A science fair project, which is generally composed of a display unit, exhibit materials and a written report, is the result of a student’s thorough investigation into a scientific area of interest. Students present a collection of items, demonstrate a process, conduct an experiment or present a scientific apparatus for viewing. Science projects teach students to appreciate the process of scientific inquiry, the day-to-day work of professional scientists and the underlying value of synthesizing and presenting new knowledge.
The display unit is a critical component of the science project. Because is it the first thing that people see, it serves as an "announcement" of the effort that has gone into presenting the final project. As such, the display unit should be well-constructed, and it should maximize the overall visual appeal of the project.
As a rule of thumb, the material components of a science project should present a story that is relatively self-explanatory. The display materials should present the process and the underlying concept of the project in a manner that makes them clear to an observer without detailed explanations from the project's creator.
Regardless of the scientific approach a student takes, a written report is necessary. Not only does this report provide important data on the depth and breadth of a project, but it also provides evidence of a student's understanding of the topic under consideration.