The dreaded science fair project.
The goal of the science fair is to teach the scientific method and give students insight into how to theorize, set up, perform and draw conclusions from an experiment. But it’s so much more than just boring science steps. It gets kids excited about independent learning, reaching, researching and discovering. This isn’t something you read about in a text book, it’s something you create, build and find your own answers. Creativity also helps in building a science fair project board - they are works of art!
Students also learn public speaking skills during the fair when presenting their project and discussing it with fair visitors.
And through all of this hard work, speaking, creating, testing and concluding, the kids build self-confidence and pride in their work. My favorite part of the science fair is walking around and seeing the pride and joy on all of the kids’ faces. Now, how can that be dreaded?
A friend of mine told me that she fears the science fair so much, that she throws the signup sheet out quickly before her kids see it and get any ideas. I’ve heard from other parents that they would love to have their kids participate, but have no good idea where to start.
What are we teaching our kids if we are so fearful of the science fair that we won’t give them a chance at it? Information is power and that is true for the science fair. By knowing a few simple steps, you can help guide your child through an amazing journey through science.
Picking a science fair project starts with asking a question. Let’s use the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano.
Building a volcano and showing the eruption that occurs from the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar is NOT a science fair project. Testing additional substances beyond vinegar that will react with baking soda IS. Or testing different amounts of baking soda that will produce the highest or longest-acting volcano is another idea.
Start thinking of topics and visit us at SteveSpanglerScience.com for some help and ideas. In my next post, I’ll take you through a science fair project step by step to melt away the fears and get you and your child excited about science fair.
For science fair project ideas and how to get started, visit us at SteveSpanglerScience.com.
Susan Wells is a mom of two girls, ages 5 and 9. She organizes the Science Fair at her daughter’s elementary school and loves to bring science into their lives in and outside of the classroom. Susan does social media, blogging, blogger outreach and web marketing for Steve Spangler Science.