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Question/Purpose

Sometimes called "Purpose" or "Problem"

A Good scientific QUESTION has three parts:

  1. It is clearly written
  2. It starts with the verb "Does"
  3. It can be answered by measuring something

This is where you choose your idea. Start by thinking about a general topic. In other words, what are you interested in? What are you curious about? If you like sports, focus your attention there. Maybe you are into electronics or video games.... maybe you love nature and can't get enough of slimy things like worms.

Once you have a general idea, it is then time to get specific. Here's an example. Let's say you like bugs. Get more specific.... let's focus on lightning bugs. Is there anything you are curious about regarding lightning bugs? Well, duh! I'm interested in the fact that they light up. Who isn't?

Here are a few bad examples of a "Question" -

  • Do lightning bugs light up? (This is lame because you already know the answer!)
  • Why do lightning bugs light up? (This is also not good. You won't be measuring anything)
  • What lights up more - a lightning bug or my dog? (Well, you could measure this.... but it's super lame because you know the answer!)
  • What affects the rate of lightning bug flashes? (You're getting closer! But this is a bit too broad. There may be lots of things that cause lightning bugs to flash. Your project will probably be too big and hard to manage).

So what would be a good experimental question about lightning bugs? Here are some good ones:

  • Does temperature affect the rate of lightning bug flashes?
  • Does humidity (moisture in the air) affect the rate of lightning bug flashes?
  • Does moon phase affect the rate of lightning bug flashes?

Here is a good plan for writing your question....Just fill in the blanks......


Does _________________ affect the ________________ of ____________________?