Science Fair Fundamentals

Science Fair programs are awesome and can generate all sorts of amazing results from inspiring and engaging projects. Finding good resources that outline the process and suggest age appropriate topics is a key component for getting students started. Another important factor is to involve parents so they can assist their child throughout the process. Be sure to visit these CyberBee selected Websites for resources, tips, and experiments that will help jump-start your science fair program.

Science Project Resources

All Science Fair Projects

Search or browse over 500 science fair topics with descriptions, grade level, and links to the featured Websites. This database of information has been compiled and indexed for easy searching. At the time of publication, there was no fee for the service.

IPL Kidspace: Science Fair Project Resource Guide

The Internet Public Library has prepared an annotated list of science fair resources that can be used with students ranging in age from 10-18. This resource list is designed to cover a variety of topics such as the scientific method, what makes a good project, and choosing a topic. There is an extensive list of Ask the Experts for those students who might need some additional help in answering a specific question related to their topic. The IPL Kidspace is one of the best starting places for finding resources.

Planet Ag Science Fair Projects

What is irradiation and how is it used in the fresh fruit and vegetable industries? How does the soil on hills differ from the soil in valleys? These are examples of agricultural science fair projects promoted on Planet Ag sponsored by the Florida Agricultural Department. In addition to suggestions for projects, there is a brief introduction to the scientific method and why you might choose agriculture to study. Rounding out the site is Florida Farm Facts, Information for Teachers, and Careers in Ag Science.

Science Buddies

Students looking for science fair projects will find loads ideas at Science Buddies. Features of each project include, a summary (difficulty level, time required, prerequisites, cost, any safety concerns), background, materials, procedure, how to make it your own, help, and a learn more link. A project guide will take them through the steps from determining their hypothesis to formulating their conclusion. They can also ask an expert for advice after their initial research. A free subscription to My Science Buddies allows students to save information into their own area, upload photos of their projects, and receive a monthly newsletter. Teachers will appreciate the grading rubrics and links to resources. Science Buddies is a nice starting point during science fair season.

Science Fair Central

From the nuts and bolts of putting a project together to a database of questions and answers, there is a wealth of information for students, teachers and parents.
Tip sheets in categories such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics guide students through the inquiry process from developing a question to designing an experiment. Teachers will find the science fair organizer that includes a letter to parents, checklists and evaluation criteria to be a big timesaver. Parents will benefit from from resources that offer suggestions on how to choose a topic, how much time is needed and where to find more information. Begin your science fair preparation by visiting this site first.

Science Project Handbook

Want a model handbook to assist students with the science fair process? The Science Project Handbook written for Collier County Schools, Florida is a great example. It is well organized and contains information from why you should do a science project to expectations, timeline, glossary, categories, choosing a topic, data checklists, the display, and judging criteria.

Super Science Fair Projects

Areas for students, teachers, and parents abound with ideas and step-by-step instructions. Once you master the site’s navigation, you will be rewarded with loads of comprehensive information, tips, and links to Websites on a variety of topics.

Ultimate Science Fair Resource

For a quick reference on organizing your project, visit the Ultimate Science Fair Resource page sponsored by the Society for Amateur Scientists. Here you will find project steps, project hints, the scientific method, writing reports, display boards, an idea bank, and science research links. Each area is concisely written and easy to understand. In addition you can ask Dr. John questions and he will respond within a day or two.

Science Experiments

This collection of sites will entice young minds to experiment using the scientific method in both traditional and unusual ways.

ACS Education (formerly Wondernet)

Click on Science for Kids. Goop to go, Tacky tape, and Pasta with Pep are examples of chemistry experiments that will intrigue students. Each experiment includes a list of materials, activity, something to think about and a concluding what’s going on here. Each step is artfully illustrated and appealing to the intended audience.

Brain Pop Science

At present, BrainPOP has over 80 original animated movies covering Health, Science, and Technology topics. The movies are excellent for explaining basic concepts like the Scientific Method or Newton’s Laws. Content is based on the National Science Education Standards. However it is a commercial site that charges a subscription fee if you want to view more than 2 movies per day. Subscription fees vary depending on use. Check the Website for subscription information.

Exploratorium Science Snacks

Bite size experiments that will hook your students to delve deeper into science. Make glass disappear, create a battery with your skin and two different metals, or suspend a ball in a stream of air. There are lots of five-minute experiments or demonstrations that can be expanded into longer ones. A discussion group is available to ask more questions, send comments, or share results.

Science NetLinks

Science NetLinks is part of the MarcoPolo Education Foundation. It features standards-based lesson plans that incorporate reviewed Internet resources and are organized around Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Lesson plans are written for the teacher, but include student-ready materials. Lessons can be sorted by title, grade range, and benchmark. Internet Resources are selected through a rigorous set of criteria and may be sorted according to benchmarks and grade range. Several multimedia tools are needed for the interactive portions of the site including, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Real Player, Shockwave, Flash, and QuickTime.

The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project

Not even the most reluctant learner can ignore this cleverly constructed Web page. Tongue in cheek humor is used to describe procedures, observations, and possible applications when experimenting with cream stuffed sponge cakes. Nuke them in a microwave to find out just how resistant they are to radiation. Dunk them in water to see their solubility. Blend them to see how much air they contain.

 

Originally Published Nov/Dec 2004

Updated December 11, 2008
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