A display board, or science board, is the required visual component of a science fair project. Every student that enters a science fair has to produce one of these boards. The purpose of these boards is to summarize the steps taken in the project and to highlight the most important points of the project. Since this is what the science fair judges are going to use as their primary source of information for the project during their evaluations, it is important for students to do their very best when constructing their science fair display boards.

Selecting the Board

Students have several options when it comes to selecting the background board for their projects display board. Most students are going to utilize either a piece of poster board or foam board. If the student is only completing a project for a class grade or for a school level science fair, then poster board will suffice. However, if the student has aspirations of participating in and winning regional or higher level science fairs, then the foam board is a better option.

Layout Step #1 Divide Your Board

The first step in laying out a display board for a science fair project is to divide the board into sections. Students can divide their board into panels or squares. The number of panels or squares that are created will reflect the number of elements that the student wants to include in their display. Keep in mind that you will need space to discuss each of the seven steps in the scientific method.

Layout Step #2 Create the Title

The title is the first thing that needs to be positioned on the display board. It will need to be centered at the top of the board. The lettering needs to be large enough to be read from a distance. It can be helpful to print out the title on paper and to then attach it to the board with an adhesive. This will give you the option of seeing how it looks in different positions on the board.

Layout Step #3 Create Your Text and Graphic Panels

Step three is to create your text and graphic panels. These are created by printing out the text panel or graphic and then matting them on construction paper or card sock. Try to make the panels look congruent and consistent.

Layout Step #4 Dry Layout Process

The next step is to lay your display board flat and to experiment with the positions of the various panels. You will want your display board to flow naturally from step one to step seven of the scientific method. You will also want your layout to look clean and orderly. You may need to switch the positions of the panels several times before you find a layout that works for your project. When you find a layout that you like then you can glue down the panels.