Science fair season is quickly approaching!

The very first step to any good fair experience is to pick an awesome experiment to do, and then apply the scientific method to determine the results.

Here are a few how-to projects to help inspire a fun trial for you to do at your fair.

Use these to develop a hypothesis, put it to the test, record the results, then share with the rest of our readers over on our Community Projects platform!

Reflecting Light

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Build a physical display that demonstrates the property of retroreflection at work.

Fully Enclosed Biosphere

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Create a micro ecosystem in a jar.

Gooey Oobleck

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This slimy goop isn’t just fascinating fun, it’s also a perfect example of a non-newtonian fluid.

Bicycle Generator

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Create electricity by pedaling on a stationary bike. This impressive project can be built for under $100.

Magdeburg Hemispheres

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Show how one 17th-century scientist displayed the incredible power of vacuum with this clever experiment.

Ionic Spaceship Thruster

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Create a functional engine with no moving parts, like what NASA uses in space. Caution: This is a high voltage project and requires proper safety precautions.

Bacteria Battery

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Power an LED with nothing more than a fancy bucket of mud.

Plasma Arc Speaker

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Watch as a tiny bolt of lightning zaps music into the airCaution: This is a high voltage project and requires proper safety precautions.

Know the Scientific Method

The key to any good experiment is to follow the tried-and-true scientific method.

This set of steps, which dates to ancient Greece, has various elements, but four key stages to incorporate at the very least:

» Establish your question
» Form a hypothesis
» Predict an outcome
» Test the hypothesis

Remember to set up a solid control group when you’re testing your hypothesis — this is crucial to the analysis of your experiment to show your results.