EMSP Educational Outreach
Educational Outreach Information

A Collection for Your Science Fair Exhibit
The requirements for a Collection Exhibit are:
1. Background Information and Log - Gather research on your topic. Keep a dated log of all activity, research, collection, identification, design of project, etc.
2. Statement of Problem - The problem is a statement of the student's question about the collection.
3. Hypothesis-This statement is an educated guess about the collection. "I wonder if....because..."
4. Independent Variable - (General Qualitative) What are the most useful or main characteristics used for identifying the fossils being collected?
5. Constant Variable - The location, formation, age, where and how fossils are found.
6. Dependent Variable- (Specific Qualitative and Quantitative) What are the specific characteristics do the fossils have? DDV- The identity based orsome identification tool. i.e. Fossil book or experienced collector's assistance.
Intrepretation - Note relationships or patterns between and among the fossils collected.
Preservation Procedure (if necessary)
Collecting Procedure- Describe procedures used to collect and prepare fossils. Name the safety precautions taken during collection.
Results, Conclusion, Report - These are completed using your data from the project.

If you are interested in fossils, it won't take you long to have a good collection.You will need around 10 to 20 specimens for your exhibit. Pictures of your collection are allowed if you do not want to display the actual fossils.

To start learning about fossils use the libraries and links, the go to the Fossil collecting sites we have listed and do the actual collecting. Don't forget to enter this information in your log and keep notes for your background report. You can also create data cards with information about each fossil in the collection.  Begin grouping your fossils by the way they look, where you found them, or the type of fossil they are. Use books from the library or other sources to identify your fossils. As continue to study them, you will begin to see how the information you are gathering can be put in a chart.

If you need a mentor to assist you, contact the Paleontology Society in your area.
The Easten Missouri Society for Paleontology has two members who have volunteered to be mentors for the St. Louis area.
They are:
     Dr. Bruce Stinchcomb
      Carl Campbell

Next, set up your display according to the guidelines of the Science Fair. If you like to draw, you can add pictures of fossils, or print out pictures from the web to enhance the appearance of your display.   Whatever you do, have fun learning about fossils.

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