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School Science Project Ideas Can Be Copied- Sort Of
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No, you cannot outright take a project that was done some other time and just pass it off as your own, that is plagiarism. What you can is get your school science project ideas from what others have done in the past. As long as you do the project yourself, it is not copying. In fact, science is one of the places where they want you to re-do projects! Notice that is re-do, not copy.

What makes this really tricky is that one important part of science is what they call replicating an experiment. It means one scientist does something and reports their results, or what they like to say are their findings. The news media likes to report on the ones that talk about caffeine for example. What will makes these results more meaningful is when another scientist, can “replicate” the results by doing the same experiment pretty much in the same way or close enough, and the are able to get the same results. The more independent results that you get that prove the original experiment, the stronger your “findings” are.

We see this all the time on the news when some study is published and a few months later you get another report that another group of scientists said the same thing. One example would be the reports that say that too much caffeine may be bad for your blood pressure, but caffeine proved to help some other things. Of course you will also run into the problem that the second study does not come up with the same results and so that is where things get confusing, when the media gets ahold of that information. For the most part it means more experiments are needed. This is how most new medicines come on the market, by independent research proving that it works like it is supposed to and does not have harmful side effects.

So scientifically speaking, you want experiments to be done again and again, it helps prove the point, or in some cases disprove.

What does this have to do with school science project ideas? They are not finding medicines are solving life's issues. What it does mean is that for school you can use an experiment that someone else did, but you will make it your own. You will be proving or disproving a science principle. How you set it up will be different, the exact data will be different even though it might show the same pattern, the specific numbers will be different. And most of all you will be writing an original report sharing your conclusions and researching more about the topic. All of that is what makes it original.

Think about it for a minute, if the science unit is on electricity and the science fair projects is on what conducts electricity, the point will be for the student to discover what conducts electricity. Comparing their results to what we already know just helps to confirm this idea in a hands on way, so the student can see for themselves. So you will want the experiment to include the known conductors of electricity (any metals) as well as some things that are not (and plastic). One popular ideas for a science fair project is seeing if an apple or peach can conduct electricity, and they are often pretty fun to do.

The other thing you will really want is to have, particularly with kids doing these on their own is safety measures built in. Most people are not electricians, so they can't judge for sure how safe one of these experiments are. Using a project that another student used successfully gives an added level of assurance. Science teachers and even parents often publish materials or these days have websites online with experiments that have been proven to work.

There is so much news of science and technology out there these days, and the kids seem to really like the Weird Science News Pages that you can find with a quick Google search. What makes this so great is that it is showing the fun side of science and helps keep the interest alive, which is good as the President has make science and math education a priority. It really should not be hard to find interesting science fair projects and you will end up being better off if you find one someone else had success with.

As you can see, there are many places you can look for great school science project ideas with friends, relatives and neighbors, teachers, books and websites. One thing you need to be sure that any experiment you choose is organized in the way teachers like with the steps to following scientific principles in place. One way to be sure of that is to check the directions and see if they ask for a hypothesis or a prediction to prove. If that is there then you will be good to go.

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