So, how do help your child decide what are fun science fair projects for them to do? Well, it depends on what activities your child enjoys doing on a daily basis. For primary age children, parents should ask, "Does my child like....outdoors activities? outer space? getting their whole body involved in whatever they are doing? quietly contemplating the world?"
For middle- or high school-aged kids ask yourself what your children wonder about or what they enjoy doing for long periods of time. Together, discover what they actually perceive as fun. Why is fun so important? Because for a child to own the project, to get invested in doing their project, they must enjoy the process.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Elementary School Projects
Elementary school-aged students are originators of fun. They are also excellent at asking questions, which is what science is all about. Instead of answering their questions with a lot of "because" sentences, encourage them to experiment with things to find their own answers.
- Why birds fly south for the winter?
- Does chewing on one piece of food affect your sense of smell?
Coaching your young child can be very rewarding and give you plenty of quality time together.
Middle School Projects
- Middle school students will love chemistry experiments such as mixing vinegar and baking soda to see what happens.
- Build an electro-chemical cell using potatoes to build an electro-chemical cell.
- Biology is a good topic for those kids who like to play in the yard or at the park. How about going around to different parks in your neighborhood and testing the soil's nutrients. Determine what nutrients are needed to grown healthy plants. Or is there a difference in nutritional value of foods when plants are grown in natural organic materials and chemically laden soil?
- If you are right handed does that mean that when you walk you will begin with your right foot?
High School Projects
High school students like to have fun too. It's important that the science projects for this age group are cool.
- Experiments to test the sense of taste would work well because partners are needed and high school kids often like to be with their friends.
- Do violent video games affect your blood pressure?
- Are fingerprint patterns inherited?
- Here is an eyeopener project needing two people. One person is the questioner and observer: determine if the pupil of an eye changes sizes (gets smaller or larger) when you lie. Ask a question of your partner and have the partner tell the truth. Note the size of the eye pupil then ask a question and have your partner lie. Does the eye pupil get larger or smaller or stay the same. Ask about 10 questions of each person.
Whatever the age or what science topic is chosen, there are other steps that must be included. Different schools may have different requirements for their science fairs. Most schools require that you to write a hypothesis, materials used, details of the experiment including graphs and charts of your data and conclusions. Some require background information and bibliography.
Encourage your kids to keep a journal and to record every detail of what they observe when conducting their experiments. From their journal, they will be able to gather all the important information to include in their reports and displayed at the science fair. Although this may not seem like fun at first, they will enjoy documenting their progress if the project and the experiments are exciting and fun.
So there you have it...how to find fun science fair projects that will capture the attention of any age kid.
Other Science Fair Web Sites
- Biology Science Fair Project Ideas
- Crystal Clear Science Fair Projects
- Science Fairs - American Psychological Association
- Conducting Psychological Research for Science Fairs - Excellent guide!
- Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Future Scientists and Engineers of America
- Science Buddies
- Science Fairs
- Do Science
- Rasmussen College
- Science Fair Project Guide - IPL
- Science Fair Project Ideas
- Super Science Fair Projects
- Ultimate Science Fair Resource
- Steps to Prepare a Science Fair Project
Reprinted with the permission of Eric H. Chudler. Copyright © 1996-2008, Eric H. Chudler All Rights Reserved.