What can I do to increase my chances of winning first place at a science fair?
Winning science fair projects do not just happen by chance, they require a significant amount of work. If this is your first time entering a science fair, or even your fourth time entering a science fair, chances are you want to know what you can do to increase your odds of winning. Fortunately there is a simple formula that you can use to improve the value of your science fair project and thereby improve your chances of winning a science fair.
The most important thing that you will need to do is to come up with a project idea that is viewed by the judges as valuable. The value of a science fair project idea is based on its uniqueness, its innovativeness, its applicability to modern concerns and its format. A good way to ensure that your science fair project topic is valuable is to select a general science concept to work with and then to ask questions about the topic that relate to these value factors to produce a winning project idea.
Topic: Wind Energy
Question: What is a unique issue related to wind energy?
Answer: Generally wind energy science fair projects focus on the design of a windmill generator. In order to get away from concepts and issues that hundreds of other students are working with you will need to focus on issues such as how do windfarms impact ecosystems, how clean is wind energy, how efficient is wind energy compared to hydroelectric energy and can wind energy be stored.
Question: How can wind energy be innovative?
Answer: To answer this question, students will need to explore how wind energy technology and science can be applied to solve current or future problems. For example, can wind energy technology be applied to space stations in order to generate energy using solar wind, or can wind energy technology be scaled down so that it is not as obstructive?
Question: How can wind energy be applied to modern problems?
Answer: This question is really a focusing question that will help students to develop their hypothesis and experiment. Here the student will need to identify a current problem, such as pollution, energy shortages or energy costs to focus on. Next the topic will need to be applied to solving that problem. For example, the science fair project can focus on developing a low cost windmill generator that can power a home for less than it costs to power it using community utilities.