The science fair is coming and you have a great project in mind. Science fair participants often win great rewards, such as bonus points in school, and maybe scholarship money for college. With so much at stake, it is imperative that you always put your best foot forward. Judges, teachers and other science fair participants are likely to ask many questions about your project, from how you started it, to what steps you took in developing it. Keeping your research, ideas and findings in laboratory notebooks can not only help you develop your project smoothly, but can help you answer the questions and win the prize!
There are several lab notebooks to choose from today. It is mostly a matter of preference whether you select a bound composition notebook, an official lab notebook, an electronic lab notebook, or a duplicate-style lab notebook. Some are better suited to students in certain grade levels, while others are better suited to certain types of projects. Before choosing yours, try to evaluate how well it will serve your purposes.
The advantages of a bound spine make it hard for pages to be torn out and lost. They have hard covers which protect the contents. Students from kindergarten through middle school often use these. Official lab notebooks come with features such as places for a table of contents and page numbers. Some provide quick reference materials, like a Periodic Table or conversion charts. These can be used by anyone of any age. Duplicate-style notebooks rely on carbonless paper to make copies of pages. These are great when lab partners are working together on a project.
Electronic lab notebooks can be kept using software on a PC or on the Internet and are becoming more popular in the scientific community. Any of these laboratory notebooks can help you record your science fair project in a meaningful way.