Science Fair Basics for the non-scientist parent

Science Fair Basics

Science Fair Basics for the non-scientist parent.

The purpose, in most cases for creating a science fair project is to teach students how to solve problems on their own using the scientific method. The main goal should not be the ribbon or prize. Realize the main goal of a science fair project is to help your child use and strengthen the skills he or she has learned and develop higher levels of thinking and planning.

Time spent doing a Science Fair project can be an exciting period in which students make new discoveries about the world around them, and about themselves. You will be amazed at what your child can do as a young scientist.

Find the science fair project that’s right.

Probably the biggest mistake a student can make when they do a science fair project is to choose a subject they do not like! Because science projects require a lot of time and effort, help your child choose something of interest.

The project doesn’t have to be complex.

Help your child answer these questions:

  • Is my topic realistic?
  • Is it something I can do?
  • Is my topic interesting to me?
  • Can I investigate my topic by experimenting and collecting data?
  • Can I afford what I will need to investigate my topic?
  • Do I have enough time to complete the experiment?
Allow plenty of time.

Science fair investigations require time management skills. The young scientist must budget their time, space out the work into manageable chunks and make a sensible schedule. Then, they must complete their experiment early enough to have ample time for making conclusions and retesting results, if necessary, for confirmation and confidence in their data. Preparing the report and display always takes longer than imagined and planned… so a weekend for pulling everything together is suggested.

Help your child plan a mutually agreed upon time line to prevent disaster at the last minute. Some projects may take longer than others. Review the Science Fair schedule from the science teacher and make sure there is enough time for your child to conduct an experiment and prepare the presentation.

Let the young scientist do the work.

Successful science projects achieve very high scores in these categories. Effective presentation of the student’s work is also critical.

  1. Knowledge achieved
  2. Effective use of the scientific method
  3. Clarity of expression
  4. Originality and creativity
  5. Continuity of Presentation

Do not worry or get upset if your child doesn’t win at the science fair. The skills the child has gained are worth all of the effort. Take the time to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when the science fair is over. You and your child have earned it!

Have Fun and Enjoy watching your child learn,