G.W. Carver Science Fair

The George Washington Carver Science Fair encourages urban youth to pursue academic achievement and careers in science. Since its inception, over 31,000 students have participated in the Carver Science Fair and have, in many cases, moved on to compete in the Delaware Valley Regional and Intel International Science Fairs.

Key Dates

December 2013
Registration Forms Due

March 2014
George Washington Carver Science Fair, Temple University

April 2014
Delaware Valley Science Fair, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center  

Quick Facts
  • The Carver fair is held annually at Temple University  
  • The state fair takes place over three days 
  • Students present their research on tri-fold boards and speak to a small group of judges 
  • Students are judged in comparison to their peers in specific fields (i.e., physics, chemistry) 
  • Only first place students are eligible to attend the Delaware Valley fair

Each school can send three students and projects in each of the following categories.
  1. Behavior / Social Science 
  2. Biochemistry 
  3. Botany 
  4. Chemistry 
  5. Computer Science 
  6. Earth /Space Science 
  7. Engineering 
  8. Environmental Science 
  9. Mathematics 
  10. Medicine/Health 
  11. Microbiology 
  12. Physics 
  13. Zoology

Related Links
The George Washington Carver Science Fair 
The Delaware Valley Science Fair
The Intel International Science & Engineering Fair

Required Project Elements

Data Notebook

A project data book is your most treasured piece of work. Accurate and detailed notes make a logical and winning project. Good notes show consistency and thoroughness to the judges and will help you when writing your research paper. Data tables are also helpful. They may be a little ‘messy’ but be sure the quantitative data recorded is accurate and that units are included in the data tables. Make sure you date each entry.

Research Paper

A research paper should be prepared and available along with the project data book and any necessary forms or relevant written materials. A research paper helps organize data as well as thoughts. A good paper includes the following sections.
Title Page and Table of Contents: The title page and table of contents allows the reader to follow the organization of the paper quickly. 

Introduction: The introduction sets the scene for your report. The introduction includes the purpose, your hypothesis, problem or engineering goals, an explanation of what prompted your research, and what you hoped to achieve. 

Materials and Methods: Describe in detail the methodology you used to collect data, make observations, design apparatus, etc. Your research paper should be detailed enough so that someone would be able to repeat the experiment from the information in you paper. Include detailed photographs or drawings of self-designed equipment. Only include this year’s work. 

Results: The results include data and analysis. This should include statistics, graphs, pages with your raw collected data, etc. 

Discussion: This is the essence of your paper. Compare your results with theoretical values, published data, commonly held beliefs, and/or expected results. Include a discussion of possible errors. How did the data vary between repeated observations of similar events? How were your results affected by uncontrolled events? What would you do differently if you repeated this project? What other experiments should be conducted? 

Conclusions: Briefly summarize your results. State your findings in relationships of one variable with the other. Support those statements with empirical data (one average compared to the other average, for example). Be specific, do not generalize. Never introduce anything in the conclusion that has not already been discussed. Also mention practical applications. 

Acknowledgments: You should always credit those who have assisted you, including individuals, businesses and educational or research institutions. However, acknowledgments listed on a project board are a violation of D & S Display rules and must be removed. 

References/Bibliography: Your reference list should include any documentation that is not your own (i.e. books, journal articles, websites, etc.). See an appropriate reference in your discipline for format or refer to the Instructions to Authors of the appropriate publication.

After finishing research and experimentation, you need to write an abstract. The abstract needs to be a maximum of 250 words on one page. An abstract should include the a) purpose of the experiment, b) procedures used, c) data, and conclusions. It also may include any possible research applications. Only minimal reference to previous work may be included. The abstract must focus on work done in the current year and should not include a) acknowledgments, or b) work or procedures done by the mentor.

Visual Display
You want to attract and inform. Make it easy for interested spectators and judges to assess your study and the results you have obtained. You want to ‘catch the eye’ of the judges and convince them that the research is of sufficient quality to deserve closer scrutiny. Most displays or boards have three sections and are free standing. For the most part, the displays are put on a table. Most judges get a chance to look at the board before the interviews. Make the most of your space using clear and concise displays. You never get a second chance to make a first impression!