From here on you may have to ask for help and where you go for help is important to the success of your project. Don't ask for help until you have exhausted your own resources. If you already know people who can help you, don't hesitate to ask for their advice. Remember that physicians and engineers are applied scientists so look to them if no research scientists live in your area. Perhaps you may have to go to a local college, industry or research institution to seek advice. Be familiar enough with your subject so that you can ask specific questions. For example, a letter that in effect says, "Please send me everything you have.", is beyond the recipient's ability to reply. If your consultant knows your school level and background he or she can gear their response to your understanding.
Timing is important; planning will help you to ask early so that your consultant has time to reply. A desperate last minute request will not allow time for an answer. Borrowing equipment brings special problems. Some glassware is too fragile to transport to your home. Therefore borrow items only if a relationship and clear understanding has been established. Finally thank your consultant. A letter of appreciation is a welcome thanks when help has been extended.
Return to Science Fair Primer.