Mrs. Nielson's Class Website

This is a class website for 7th/8th grade at Odyssey Academy

Science Fair Project


Science Fair Project Guidelines

sci project example

Students recieved a Science Fair Information Packet that they were to take home to their parent/guardian and bring back a signed form on October 26, 2012.  All 7th & 8th grade students are REQUIRED to complete a Science Fair Project at home.  This project is worth 10 daily grades and two major test grades.


ALL students needing help with completing their project or access to scientific tools at the school are encouraged to come to Odyssey on Saturday, January 8th from 8am – 1pm to work on their projects.  Students who choose to come and work on their project must bring their project board and any materials that are necessary for their project.  Any students that do not have ample materials or are not working on their project will be asked to leave.


The following is a copy of the packet sent home in October.                         



Science Fair Project Due Dates

Due Date

Student Initials (completed) Teacher Initials Grade
Brainstorm Topics, Questions, and Ideas. Submit project idea proposal. 

Daily Grade

10/26/2012 Friday

Formulate Question/ Problem.  Submit written problem that can be answered by completing your science project.

Daily Grade

11/2/2012 Friday

Background Research (1 – 2 pages typed research paper- 12 point font- Arial) Daily Grade

11/16/2012 Friday

Hypothesis (Must be in an If…… Then….. format) Daily Grade

12/3/2012 Monday

Materials List

Daily Grade

12/10/2012 Monday

Procedures (Step by step- in a numbered list) Daily Grade

12/17/2012 Monday

Data/Results- Must include a chart or graph detailing & analyzing results of experiment

Daily Grade

1/7/2013 Monday

Conclusion- 1-2 paragraphs summing up the outcome of the experiment

Daily Grade

1/9/2013 Wednesday

Abstract- a 2-3 paragraph summary of the entire science project Daily Grade

1/11/2013 Friday

Science Board- trifold display containing all parts of experiment

Major Grade

1/16/2013 Wednesday



Class Presentation

Major Grade

7th/8th Grade Science Fair: Friday January 18, 2013

Galveston County Science & Engineering Fair: Saturday, February 16, 2013

1/16/2013 Wednesday


Required Science Fair Project Research


You are required to do research related to your science project topic.  The purpose of this research is to further your knowledge and deepen your understanding of this topic.  It is not a report on your project, but an extension of your learning.


Your research paper is required to be:

  • 1 – 2 pages typed; 12 point font- Arial or Times New Roman
  • Written in your own words
  • Cite at least 3 sources of information (books, magazines, internet, scientific journals, tv shows)


The Research Paper will be displayed in front of your Science Fair display board next to the Science Fair Notebook.

Science Project Notebook


You must keep a Science Project Notebook/Journal to document everything that you do for this project.  You are required to keep ALL notes in this notebook!  Ideally, someone should be able to learn everything there is to know about your project, from beginning to end, just by reading the notebook.  Entries may happen several times in one day.  Most entries are handwritten, but a computer may be used to make charts, tables, and graphs.  You may cut and paste these items into your notebook.


Leave any mistakes in your notebook. Rather than tearing out the page, draw a line through your mistake and then continue on with your work.  The judges will notice that you corrected yourself, which indicates that you learned something new!


This notebook will be presented along with your science project display board and research report.



Your Science Project Notebook should include:


ð       Name

ð       Title Page

ð       Problem/ Question (what you are testing)

ð       Background Research (why you chose this project, where you got the idea, etc…)

ð       Hypothesis (prediction of what you think will happen)

ð       List of Materials used in the investigation (experiment)

ð       Procedure (step-by-step directions of how to do the experiment)

ð       Daily Log (dated journal entries) with notes on the progress of your project- what you’re doing, problems you have, things you’d change if you were doing this experiment again, and to share your thinking.

ð       Variable and Control List

ð       Data/ Results: Tables, charts, graphs, and pictures- each well labeled and explained

ð       Conclusion: What you learned from the experiment, whether your hypothesis was correct/incorrect and why, what you learned, what you would do different, and real world uses of your experiment

 ð       Reference Page (Cited sources)


 Science Project Categories

Your science project must fit into one of the following categories.  These are the categories used by the Galveston County Science Fair for 7th – 12th grade.  Please check which category your project fits into. 


  •    Behavioral/Social Science
  •    Medicine/Health 
  •     Biochemistry/Microbiology 
  •     Botany
  •     Zoology
  •    Environmental Science
  •    Chemistry
  •    Physics
  •    Earth/Space Science
  •    Mathematics
  •    Engineering
  •    Computer Science

* Please remember that projects may not involve the harming of animals or people.


