Archives for August 2011

Alternative Ideas for a School Project- It Doesn’t Have To Be a Science Fair

What about an”Interest Fair” as alternative ideas for a school project?

 

ideas for a school projectSome schools are gravitating to an Interest Fair instead of a science fair. What teachers have realized is the steps to researching a topic fall in line with the steps to the scientific method, so the topic for an Interest Fair does not have to be science. But uses all the same science investigation steps and ideas for a school project headed to a science fair.

  • Topics can be hobbies like sports or music, you could look into food, sewing, yarn, video games, or famous people. There will always be science things too like fish and bugs and ecology stuff because kids are naturally interested in those things.
  • Kids will still follow the same steps, they come up with a question and make a prediction about their topic. What do they already know, what do the wonder, why predictions can they make. Some times you create an experiment, Which yarn makes the softest scarf? What subject did Peyton Manning study in college? What is the difference in the sound of acoustic and electric instrument? Then then will need to so some research into the topic and write a report. In some cases a sample will be part of the display, other times there will be photos. In the end you will make an awesome display board that will have to show all the steps you took to look deeper into your interest.
  • The advantage of this is that it gives kids who excel in other areas other than science a chance to shine and get excited about something they are interested in. The other advantage it is cross curricular so the librarian and language arts teachers get more involved. You have lots of choices of ideas for a school project this way, not just science.
  • What this really would fall under is a research type of science fair, that will have some elements of experimenting or demonstrating, but focuses on the research steps. You break a topic up into teaching pieces, study it, analyze it and often find the answer to your question, or prove or disprove your predictions.

You will find you do this stuff all the time when your kids are home during holiday vacations, you look into things they are interested in. Kids will get ideas from each other and be able to use them in future fairs.

It might be a good thing to alternate between a science fair one year and an interest fair the next.   There are things about science that really can be made clear with a science experiment and using the scientific method in an investigation is an important skill, so I would never get rid of a science fair! Really, there just are never ending great ideas for a school project, no matter what the subject is!

Get your science ideas for a school project that are fun and you hardly know are science at 24 hour science fair projects.

1st Grade Science Projects

1st Grade science projects can be the seeds for even greater science projects for 4th graders

1st grade science projectsI’ve been thinking a lot about 1st grade science projects and what can be done at that level to make things easier for science projects for 4th graders,  when kids are sent off to do a project on their own.

So I started keeping an eye out for tidbits on the subject…

I ran across an interesting article that caught my attention since the title was  “A Science Fair Makeover in Your School Library!”  Well you can imagine the pictures that went through my head of a library with exploding volcanoes, or mice in mazes or a worm farm so I couldn’t help but wondering what this librarian was thinking!

Once I got into the article, I realized they were emphasizing the importance of the librarian in any school level science fair project that follows the accepted educational standards for both library science and science teachers.

What section in any elementary school library is where your 1st graders gravitate to? It is the science section! They love books on bugs, animals, outer space, rockets, sea creatures, weather and all of that.

  • When it comes to supporting your data with research, where is the most logical place for kids to go? The library of course.
  • One of the largest collections a libraries science section is science fair ideas.
  • Now beyond all of that, the library is also one of the largest rooms in a school. It also has build in counter tops and table that are perfect for  display boards and you don’t have to fight with the Phys Ed teacher about taking up their gym.
  • Read the full article that goes into great detail on how to partner with the librarian for the science fair here.

So the article got me thinking more about First Grade.

Mostly a 1st grade science project is based on a theme, and you also want them to learn early on how research is a key element. The librarian as a partner from beginning to end, will help with surveying the literature, they can help focus their attention to one area, they can even teach kids how to take an idea an turn it into a good science question. Then there they would be again, to either help the child look for an appropriate project, or work with the teacher to find a list of books or online project in their theme and is designed for a 1st grader to do. They would work ahead of time to create a display of research support books, as well asd websites the kids can use for their facts.

I somehow think  1st grade science projects that followed some great  ideas for making a project look good from their school  librarian could be really cool! Not to mention how excited 1st graders can be about showing off anything they do!

Get your free copy of “The Non-Scientist Parents’ Guide to a Science Project” that goes into great detail on how to make a great display board. You can download right now through this link.

…and those 4th graders?

It looks like you really can build some good habits, and have some fun along the ways so science projects for 4th graders might go more smoothly and independently, not to mention the friendly librarian there to help them along the way. You will get some really great display boards by then!

Get your 1st grade science project ideas, or science projects for 4th graders or kids of any age  today at 24 Hour Science Project!