It is once again time for kids around the USA to start thinking about participating in or already begin work on their Science Fair Projects.
This year is my 14 yr. old son’s 4th Science Fair he will be participating in at his school. He is in 8th grade this year, and we are doing a project from an idea his grandmother told us about. It is experimental.
When we are preparing or starting to think about science fair projects, we always use resources such as the local library, he uses the school library, we talk over idea’s at dinner time, and he also talks to his science teacher. It is fun to work on Science fair projects and kids learn a lot with hands on experiences. Even if they do not win, it is a great learning experience, and helps to build confidence, and also helps them strive to do better or be more competitive the following year.
Many materials we use such as the Science Fair tri-fold display boards are made by Elmer’s. Also glue spots, glue sticks, rulers, and many other of their products are also handy to use for your project. We buy our supplies at our local Walmart. They are quite inexpensive, and many of the products, such as the rulers, cutters (like X-ACTO knives) last a long time and you will be able to use them over again every year. Not to mention on other projects throughout the year.
This year Elmer’s is working with the Society for Science & The Public - This is the organization that runs the Broadcom Masters Science Fair program. Elmer’s is proud to be a sponsor of this national competition this year and they are very excited about being a part of it.
You can learn more about the Society for Science & The Public here – www.SocietyForScience.Org
Elmer’s Also has over 100 Project idea’s from easy to complex and how to make the most of your Science Fair Experience, and how to’s/tips’s, Parent Resources, and also “How to create a winning presentation” by visiting Elmer’s site Here:
Discovery Education- Science Fair Central
One of my favorite tips is to create a timeline; “Begin with an end in mind”. This for me is the best tip for a parent and child, because it is so easy to get busy and forget about working on your project, and before you know it, The Science Fair is here, and your up the night before throwing together a project. This is NOT what you want to do!
So here are the steps we are taking to prepare for our Science Fair this year :
1. Setting up a Timeline – Our school’s Science Fair is in late March/early April, so we are getting things started NOW.
2. Help & Gather Idea’s For your Child’s Project – My son has come up with his idea on his project. Like I stated previously, it is a project his grandmother suggested him to do as an experiment.
3. Discuss Your Project – talk over what materials you will need, how you will construct the project, what tools you will need, if any, and who will all help in conducting the project. (sometimes Father’s help to build things, or if your child is younger, you may have to help out more). TIP: Try to find age appropriate Science Fair Projects, that will make it more fun for your child, and less stress for you because you won’t have to help as much. It will also give your child a greater sense of accomplishment if he/she knows they did most of the project on their own.
Interjection- I must interject here that my son’s 2nd grade Science Fair project he demanded he wanted to do a volcano (most kids want to do a volcano, cause they look like tons of fun to see the lava flowing out and so on), DONT DO IT, Do not give in, lol Unless your child is a miniature Einstein Please take heed to my warning. It ended up for us a catastrophe and a mess. And sooooo many kids do Volcanoes so the chance of winning is vague as well. Try are persuade your child to do something easier, and more age appropriate. Save the Volcanoes for older children (if you do one at all). – Of course this is all my opinion, but I have been to many a Science Fair, and seen many Volcano #Fails
4. Start researching for the project – goto the libraries, get books, look online, talk to people (ie: grandparent’s, teachers,etc.), depending on what your project is, you can get a ton of info. from other people. – My son is doing a project on the effect of electricity on Earthworms. My mother had told him about my grandfather (his great grandfather) using electricity to put probes in the ground to make Earthworms rise up to the top of the ground so he would have worms for fishing. My son thought this would be neat to try out and see if it works for himself, so this is what he decided to do.
5. Buy Materials – Most every Science Fair I have been to, kids use some type of Display board, or a tri-fold board for displaying their projects. Then like in my sons case, he is building an electricity device, so he can display this in front of the display board at the fair. Also, be sure to have printer paper, ink, glue (to use for gluing papers to the display board), note cards, And anything else you will need for your individual project.
6. Start working on your project. – Use your timeline and work on your project step by step until it is completed. Set goals and as you complete them check them off your list. When shopping for supplies, make a list so you don’t forget anything. After completing your project, take a few practice runs going over it with your parents, friends, whoever will listen. This way you will be prepared and know what your talking about and show your knowledge and confidence when speaking about your project to the judges.
7. Complete Your project and take it to the FAIR! – Bravo! Now that your project is completed and all ready to be entered into the fair, get excited, and take it into the school or to the fair (if it isn’t at your school) and drop it off, and make sure to fill out anything you need to officially enter it. (Sometimes your project will be given a number card, or category such as experimental, or non-experimental). Also, if it is at a school, make sure you enter it into the right age group/or grade.
This is about it. It looks like a lot but it is such a fun and rewarding experience, It is my opinion that all children participate at least once.
MOST IMPORTANTLY have fun and do not stress. If you (as a parent) stress, or make it an “unfun” experience, your child will not want to ever participate again. Let them make mistakes, this is not brain surgery, it is a child’s science fair. And just think of all of the scientists who learned more from the mistakes they made, then when everything goes right!
Helping You Get #ProjectReady !
The Plus Size Mommy
Disclosure- I am being compensated by Collective Bias for this project. I am proud to be an Elmer’s Science Fair Project Leader! All opinions and experiences are 100% my own. Yours/Others may differ.