Plan Your Experiments

Plan Your Experiments


Develop an experiment to solve the specific scientific problem you’ve chosen. See the Scientific Method to help plan your experiment.

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Consult Your Adult Sponsor

Discuss the project with your parents and teacher. Review with them the International Rules as well as the specific rules that might apply to your type of research. For example, if you are working with human subjects or animals or hazardous substances, specific rules apply.

ADVICE FROM ALUMNI

My experience with mentors has been fantastic. In addition to wonderful mentors who I found at my high school, I have been fortunate to work with researchers at several major scientific institutions. Finding these people was by no means easy, and I think that my success was probably due to persistence more than anything else. Even after I was rejected by administrators (who may view you as being too young), I continued to press my case until I was granted interviews with a few prospective mentors. Getting an interview is essential. The interview is when you and the mentor see if you are personally compatible.

Ask your science teacher for help. Don't be shy--call professors at local universities or even E-mail them.

You should try to find someone to act as your mentor for support and suggestions. Nevertheless, it is not always required to work in a large institution with a specialist in your area of interest. I spent my time working at home in my father's workshop, using parts I found around the house to build my inventions and to solve a few problems. I also spent time working at school in the workshops and labs or out on the lake. A mentor is a guide, not a solution. Don't be afraid to seek help from several sources and to use the resources that are at your disposal.

Write a Research Plan
  • Write a detailed research plan describing how you plan to conduct your research:
  • Develop a hypothesis using the Scientific Method.
  • Develop a procedure.
  • Obtain the appropriate approvals before starting your research.
Complete the Required Forms

Complete the required forms for Intel ISEF and any additional local science fairs.