Putting together this list, I could only think one thing. The Internet would have been a great tool when I was working on my science fair project way back when. There are so many great resources for students, parents, and teachers online, and maybe the project I did as a third grader -- measuring various climates effect on the growth of mold on apples -- might have been helped out a bit with some of these online resources.
How does a group of third-graders measure mold, you ask? Well... That was the same question our teacher asked the group, and although we didn't know ourselves, we were determined and forged ahead. Ha. After a few weeks, it became clear that we didn’t meet the standard rule for a successful science project -- ask a testable question with measurable results.
I can only imagine how some of these resources would have helped. So with science fair season here, we’ve put together a list of science project resources for parents and students to help out along the way. My only word of advice: Don’t let your student measure mold growth on anything.
- Preparing You and Your Child for Science Fair Success from Science Buddies: This is a perfect resource for parents, and provides some great references for guiding your student through the scientific process. A comprehensive project guide is included, as well a list of project ideas in astronomy, music, cooking and food science, and many different subject areas. There’s also a link to Science Buddies’ “Ask an Expert” forum, a great place to turn for answers.
- Science Fair Central from Discovery Education: There is something here for everyone -- students, parents and teacher. Science fair coordinators will find the guide to a stress-free science fair extremely useful, and the site features a huge list of resources for parents. For students, there’s a little bit of everything, from guides to getting started and lists of ideas, to guides for displaying projects.
- Over 400 of the Best Science Fair Projects: Produced by the Terimore Institute, this list of project ideas is a wonderful place for brainstorming. Featuring “project blueprints” for students of every grade level, this list will pique students’ interests. Perfect for curious minds. There’s also resources for parents and teachers, as well as a long list of reference materials for students.
- Science Fair Resource Guide from the Internet Public Library: There’s a bit of everything here, which makes this guide from the Internet Public Library a great resources for students and parents. Working through the guide’s steps, students will discover every point of a successful science project, from choosing the right idea to hints and tips for using scientific method.
- Video Series: How to Do a Science Fair Project: These videos from the California Institute of Technology are a great resource for students, featuring a short how-to video for every step of the scientific process. Students will gain insights into how the Institute’s scientists conduct experiments. These are great videos; I couldn’t stop watching!
- Education.com's Science Fair Resource Center: A long list of articles from Education.com, touching on every concern, tip and strategy parents can use to support their children through their science project. Tons of great ideas for parents here, including tips to avoid taking over the project, a science project survival guide, and science fairs dos and don’ts. This list features Education.com’s links, as well as links to great outside resources.
There were so many great science fair resources on the Web, and we just highlighted few here. I wish I could have included them all here. Let us know what your favorites are in the comments. What resources are you planning to use?