It is that time of year when many students are choosing projects for the annual science fair. The science fair is a means of demonstrating one’s love of science and passion for research. Those who voluntarily enter such competitions do so out of a love for the subject matter and the process of experimentation. Often these students have plans of pursuing a career in science. This is the perfect time to use a scientific notebook to document your project.
Within the bindings of your notebook, you will be documenting everything you investigate, your experiments, and perhaps even the design of your product. As a scientist, you will be required to keep detailed records of your work in such a notebook. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with its workings and the techniques used for maintaining it.
When you make a written record of your procedure, the observations you make along the way, the questions that arise from your experience and your findings, you make it easy for someone else to follow in your footsteps and retrace your path. This is crucial to verify results and can help answer questions that may arise later.
Label the scientific notebook with your name, the class or project name, and your contact information in case it is lost. Always write in smudge-proof ink rather than pencil. Number the pages and do not remove any. This lends credibility to your research. Don’t forget to create a table of contents so you can easily find the specific notes you want.