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Selecting a project type

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It is important to determine early in the project planning that what type of project you will be conducting. The following three types of projects are allowed and encouraged in St Paul Interdistrict Science Fair.



A practical, hands-on investigation undertaken to test a scientific hypothesis. Experiment is a scientific procedure undertaken to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact. Experiments follow the scientific method and are designed to investigate one measureable variable; other variables are controlled. Data is thoroughly analyzed using statistical methods. The best projects include original questions, to which the answer is not presently known, or new experimental methods.

Research OR Study:

A study is an analysis of data to explain a situation or a phenomenon of scientific interest. For example, a regional study of cancer incidence may be related to specific industries and pollution levels to explain the cancer anomaly.


An innovation involves the development and evaluation of devices, models, techniques, or processes. For example, constructing a computer guidance system to control a farm tractor, thus allowing it to plow a field without a human operator.