When deciding on the perfect science fair project, kids have lots to consider. Is it connected with a topic they find interesting? Will they be able to accomplish the project with positive results? And, can they pull it all together with an eye-catching presentation that wows the judges?There is a lot on the line for kids when getting ready for a science fair. They want the prestige of a win or the acknowledgement for a job well done. Educators and parents want children to strive to learn new things and accomplish goals. As a parent, it is sometimes hard to not assist with the science fair project, and then end up taking control. Remembering that the child is the one whom should be creating the project can sometimes be challenging but essential for a favorable outcome.
Picking a Topic
The first, and sometimes most difficult, part of creating a successful science fair project is selecting a topic that is appropriate and interesting. Along with picking a topic or idea that is intriguing, it needs to work alongside science fair rules and regulations. Many fairs discourage food experiments because of food allergies. Having all the facts before determining a theme is an essential starting point.
Encourage your child to create a list of all the ideas she has and then narrow her ideas to ones that are exciting or interesting to her. Taking into consideration the ease of the idea is also important. Doing a project about how long a piece of cheese takes to mold is not extremely interesting or difficult to accomplish. The main idea of a science fair project is to prove a point or answer a question. The more attention grabbing the concept is, the greater interest the project will create.
Materializing the Idea
Once the topic has been selected, pick materials that are appropriate for creating the finished science fair project. Along with gathering materials needed for successfully accomplishing the idea, items for the science fair presentation should also be taken into consideration. If cost is an issue, brainstorm ways to make the concept work with cost-effective materials. Even though an eye-catching display will grab the judges’ attention, a successful project with strongly documented information is also very beneficial. Take into account how to share the final conclusion in a clear and concise way. Encourage your child to take notes and keep a science journal while working on the science fair project, not only to document what is happening with the project, but also to keep track of ideas and thoughts during the process.
Science Fair Project Suggestions
There are several subjects that offer great science fair project ideas including:
Plant Biology: The roots of plants are there to hold the plant to the ground as well as gather nutrients from the soil. But, do roots grow differently if the gravity of the plant is affected? Or, what about learning more about how plants move – or the concept of phototropism?
Cooking and Food: Corn syrup is a common ingredient in many sweets. But, why is corn syrup needed if the recipe already includes sugar? When making candy, corn syrup is considered an interfering agent. Learn more about what that means and how corn syrup changes the way ingredients interact in the candy making process.
Or, explore which type of flour contains the most gluten through simple experiments.
Physics/Engineering: Ever wonder how the image on the TV gets there? Do some research to find the answer to your question – and create an interesting science fair project with the results. Also, fiber optic cables are used to relay phone conversations. Learn more about how sound is transformed into a light beam and then sent all around the world.
Mathematics: Snowflakes are amazing mathematical structures made from frozen water particles. Research how snowflakes are made, and additionally how they are formed. Create a science fair project with actual snowflakes so others can see their amazing structures.
Earth Science: The sun not only heats the Earth, but can also provide solar energy. Turn a pizza box into an oven to toast up a pizza for a finished science fair project that will delight as well as taste great.
Do not forget that the Scientific Method is a large part of creating a successful science fair project. Creating an outline helps keep the project on track and aides in time management. And, most of all make sure the science fair project is fun and exciting!
By Sarah Lipoff. Sarah is an art educator and parent. Visit Sarah’s website here.