Project Topics - *One Topic is Required*
We adhere to the same project topics used by St. Louis Area Science Fair. Choosing one of these four project types means you are judged by the same standards that will be used by the Academy of Science St. Louis Science Fair. Winners of the Kirkwood School District STEAMFest are eligible to apply for the Academy of Science. Kirkwood offers a option of "non-judged" option for students who want to do a project for fun!
COLLECTION: a group of objects or results that form some type of pattern.
For a collection, you will answer a question by collecting samples from nature. Use similarities and differences among your items (and the places they were found) to look for patterns or connections.
EXPERIMENT: a problem that is investigated by performing a series of tests in which one thing is changed each time and all other things remain the same from test to test.
The universe is filled with connections. Events have causes – a change to one thing will often cause a change to something else. Scientists conduct experiments to investigate and explain these relationships and use their results to explain and predict phenomena. In an “experiment” project, you will perform a series of tests in which one thing is changed each time and all other things remain the same from test to test.
OBSERVATION: a series of events that you watch and try to explain and find common connections or occurrences.
Sometimes scientists answer questions by watching – very closely or over a long period of time. In an observation project you will choose a subject and record your observations (in writing, with pictures/video, etc.). After you’ve made enough observations, you’ll try to identify a pattern or common connections. You can also use tools to make observations – like a telescope or microscope.
Do you have a MAKER Space in your school? You can now submit your "MAKER" projects. Showcase the engineering, invention, and models that you have been working on. Think about a time when you thought, “I hate it when…” and try to design a solution to that problem. Take something apart to see how it works, try to understand why someone designed it that way and think about ways to make it better – or use the parts to make something completely new. You can also build models, prototypes (smaller or simpler replicas), or computer programs to explain how something works.
- Invention: An invention is a new way of making something or performing an action.
- Engineering: An engineering project involves finding a solution to a problem through a design process (like a machine or computer code), or finding a structural solution for an engineering problem (like the materials or design of a bridge).
- Model: A scaled-down replication of a device or product.
For Maker Projects, we follow the Engineering Design Process.
- Ask: Identify the need and constraint
- Research: The problem
- Imagine: Develop possible solutions
- Plan: Select a promising solution
- Create: Building a prototype
- Test: Test and evaluate prototype
- Improve: Redesign as needed