Constructing your exhibit:
The purpose of your exhibit is to communicate what you did and your results to the viewer. (And especially the judges!) Your exhibit is a very important part of your Science Fair Project. You can do a wonderful job on your experiment- perhaps even find a cure for the common cold, but if no-one understands what you have done your Science Fair Project is ineffective. Communication is very important to the scientist, and this is reflected in your Science Fair Project. You must communicate your results in your final report, in your oral presentation, and in your exhibit.
Your exhibit display is designed to be seen not read! It should convey your results with pictures, charts, and graphs. Of course, you will have the required headings, but try to keep the reading to a minimum. Use visuals on your display. All lettering should be easily readable at a glance and convey important information to the project. Save the details for the abstract or report.
Plan your display carefully before beginning. Be sure that it is the approved size. You do not want to make a mistake and waste a display board. Lay everything out on your board without attaching it. Check the colors for eye appeal. Would the charts, graphs, and pictures be better displayed with a color border? If so, try it carefully. Remember, use color sparingly, but attractively.
Choose your title carefully. It should convey what your project is about in one sentence or question. Your title should be printed in large letters. Subtitles are smaller. State your purpose clearly, list your experiments and be sure your conclusions are short and to the point. Include lots of visual aides to convey your project to the viewer without reading. All lettering should be done neatly and be professional in appearance. Best is the use of purchased vinyl letters. 2nd Best would be computer prepared letters neatly and securely attached to the board. If you are handwriting your letters, be sure they are very neat and uniform in appearance. No matter what letter style you are using, draw a very light pencil line (to be erased later) to line the lettering up straight on the board.
Use a hinged display board so that your project will stand up. For competition in a science fair this is absolutely necessary. If you are unable to purchase a display board ($5-10 at your office supply store), use masonite, plywood or other stiff materials (even cardboard) that are hinged with duct tape. Attach your poster to the board, making sure all areas are covered and professional in appearance, or paint the board and put your display onto it directly. Be sure to check the guidelines given to you by your teacher or the Science Fair officials, so that your display fits their requirements.
Your display should contain the following:
You would also display your Research Report, Abstract (or a report on your experiment, what you did and what your results were) and a Bibliography including recognition of anyone who helped you.
Set up your display board to cover the following areas. Your board can differ from this, according to your display needs, but the following is generally recommended:
Your display should have a neat, finished look. Proper use of color and style can make a big difference in your display. Avoid very bright colors, colors that clash and anything that is overstated because it will not look professional. Black and white is acceptable, but perhaps a little boring. Neon green is too garish and will make your project look cheap. I would choose an understated color, perhaps light blue, for the background, or coordinate it to your experiment. Keep your colors to 2 or 3 in the main part of the display. Your color combination can make a big difference in your display.
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