Northeast Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Documenting the Experiment

Documenting your project is accomplished in two ways:

These two documents serve different purposes and you must have both.

Project Data Book / Logbook

Your logbook is a "diary" of your experiment. Do not try to make your logbook "pretty". This is your raw data and your original ideas and thoughts. A real scientist never erases or uses correction fluid. Some day you may want to go back and see how the mistake you made led you to a new exciting conclusion. Later, when your write your paper, you can fix your English, make it clear to others, and get it ready for presentation.

Your logbook should start on the first day you begin brainstorming about your project. Each time that you work on your project should be listed in your logbook as a separate entry. Each entry should begin with basic information important to your project, such as:

After making the basic entry, describe your activities. Keep accurate records of your results in well labeled tables and charts. Be as specific as possible and take as many readings/measurements as you can throughout the experiment. Include graphs of your data. Make the graphs by hand just to get an impression of the best way to present your data. You can enter the data in the computer and make computer generated graphs later. Your logbook should be very detailed so that anyone who attempts to duplicate your research will end up with the same conclusive results that you did.

Project Notebook

Your Project notebook should have two sections:

Project Forms and paperwork.
Research Paper

The information below is taken from the ISEF Student Handbook. 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: