The problem statement is the most important part of a science fair project. This single phrase defines and directs all of the work you will be doing. Before you can begin to develop and execute your experiment, you must have a clearly defined problem that will be addressed by your project. In the final presentation, the problem statement will be the item that gives judges and viewers a clear idea of what your project is all about.

Select a topic that interests you and which you would like to learn more about. Working with a subject that you find personally fascinating will make it much easier to hone in on an experiment that you will enjoy conducting.

Explore your topic of interest by doing research, talking to professionals in that field or brainstorming until you narrow it down to a more specific area. For example, if you are interested in aquariums and fish, you may narrow your topic down to questions regarding the five senses of fish.

Form a specific question to be answered. You may need to begin with a broad question and narrow it down a few times until you have a workable project idea. If you begin with "How do fish see their world?" you may need to get more specific by asking "Do fish see different colors?"

Phrase the problem statement as a question. Make it as concise and clear as possible. The question, "Do fish see in color?" would be an accurate problem statement for a science fair project.