• Science fair topic idea

    The hardest part of science fair is coming up with a topic idea.  There are some general things to keep in mind when creating a topic for High School Science fair topics that will make this process easier:    

    1. Start with something you enjoy, are active in or just curious about.
      • develop experiment around sport you play
      • play an instrument... do an experiment with/around it
      • enjoy painting, drawing, or art. experiment with new materials or methods
      • are you in a pathway class?  develope an experiment around a specific skill/task
    2. Look at the topic category list to get an idea of the areas that topics can fall within.
    3. Look through high school text books or scientific magazines/journals (any science, math, engineering, agriculture, and many pathway classes) to see what spikes your interest.
    4. Find a problem in your (or a family members) life and develop a solution.  See teen/child inventors below.
    5. The topic/project must be challenging (answer not already known) and a true experimental project or prototype develoment and testing.  This is NOT just a research paper. 
    6. If you can "Google" the answer to your idea then the topic will NOT be accepted.
    7. High School level topics do NOT include product comparisons (example which brand works better).
    8. High School level topics can create a use for current technology that it was not originally intended for.
    9. Search OLD INTEL abstracts
    10. AVOID taking a project idea off the internet and presenting it as is {see #5 and 6 above} 


    Things to consider when developing topic

    • Must be testable experiment
      • Example: what temperature of water will grow plants the best in darkness? Can NOT be tested, MOST plants need light for photosynthesis
    • Can’t test growing (or killing) bacteria at home. This MUST be done in a supervised lab
    • Any experiment that involves people, EVERY person tested MUST sign a consent for testing form.
      • If <18 their parent MUST sign form prior to doing test (this includes surveys)
    • You can NOT do product comparison, but you could develop your on product and test it against store bought product. 


    Example of not approved topics and why

    • what beverage evaporate the fastest?                                      [low level]
    • what color candle burns fastest?                                              [low level]
    • do ants prefer sugar vs. artificial sweeteners                            [low level]
    • can lemon/oranges/other fruit light an LED bulb                       [low level and known]
    • how does talking on cell phone influence reaction time              [known: slows time]
    • which metal is better at conducing electricity                           [low level & known]
    • Which liquid corrodes a rock/nail/(other object) the fastest?     [know: more acidic = faster]
    • what food provides most energy                                    [known:  calorie content on labels]
    • what brand of paper towel will work the best                           [product comparison]
    • what brand of contact solution kills bacteria the best?        [low level & product comaprison]


    Have an idea but not sure if its known!!

    • Google part of your question/idea
    • If you find the answer to your question the topic will NOT be approved
    • If you find a procedure online that exact project the topic will NOT be approved
      • You can apply the idea to something new for a different experiment
    • If you find a kit you can order on line to test your experiment it is NOT likely to be approved
      • MOST kits test phenomena that is already know and would NOT be approved


    See teen/child inventor information for addtional ideas:



     More information found at



    2020 HCHS Senior Level (High School) Regional Fair Results