Mock Mini Science Fair Board To Teach The Scientific Method (plus a freebie)

So the Science Fair is coming up in February. Most of my second graders were not familiar on how to properly set up a trifold science fair display board. For their first grade science fair projects, they were not required to add in the Scientific Method. Although it is still not required to put the whole method on the board for second grade (required starting in 3rd grade), I teach it so that they can display and set up their experiment properly. Last  year I used Sunny Day's in Second Grade mock trial board and labels to do the Carnation and food coloring experiment. She provided all the templates and the written portion for students to glue onto their mini boards.  It worked really well for me. This year however, I wanted to do a different, more interactive experiment, and I wanted the students to write in all their information by themselves. I searched for a fun experiment and decided on using gum! Yummy! The purpose was to determine if chewing gum or bubble gum made a bigger bubble. It was really simple for them to do and understand, and the experiment part only took one class period.  

To introduce the scientific method. I showed them the amazing Youtube video by Have Fun Teaching It's the Scientific Method Rap! They love it and we watch it over and over. The students learn the steps pretty quickly this way. 

First we set up the mock board.  Everyone gets to make their own so they can take it home and have a sample. The boards I got were from Michaels and they came in a pack of 5. I think it was under 3 dollars. Don't forget to use the 40 percent off coupons and teacher's discount!
 Next, we folded the board into three sections to resemble a trifold board, and then we set up the labels and added the sticky notes. I used sticky notes under the headings because it was quick, colorful, and fit very nicely into the small poster sized boards. We filled out part of the sticky notes before the experiment (up to the procedure), and filled in the rest after the data was collected. Even though students did 5 trials in their actual groups, we only recorded 2 of their trials (the biggest two measurements for each type of gum). This was because we didn't have enough space to include all the data, and it was basically just to get the point across that we should do trials in a true experiment. 

In the beginning of the week. we got introduced to what the experiment would be. We brainstormed to come up with a catchy title and settled on "Chew Out!" We came up with the question (Does chewing gum or bubble gum make a bigger bubble?) For the hypothesis, I told the students to decide with an educated guess which type of gum; chewing or bubble (Juicy Fruit or Bubble Yum), would make the biggest bubble. They HAD to tell me why they thought that because it must be an educated guess. I liked some of their responses such as "I think the bubble gum would make the biggest bubble because it is bigger and has more sugar." Well, most kids chose the bubble gum, but two did choose chewing gum! Then we came up with the procedure and materials (gum and ruler). Only 5 kids in my class could blow a bubble. So I made 5 groups of 5 or 6. Everyone got to chew the gum, but the bubble blower in each group would be in charge of making the bubbles, and the rest of the group mates would take turns measuring the bubble from side to side in c.m. They had to do the trial 5 times and record the results for each type of gum. Then, we regrouped, analyzed our results and realized that bubble gum was the overall winner, and came up with our conclusion of whether their hypothesis was correct or not. 

Here are some pictures of how one board board looked like at the end:


Ok, FREEBIE TIME!! So the labels I quickly created for my class were kind of dull. I spruced them up. I included colored and black and white versions. Also, if you decide not to do the sticky note method, I provided blank boxes you can glue under the headings where the kids can write down their notes. There is also a blank label for a title. Included subtitles are: observations, background information, question, hypothesis, materials, procedure, data, trials 1, 2, and 3, analyze data, conclusion, bibliography, and acknowledgements I didn't use ALL of these labels on the board, but you can choose what will work for you. Click on the first picture to get you to the product! Enjoy!


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