Question Sheet: The Science Fair Circuit


Before reading:

  1. What might you gain from doing a science project and entering a science


  2. What do you think is the hardest part of doing a science project?

During reading:

  1. What does DCYSC stand for? 
  2. What was the subject of Peter Borden’s science project? 
  3. What did Peter Borden learn from participating in several science fairs? 
  4. Describe Joanna Guy’s project. 
  5. What sorts of things did Liz Baker learn from analyzing 29,095 wishes left

    at her “Wishing Tree”? 

  6. Why is not giving up important to these science fair enthusiasts?

After reading:

  1. Compare this science fair article to another article written by Emily Sohn

    about science fairs. (For a list of Emily’s articles about science fairs, go to

    .) How are the two articles different? How are they similar? Which one do you

    like better? Why? 

  2. Come up with a question that you would ask a student who has participated in

    a lot of science fairs. 

  3. Suppose that you were interested in science and had done a science project.

    Would you enter this project in a science fair to compete for prizes? Why or why


  4. Why is it important in science to be able to talk to people “in their

    terms”? Are other fields similar? 

  5. Does this article make you more interested in participating in a science

    fair or less interested? Why?


One of the countries represented at the 2006 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Indianapolis was Costa Rica. About how far did students have to travel to get from Costa Rica to Indianapolis? What is Costa Rica’s population? How many schools does the country have? What percentage of these schools take part in science fairs? See


  1. This article suggests that in order to do well at science fairs (and in

    science) you have to speak clearly. Imagine that you are Liz Baker, creator of

    the “Wishing Tree.” Write a paragraph stating what you would say to a judge to

    summarize the project. 

  2. Find out if your local newspaper has ever covered a science fair or the

    winners of a science fair. If you find such an article, describe what the

    reporter emphasized in the report. How could the report have been improved? What

    information is missing? How would you have written it differently? For examples,


    (Cleveland Plain Dealer),

    (Honolulu Advertiser),


    (Goldsboro News-Argus), and

    (Dover Community News).


A magic square is an arrangement of numbers within a grid in which the numbers add up to the same total in every row, column, and diagonal. In the 3-by-3 magic square shown below, for example, the grid contains the numbers from 1 to 9 and each row, column, and diagonal adds up to 15.

4 9 2
3 5 7
8 1 6

What properties do you think a magic cube ought to have? Is it possible to create

such a magic cube? See (Math Forum) for some hints on how to proceed.