 Background Research Paper


Your background research paper must be 1 – 2 pages typed, double spaced, in Arial or Times New Roman 12 point font.  Your research paper should include research that pertains to your project.  Be sure to include only facts, no personal opinions should be present.  All facts should be cited.  Be sure to include the name and location of each source you use.

Your research paper must include an introduction stating what the paper is going to discuss.  The research paper must include facts from a minimum of 3 sources.  Facts should be located in the body of the paper.  The research paper must also include a conclusion that sums up your research.


 Tri-Fold Presentation Board

Students will be required to have a display board; a tri-fold is preferred. Work on the display board should begin three weeks prior to the Science Fair. Students will need to purchase their own science fair display board, not a poster board. The board size should be approximately 36″ high and 48″ wide. An example of a display board is shown at the top of the page. Science fair boards can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Target, Office Depot or most office supply stores.

Requirements on Board:

Title:           Short statement of what the investigation is about. (This should be informative and creative)


Problem/Question: Ask a question that you plan to try and answer through your investigation.


Hypothesis:  Your prediction of what will happen during the investigation (If… Then format)


Materials:    List of materials needed for investigation.


Procedures: A planned set of steps to test your hypothesis.


Data and Results:          Collect information from the experiment in an organized format.

                    What does the data determine?  (must include chart/table or graph)


Conclusion: Answering the original question from the hypothesis.  Must answer the questions we discussed in class.

Reference Page: Include all cited sources from research.



RAWRR! I love this little Jaguar!


 This will be my third year teaching Science at Odyssey Academy.  The past two years have been AMAZING!  I sponsored the very first Science Olympiad team, and took two teams to competition my first year and four teams last year.  The teams won the Science Olympiad

Featured Educator Galveston Daily News 2012

State Championship in 2011, & 3rd in State in 2012! In addition, the past two years we hosted the 7th/8th grade Science Fair, and the winners of each category got to move on to the county level,

where several of my students placed and won scholarship money.  This past year I served as the Girls Basketball Coach, Yearbook Sponsor, and assisted Mrs. Brown in sponsoring the D.C. Trip. In 2011, I was named one of the top 50 teachers in the Galveston area.  Last year I was one of 20 educators featured in the Galveston Daily News.  I feel so blessed to have experienced the past two years and cannot wait to see what lies ahead!  

I am so excited to be teaching 7th/8th grade Science at Odyssey again this year!  I have always LOVED Science.  As a child growing up in the Houston area, I wanted to be an astronaut.  I have always been intrigued by space.   I am so excited to share my enthusiasm with each of you this year as we learn more about Science together.


I originally was raised in the city of Houston, but in the eighth grade we moved out to the country in Montgomery county.  I loved living in the country because there weren’t any distractions from the city.  I especially loved going outside at night to look at stars with my dad.  You could actually see the Milky Way across the sky out in the country without the city lights.

 I went to Texas  A& M right out of high school.  I started as a Political Science and Aerospace Engineering double major.   A few years into my degree, I met Zane.   It was one of those love at first sight things…  We got married in March 2000.  Zane graduated from Texas A&M University that May and got a job working with NASA.   We moved to the Clear Lake Area and I stopped going to school.  I began my own real estate company in the area, which we still own.  Several years into our marriage, I began volunteering at a local elementary school.  I ended up working there and absolutely LOVED it! I decided to go back to school and get my degree in

CarrieBeth & I celebrating her 30th birthday in NYC

teaching.  I graduated UHCL in August 2010 with a teaching degree. In May of 2012, I received my Masters degree in Educational Administration at the University of Texas Tyler.  I plan to eventually get a PhD in Education.

 I have one sister Carrie-Beth, who you will definitely hear about in class.  She is younger than me, and we are super close.   My mom and dad live on the beach and we love spending time with them.  I haven’t been blessed with children of my own, but I consider all of my students “my kids”.   I have one dog, Gracie, and one cat, Pumpkin.  They pretty much think they run the place.


I love music and play multiple instruments: violin, ukulele, guitar, piano, drums.   I love writing poetry and children’s books.   I love learning about other cultures and have been fortunate enough to spend time overseas as well as travel to visit many countries.   I LOVE reading; I believe it takes you places. I love to draw, sometimes you will get little pieces of my artwork on your papers.  I like gardening, watching reality shows and spy shows on TV, eating Mexican food, and singing loudly in the car (and just about everywhere else).  I play basketball and enjoy hanging out in the pool- even though I don’t know how to swim.  My favorite thing in the world is teaching.  I can’t wait to meet each of you and get to know you better!  We will have a great year!

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