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Science Fair Information

Everyone is invited to participate!

Vine Hill Science Fair

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Open to the public 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Scotts Valley High School Student Union


Important Dates:

  • December: Entry forms, notebooks and display boards will be available at the school office

  • Thursday, December 14th: 6:30-7:30pm: Science Fair Parent Workshop, in Room P3 (Ms. Walsh’s classroom)

  • Tuesdays & Thursdays in December and January: Free Science Fair Help, during lunch recess in the library, with Ms. Boothby & Ms. Masongsong-Ray

  • Wednesday, December 20th: 12:30 – 1:45pm: Free Science Fair Help – choose a project on – in the Computer Lab

  • Friday, January 26th: Entry forms due in the office

  • Thursday, February 1st: Project boards and notebooks due in the office

  • Saturday, February 3rd: Vine Hill Science Fair at SVHS

    • Closed judging, 11am - noon

    • Student interviews, noon – 1pm

    • Open to the public, 1-3 pm

  • Saturday, March 10th: Santa Cruz County Science Fair


Do you need something in order to conduct your experiment at home? Vine Hill has some materials (such as thermometers, measuring cylinders, etc.). Please ask the Science Enrichment Teacher, Mrs. Masongsong-Ray. If we have it, you may borrow it!

If you can volunteer to be a judge or help out at the Science Fair, please contact jmasongsongray(at) . We need your help to make the Science Fair a success!





Step One - Get a notebook from the school office (or use your own). This is where you are going to record all your notes and data for your project. It’s like keeping a diary of your work. The judges will be looking at all your information in this notebook.


Step Two: Ask a question! Is there something that you are interested in learning about? Do some research in books and the Internet for science fair project ideas.


Step Three: Choose a format and conduct your experiment! There are two possible types:


  • Learn and Explain (not judged)

  • Scientific Experiment


(See below for descriptions of each format.)


Step Four: Communicate your results! Get a display board from the school office to make your presentation.


Step Five: Bring your completed board and notebook to school office on the due date prior to the Science Fair!


Step Six: Attend the Science Fair and enjoy the experience!





Learn and Explain


In this format, the judges look at the student project, but it is not “judged” - meaning, the student does not participate in the interview and is not eligible to go on to the county science fair. “Learn and Explain” is perfect for the student who wants to participate in the fair but does not want the pressure of being judged. Also, there is no required hypothesis to challenge. It is just how it sounds - the student learns something and then explains it!


Required elements for Learn and Explain:

  • Background:  Do some research and provide information about the scientific concept you are exploring.

  • Procedure:  List materials and describe how you explored your idea.  This could be a model, a survey, artwork, or other ways of presenting your concept.

  • Observations:  Describe what happened when you tested your concept or built your model.

  • Conclusion: Describe what you learned from this project and how it could be used in real life.  Discuss any problems you encountered and how you overcame them.



Scientific Experiment


Projects that are “Scientific Experiment” entries have the option of being judged.  The top 10 of the judged projects will represent Vine Hill at the Santa Cruz County Science Fair.


Required elements for Scientific Experiment:

  • Introduction

    • Purpose:  Explain what you are trying to prove or why you are doing the experiment. Include what you know or discuss something you learned about the topic by doing some background research.

    • Investigative Question: What do you want to know? Make sure that you have a testable question.

    • Hypothesis:  Explain what you think will happen in the experiment and why.  This is best phrased as:  If ________, then ________ will happen because ________. (If I do this, then this result will happen because I know this information about it.)

  • Procedure

    • Materials: Make a list (with exact amounts if possible).

    • Method:  Explain how the experiment is set up, and the steps you took to perform the experiment.

  • Data:  Describe or show observations and display actual measurements (in graphs, tables, photos, etc). The judges are interested in your data organized neatly in a graph.

  • Results: Summarize your test results and explain how the results pertain to the objectives or purpose.

  • Conclusion:  Discuss how the results support (or don’t support) your hypothesis. Discuss possibilities for errors, how the experiment could be improved, what you learned, future possible steps, and real life applications.

  • Bibliography: List all websites, books, or other sources that you used to do this experiment.


Important: If students wish to take part in the judging, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Follow the “Scientific Experiment” format

  • Maintain a lab notebook that contains everything from initial ideas, to experiment, to conclusions.

  • There must be no more than 3 participants for the project.

  • Project participants should try to attend the Santa Cruz County Science Fair in March.



  • Science Fair Tips

  • List of Project Categories

  • Judges’ Scoring Sheet

  • Project Checklist

  • Entry Form


For more information on “testable questions”:

Another good resource is to check with the Vine Hill Library and the Santa Cruz Public Library in Scotts Valley:.

More information on the Santa Cruz County Science Fair.

Science Buddies is a Web site that allows you to ask scientists about your project.  You can explain what you are trying to do and get ideas about how to run the experiment and possible pitfalls to avoid.

Science Fair Winners