Create. Make. Repeat.

One of your first decisions will be which types of projects to have at the fair. You may wish to have only an investigation science fair or a STEAM event. You can also mix the two kinds of projects, which gives students a choice. In many ways this is the optimal model, as the more interest the student has in the topic as well as the type of hands-on process, the more motivation he or she will have to keep up the momentum throughout the six weeks.

Science Fair


An investigation is a science fair project that uses scientific methodology (which includes experimenting) to carry out an investigation.

During an investigation, the student starts out with a question based on a scientific problem; develops a hypothesis (or educated guess) as to the answer; designs and conducts an experiment to test the hypothesis; measures and collects data; documents and analyzes the results; and draws a conclusion.

Parent Participation

Parents play an important role in supporting their children throughout the duration of the science fair process. They can also be a huge help by volunteering to help before and during the fair itself. Start off on the right foot. Establish good communication with parents early on so they understand expectations and anticipate deadlines.


Judging worksheets and scoring systems vary from fair to fair, but most follow similar criteria. Students are judged on their understanding of how well they used scientific methods or the engineering design process to develop and conduct their project. Both inventions and investigations involve planning, careful investigation, collection of data, and making sense of the data at the end.

Here’s a sample worksheet scoring sheet to give a sense of the categories, criteria and level of detail involved in judging science fairs. You may wish to have a separate area for the oral presentation. But in most cases, the presentation is meant to clarify the project display and provide anecdotal information that would not fit or be appropriate.

Steps of The Scientific Method

  • State your question
  • Background research
  • Formulate your hypothesis
  • Design experiment
  • Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment
  • Analyze your results and draw conclusions
  • Communicate results

Kids Workshops

Kids Workshops provide a mix of skill-building, creativity, and safety for future DIYers every month in Home Depot stores across the country. After registering for the next Workshop, download these exclusive extension activities from Discovery Education. Each extension provides opportunities to reimagine or use their Workshop creation in an unexpected new way.