ther e are many easy
exploratory and project experiments as well ways of selecting a topic. The following ar e
as diagrams, graphs, and written obser vations just a few of them.
of all your r esults.
Every entry should be as neat as possible LOOK CLOSELY AT THE WORLD
and dated. A neat, or derly journal provides a
AROUND YOUcomplete and accurate r ecord of your pr oject
from start to finish, and it can be used to write You can turn everyday experiences into
your project report. It is also pr oof of the time a project topic by using the “exploring”
you spent searching out the answers to the question “I wonder . . . ?” For example, you
scientific mystery you undertook to solve. often see cut fl owers in a vase of water . These
You will want to display the jour nal with your flowers stay pretty for days. If you expr ess
completed project. this as an exploring question—“I wonder , why
do cut flowers last so long in a vase of
water?”—you have a good question aboutSELECTING A TOPIC plants. But could this be a pr oject topic? Think
Obviously you want to get an A+ on your about it! Is it only the water in the vase that
project, win awards at the science fair , and keeps the flowers fresh? Does it matter how
learn many new things about science. Some the flower stems are cut? By continuing to ask
or all of these goals ar e possible, but you will questions, you zero in on the topic of water
have to spend a lot of time working on your movement through plants.
project, so choose a topic that inter ests you. Keep your eyes and ears open, and star t
It is best to pick a topic and stick with it, but if asking yourself more exploring questions,
you find after some work that your topic is such as “I wonder , why does my dad paint our
not as interesting as you originally thought, house so often?” “I wonder , do different
stop and select another one. Since it takes brands of paint last longer?” “I wonder , could I
time to develop a good pr oject, it is unwise to test different kinds of paint on small pieces of
8Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 9
wood?” To know more about these things, you What you can look for ar e facts that inter est
can research and design a whole science fair you and that lead you to ask exploring ques -
project about the topic of the durability of tions. An article about Antarctic animals
different kinds of paint. Y ou will be pleasantly might bring to mind these exploring
surprised at the number of possible pr oject questions: “I wonder , how do penguins stay
ideas that will come to mind when you warm?” “I wonder , do fat penguins stay
begin to look ar ound and use “exploring” warmer than skinny penguins?” W ow! Body
questions. insulation, another great project topic.
There are an amazing number of comments
stated and questions asked by you and those SELECT A TOPIC FROM A BOOK
around you each day that could be used to ON SCIENCE F AIR PROJECTS
develop science project topics. Be aler t and
OR SCIENCE EXPERIMENTSlisten for a statement such as “He’ s a chip of f
the old block, a southpaw like his dad.” If you Science fair project books, such as this
are in the sear ching phase of your science one, can provide you with many dif ferent
fair project, this statement can become an topics to choose fr om. Even though science
exploring question, such as “I wonder , what experiment books do not give you as much
percentage of people are left-handed?” or “I direction as science fair pr oject books, many
wonder, are there more left-handed boys can provide you with explorator y “cookbook”
than girls?” These questions could lead you experiments that tell you what to do, what the
to developing a pr oject about the topic of results should be, and why . But it will be up to
genetics (inheriting characteristics fr om you to provide all the exploring questions
one’s parents). and ideas for fur ther experimentation. The
50 project ideas described in this book can
further sharpen your skills at expr essingCHOOSE A TOPIC FROM YOUR
exploring questions. A list of dif ferent projectEXPERIENCE
and experiment books can be found in
Having a cold is not pleasant, but you Appendix A.
could use this “distasteful” experience as a
means of selecting a pr oject topic. For SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
example, you may r emember that when you
You are encouraged not to experiment had a cold, food did not taste as good. Ask
with vertebrate animals or bacteria. If you yourself, “I wonder , was this because my nose
do wish to include them in your pr oject, askwas stopped up and I couldn’ t smell the food?”
your teacher about special per mission formsA project about taste and smell could be ver y
required by your local fair or ganization.successful. After research, you might decide
Supervision by a pr ofessional, such as a on a problem question such as “How does
veterinarian or physician, is usually r equired.smell affect taste?” Propose your hypothesis
The project must cause no har m or undueand start designing your pr oject experiment.
stress to the subject.For more on developing a pr oject, see
Chapter 5, “A Sample Pr oject.”
FIND A TOPIC IN SCIENCE
MAGAZINES
Don’t expect topic ideas in science maga -
zines to include detailed instr uctions on how
to perform experiments and design displays.
9Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 10
Chapter 3
Categories
2. zoology: The study of animals and very fair has a list of categories, and you
animal life. Subtopics may include need to seek your teacher’ s advice when
the following:Edeciding which category you should
enter your project in. It is impor tant that you a. anatomy: The study of the str uc-oject in the cor rect category. ture and use of animal body par ts,
Since science fair judges ar e required to judge including vision and hearing.
the content of each pr oject based on the
b. behaviorism: The study of actionscategory in which it is enter ed, you would be
that alter the r elationship betweenseriously penalized if you wer e to enter your
an animal and its envir onment.project in the wr ong category. Listed here are
common science fair categories with a brief c. physiology: The study of life
description of each. Some topics can cor rectly processes of animals, such as molt -
be placed in mor e than one categor y; for ing, metamorphosis, digestion,
example, the structure of plants could be in reproduction, and circulation.
botany or anatomy . Each of the 50 pr oject
3. ecology: The study of the r elationshipsideas in Part II is labeled with the categor y
of living things to other living thingsin which the pr oject could be enter ed. The
and to their envir onment.categories are
4. microbiology: The study of micr o-• astronomy: The study of the solar system,
scopic living things or par ts of livingstars, and the universe.
things.
• biology: The study of living things.
• earth science: The study of the Ear th.
1. botany: The study of plants and
1. geology: th,plant life. Subtopics may include the
including the composition of its layers,following:
its crust, and its histor y. Subtopics may
a. anatomy: The study of the str uc- include the following:
ture of plants, such as cells and
a. fossils: Remnants or traces of seed structure.
prehistoric life-forms preserved in
b. behaviorism: The study of actions the Earth’s crust.
that alter the r elationship between a
b. mineralogy: The study of the com -plant and its envir onment.
position and formation of minerals.
c. physiology: The study of life
c. rocks: Solids made up of one orprocesses of plants, such as pr opa-
more minerals.gation, germination, and transporta-
tion of nutrients.
10Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 11
d. seismology: The study of ear th- a. electricity: The form of energy
quakes. associated with the pr esence and
movement of electric char ges.e. volcanology: The study of
volcanoes. b. energy: The capacity to do work.
2. meteorology: The study of weather , c. gravity: The force of attraction
climate, and the Ear th’s atmosphere. between two bodies; the for ce that
pulls objects toward Earth.3. oceanography: The study of the
oceans and marine or ganisms. d. machines: Devices that make
work easier. 4. paleontology: The study of pr ehistoric
life-forms. e. magnetism: The force of attraction
or repulsion between magnetic• engineering: The application of scientifi c
poles, and the attraction that mag -knowledge for practical purposes.
nets have for magnetic materials.
• physical science:The study of matter and
• mathematics: The use of numbers andenergy.
symbols to study amounts and for ms.
1. chemistry: The study of the materials
geometry: The branch of mathematicsthat substances are made of and how
that deals with points, lines, planes,they change and combine.
and their relationships to one another .
2. physics: The study of for ms of energy
and the laws of motion. Subtopics
include studies in the following ar eas:
11Part I 10/18/99 1:26 PM Page 12
Chapter 4
Project Research
about the speed of dinosaurs. “Who wouldnce you have completed the topic
know about dinosaurs?” Star t with your research and selected a topic, you ar e
science teacher. He or she may have a specialOready to begin your pr oject research.
interest in dinosaurs or know someone whoThis research is generally mor e thorough
does. Is there a museum with dinosaurthan topic research. Project research is the
exhibits nearby? Owners of r ock and mineralprocess of collecting infor mation from knowl-
shops may have an inter est in fossils andedgeable sources, such as books, magazines,
could provide information. Contact the geol -software, librarians, teachers, par ents, scien-
ogy department of a local university .tists, or other pr ofessionals. It is also data
Before contacting the person(s) you wantcollected from exploratory experimentation.
to interview, be prepared. You can do this byRead widely on the topic you selected so that
making a list of questions that you want toyou understand it and know about the fi nd-
ask. You can even discuss what you knowings of others. Be sur e to give cr edit where
about your topic with someone who knowscredit is due and r ecord all information and
nothing about it. In so doing, you will bedata in your jour nal.
forced to organize your thinking and mayHow successful you ar e with your pr oject
even discover additional questions to add towill depend largely on how well you under -
your list. Once your list is complete, you ar estand your topic. The mor e you read and
ready to make your call. Simple r ules of cour-question people who know something about
tesy, such as the following, will better ensur eyour topic, the br oader your understanding
that the person called is willing to help.will be. As a r esult, it will be easier for you to
explain your project to other people, espe - 1. Identify yourself.
cially a science fair judge. Ther e are two basic
2. Identify the school you attend and yourkinds of research—primary and secondary.
teacher.
3. Briefly explain why you ar e calling. IncludePRIMARY RESEARCH
information about your pr oject and explain
Primary research is information you col- how the person can help you.
lect on your own. This includes infor mation
4. Request an interview time that is conve -from exploratory experiments you per form,
nient for the person. This could be a tele -surveys you take, inter views, and responses
phone or face-to-face inter view. Be sure toto your letters.
say that the inter view will take about 20 toInterview people who have special knowl -
30 minutes.edge about your topic. These can include
teachers, doctors, scientists, or others whose 5. Ask if you may tape-r ecord the interview.
careers require them to know something You can get mor e information if you ar e
related to your topic. Let’ s say your topic is not trying to write down all the answers.
12