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Getting the most out of a science fair project

Hi, Brian,

A few thoughts:

A Prius-based Fair project is a 'non-experimental' type. That's OK. The point of Science Fair is to encourage you to develop your scientific skills.

With that in mind, I'd recommend that instead of asking people what you should do (which is kind of like trolling for other peoples ideas), you should use Google and your library to educate yourself about how the Prius as a hybrid really works. For example, don't ask someone to tell you what the Atkins cycle is--dig in and find out for yourself. Use this as an opportunity to improve your research skills. What does it do that is worthwhile? Why does that matter? How exactly does it do that? What are the trade-offs and engineering issues?

If doing well in the competition is what matters to you, remember that you won't get far in the jury process if you don't really understand what you're presenting.

One of the great benefits of learning enough to teach a subject (which you must do to the jury in defending your project) is that you are forced to get yourself to understand it well enough to explain it clearly. A higher level of knowledge, worth the effort.

If you do this, it doesn't really matter if your project looks pretty or not. You will have improved your own abilities in a way that will help you do better in future science classes.

Good luck on this interesting topic!
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