Science Fair Project (National), I wanted to win .. but?

so i entered this science fair in my school and won the physics category. now i am sent by my school to compete with other 40 schools in hope of becoming one of the people whos going to ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair). The competition is on 3rd of October. Ive done the experiment before. All I have to do now is the thesis. Most of my competitors made attachment with universities they want. In my case, my physics teacher said my experiment is simple and I dont need to go to these universities. I was shocked when I found out I won the science fair, considering I was doing it the last minute. My project wasnt that WOW-ish, which is "Hair as an effective oil spill absorbent". I was wondering, how can I ever compete with these people, and will I stand the chance to go to ISEF which is going to be held at Los Angeles? I've always wanted to go there. I live in Malaysia btw. I feel like my project isnt that great. But I wanted to win. I absolutely dont know what to do now. I havent done my thesis yet. HELP!


i was wondering if anyone could ever gave me information about this project: hair as an effective oil spill absorbent. and what does it have to do with physics? do they have relations at all?

1 Answer

  • Nick G
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think that the appeal of your project is the fact that many people do not understand that hair can absorb oil. You may or may not be right in thinking that your project is not that WOW-ish, but I volunteered at the last ISEF a few months ago in San Jose, California and I saw a LOT of projects that were not that WOW-ish.

    One of the very simple ones was about how Infant Death Syndrome could be reduced by elevating a baby's head when the baby sleeps and having the baby sleep on its back. That is not very WOW-ish, but it made it into the ISEF!

    What gets projects selected for the ISEF, I believe, is a little original thinking and a lot of research. For your project, Google this: hair as oil absorbent. I did and found a LOT of information on the subject.

    The video here explains how it was discovered that hair can absorb. explains just how hair absorbs oil.

    I suggest you read as much as you can about the subject, then you should be able to come up with a good thesis.

    By the way, I suggest that you do not spend a lot of money on a fancy display. Just bring all of your printed materials and arrive at least one day early in the city where the ISEF will be. Ask the people at your hotel where the nearest office supply store is, then go there and buy a cardboard display and a glue stick. Be sure to bring good quality copies of your display materials as the idea is to throw it away and bring home nothing. This will greatly reduce or eliminate your shipping costs, which are very high when flying over an ocean.

    Good luck!

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