||Decide on the nature of the
- Use the
listed categories to determine your area of
- Consult with
science and/or mathematics teachers about
the possibilities of doing research in the
area of your choice.
- Note that all
projects involving vertebrate animals
(including humans) must receive prior
approval before the research begins. Prior
approval is also required for some
recombinant DNA and microbiology projects.
See the “Biological Hazards” section of this
site for clarification.
- Endorsements must be signed
and submitted by teacher sponsors ONLY.
scientific. Investigate and explore an
interest--a fascination--an idea that raises
a question that would be stimulating to
answer. Improve upon a previous STEM
Exhibition project from a different point of
view (new question).
exactly what the question or problem is and
state it clearly.
- Consult with
teachers and/or a coordinator concerning
your area of interest. Be sure that the
problem chosen is within your available
abilities and resources.
- Do research.
The most important part of a research
project is finding out as much as possible
about the problem. Spend some time in the
library at school, the regional library, and
the main Chicago Public Library. If
possible, visit the libraries of local
colleges. For information about library
sources, contact the local STEM Exhibition
coordinator and the school librarian. Some
libraries may be closed to the general
public, but many will allow you to use their
collection on the premises.
- Formulate a
hypothesis* for testing. Design experiments
to test the hypothesis.
- Find ways to
measure, observe, and record what happens in
each aspect of the project. Remember that
every experiment must have a control.**
- Do not
abandon negative results. Use them to modify
the hypothesis; then test again. Set time
- Remember that
constant evaluation of the research takes
place from the first step to the final
good projects are the result of careful
work, careful planning, and constant
revision as data accumulate.
An assumption used as the basis for action; a
calculated guess subject to verification or
proof from which conclusions may be drawn.
Formulating and testing a hypothesis in
mathematics is not as common a method of
investigation as in other categories.
**control: A method to test or verify a
scientific experiment by conducting a parallel
experiment or by using other standards of