## Steps for Success

The steps to complete a JSHS project are laid out below. Make sure to discuss a timeline with your mentor that includes regular progress checks and opportunities for dialog. Once you have started asking questions, look at current research to understand what has already been done and get a feel for the methodology. This will help refine the questions you're asking and narrow the scope. We look forward to the development of your original research!

The best time to begin your project is right now!

1.) Select a topic that interests you Now

2.) Research the topic and make note of those aspects

you find interesting and the questions you ask yourself Now

3.) Refine your question based on your research Now

4.) Design the Experiment Now - Oct

5.) Data Oct-Nov

6.) Data Analysis Nov-Dec

7.) Write the Paper Nov-Dec

8.) Revise with mentor(s) Dec

9.) Turn in Paper, Abstract, SOA (due in Jan)

The best time to begin your project is right now!

1.) Select a topic that interests you Now

2.) Research the topic and make note of those aspects

you find interesting and the questions you ask yourself Now

3.) Refine your question based on your research Now

4.) Design the Experiment Now - Oct

5.) Data Oct-Nov

6.) Data Analysis Nov-Dec

7.) Write the Paper Nov-Dec

8.) Revise with mentor(s) Dec

9.) Turn in Paper, Abstract, SOA (due in Jan)

**Some considerations that will contribute to a strong project...**

**Sample Paper**

**1**

**Sample Paper 2**

__Use a testable question with a repeatable experiment. JSHS focus in on original research by students__**.**

Develop and use a question that requires an easily repeatable experiment in which you collect numerical data. Example: Does the angle/shape of a ramp affect the speed of a model car? Make sure you have looked at the current state of research. If you have not done so you should not yet be drafting a testable question.

__Clearly define all variables in the experiment.__The independent variable and the dependent variable need to be clearly defined. There should only be one independent variable. The independent variable is what will be manipulated or changed in the experiment. The dependent variable is what will be measured in the experiment (this is the source of the numerical data).

__Write the hypothesis as an If-Then statement__**.**

The “If” is based on the independent variable and the “Then” is based on the dependent variable. Example: If the angle of the ramp is increased (independent variable), then the speed of the model car will increase (dependent variable).

__Collect quality numerical data using multiple trials.__The data collected needs to be in numerical form and be collected using multiple trials with the same experiment. The more trials used to collect data increases reliability. Although the number of trials may vary depending on the type of experiment, in the past successful projects have had at least 25 trials. If you are using survey results, the larger and more diverse your sample size, the better. Surveys at your school may not be the best approach and you're encouraged to consider alternate options to gather the data you wish to analyze. How have other scientists approached this?

__Clearly link the conclusion to the hypothesis and data__**.**

The conclusion is a summary of the experiment based on the analysis and interpretation of the data. There should be a direct connection between the conclusion and the hypothesis.

__Use appropriate statistical analysis__**.**

The data should be analyzed using at least one measure of central tendency (i.e. mean, median, mode, range) as well as at lease one graphic representation (i.e. circle graph, box-and-whisker plot, line graph, scatter plot, bar graph, etc.). A statistical test (i.e. Standard Deviation, T-test, Chi Square, etc.), should be used to evaluate significance in the data.

__Use judging criteria to organize the project and presentation__**.**

Use the JSHS Core Rules of Competition document to organize the project and presentation. Insure that all key components are well developed and can be clearly communicated.

__Practice the presentation and use feedback to revise as needed.__Practice the presentation for the project so that the judges will view the project as well developed and polished. Use feedback from practice sessions to revise the presentation as appropriate.

**Questions to ask yourself about your project**