Contributed by Susan Wells
Blog Editor – Steve Spangler Science
What age should children begin participating in science fair? Should science fairs be judged? How much involvement should parents have in their child’s project? These are questions that are debated every year during science fair season.
I recently read a mother’s frustrated rant about her child’s school and how they ran their science fair this year. She said older children in grades 4-5 received 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies, while children in the 2nd and 3rd grades only received first place trophies. The kinder and 1st graders only had first place winners, but did not receive trophies. At the awards ceremonies, all the winners stood together, and a third place 5th grader received a trophy next to a first place kindergartener with the prize of only recognition. I won’t go into what is wrong with this – I think it’s obvious.
When she asked why the younger ones weren’t as strongly recognized, she was told that only the upper grades should be allowed to participate and kindergarteners should “just be glad they are allowed to do a project.” It
Building extravagant dioramas and goo filled volcano models is only half the battle for creating a successful science fair. There’s a lot of work that goes into coordinating and planning this staple of elementary school life, and this post is dedicated to making it an easily navigable event for kids, parents and teachers.
Putting on a science fair can seem like quite the impossible task for both teachers and parent volunteers alike, but with advanced planning, a little creativity and a lot of enthusiasm, a science fair can be a whole bunch of fun for everyone involved.
Planning and Promoting
Decide where and when the science fair will be held, and when the deadline for the projects will be. The cafeteria and the gym both provide open space where tables can be set up and people can easily walk around. Open the fair during the school day and encourage teachers from non-participating classes to bring their students!
Help students come up with topics, talk to your science teachers and find local research universities. Put together a
With strong parent support and amazing teachers to encourage a love for science, Roxborough Elementary is celebrating the largest participation in their Science fair this year.
Science fair can be a daunting event for both students and their parents. But participating in science fair doesn’t have to be scary. All it takes is a question to get started. It can be a simple question like “Which diaper absorbs the most liquid?” or “Which gum flavor lasts the longest?” After you ask a question, run a series of tests to answer your question. Sometimes, you won’t find a clear answer.
Roxborough Elementary takes advantage of the scientists in their community from Lockheed Martin. Community members are invited to help judge science fair projects. They don’t let their participants struggle on their own. They give each participant a packet of information on how to
President Obama is a brilliant orator. When I listened to his State of the Union last night, his comments about education, innovation and science, in particular, really hit home.
Nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science… however, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.
Sure, it’s easy for people to point how how our educational system has allowed our students’ basic understanding of science to slip in the rankings over the years, but there’s always hope through creative ideas, out of the box solutions and good old hard work.
What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That is why centuries of pioneers and
No one cared that it was cold outside. These kids could hardly wait to see what would happen next. Giggles and laughter bounced from child to child as the group of second graders positioned themselves around the 2-liter bottle of diet soda.
In a whispered voice, one boy asked, “Do you really think she’s going to do it?”
“Sure… she’ll do it, but you have to get ready to run,” replied the girl standing next to him.
Mrs. Schmidt removed the roll of Mentos mints from her pocket and loaded them into a small tube that attached to the top of the soda bottle. The only thing that kept the Mentos from falling into the soda was a plastic pin tied to a piece of string.
“Are you ready?” Mrs. Schmidt asked.
“YES!” shouted the students who could hardly contain themselves.
“Three… Two… One… Go!”
It all happened in a fraction of a second. Mrs. Schmidt pulled the string, the Mentos fell into the soda and a giant soda geyser shot up everywhere. It was raining Diet Coke! As soon as the soda started to spray, the children scattered.
The students screamed, “That was awesome… do it again!”