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Pathfinder: Science Fair Projects     Printable PDF Version

Selecting a topic and identifying a problem can be the most challenging parts of doing a science fair project. As you come up with ideas, remember that any science question that involves testing a variable can be the basis for a good project. According to the judging standards of the Santa Cruz County Science Fair, projects "may consist of a demonstration experiment, a working model, charts, diagrams or collections with a scientific objective."

Getting Started

If you are having trouble deciding on a topic, try looking at one of these collections of science projects.

  • Science Experiments Index for Young People Science Experiments Index for Young People
    by Pilger, Mary Anne
    JR 507.8016 PIL
    A guide to science books that contain elementary and intermediate-level projects and experiments. Organized alphabetically by subject; includes a list of headings.

  • Science Experiments on File Science Experiments on File
    by Facts on File,
    JR 507 Sc
    Eighty-four experiments in the form of lab experiments and demonstrations for students from grades six through high school.

  • Librarians' Internet Index
    Over 20,000 websites selected, organized, and maintained by librarians. Search for "Science Experiments" or "Science Projects".
  • Science Buddies
    Try the "Topic Selection Wizard" for help with choosing a topic

You Already Have an Idea

If you have a general idea for a project (a project about ecology, for example), scroll down to see if any of the books listed at the bottom of the page might help you. To find other books with experiments, check the online catalog under one of these subject headings:

Experiments
Science - Experiments
Astronomy - Experiments
Biology - Experiments
Botany - Experiments
Chemistry - Experiments
Crystals
Dissection
Ecology - Experiments
Electricity - Experiments
Electronics - Experiments
Magnetism - Experiments
Physics - Experiments


(Library card and PIN required from home or school)

  • Science of Everyday Things
    Expands on the explanations of scientific principles and concepts using a step-by-step approach. Presents theories in their everyday applications for further understanding.

  • Science.gov
    Science information on many topics - provided by U.S. government agencies.

Project Presentation

These books and websites will help you find information about how to structure or present your project.

  • Science Fair Success Secrets Science Fair Success Secrets
    by Haduch, Bill and Scheuer, Philip
    J 507.8 HAD
    Explains the scientific method and describes a variety of actual science fair projects in such fields as engineering, botany, behavioral science, and chemistry.

A Few of the Many Books that Contain Science Projects

Check with library staff if you do not see a copy of the book you want on the shelf. Through the library's request system, books can be borrowed from another branch library.