Scientific vs. Engineering Method

There are Three Types of Science Fair Projects:

Demonstration Project (Not Recommended)

Traditional Science Fair Project

Engineering Project

Demonstration Project: Students in the lower elementary grades are the only ones who are usually allowed do a demonstration project. They’re typically not allowed at middle school or high school science fairs.

Examples: Demonstrate how a volcano works, Build your own planetarium, Explain static electricity through several activities such as making an aluminum foil ball.

Traditional Science Fair Project: Uses The Scientific Method to answer the question or to solve the problem in an organized way.


- Do you sing in a chorus? You could do a science fair project to determine if cold water or warm water has a better effect on your voice and ability to reach high notes or low notes.

- If your parents enjoy drinking tea, you can do an experiment to determine how the brewing time of tea affects the strength of the tea using a device that measures light absorption; is tea that’s brewed for four minutes twice as strong as tea that’s brewed for 2 minutes?

Engineering Project: Applies The Engineering Method with science and math to identify a need and to determine how you will solve that need by producing useful devices for people.


-For instance, if you’re in a band, you could do an engineering project on the effects of dry wall thickness or various sound-absorption materials on sound transmission in your basement or garage so your neighbors won’t complain about the noise when you practice.

-If you run track, you can build a working model of a body temperature monitor to see how much your temperature increases after running for 20, 30 or 40 minutes, or at various speeds.