Another school year is upon us and one of the highlights of the year for most students is the school science year. Whether your child is in Kindergarten or middle school, employ these tips to make the school science fair an educational and fun time for both you and your child.
Plan The Science Fair Project Early. Don’t wait until the notice for the upcoming science fair comes home in your child’s backpack. Begin discussing and planning your child’s project early in the school year when enthusiasm and excitement for the new school year is at it’s peak. An early start will ensure your child will choose a science fair project that they are really interested in.
Research Several Possible Science Fair Projects Thoroughly Before Deciding. The cost of materials, difficulty in execution and time needed to complete the project must all be taken into consideration before making a final decision on what science fair project your child will present. There is a wide variety of expense, levels in difficulty and required preparation time in science fair projects. Be sure your child does not bite off more than he can chew when choosing a project.
Keep The Science Fair Project Age Appropriate. There will obviously be a difference between your Kindergartner or First Grader’s science fair project and that of your middle schooler. Be sure to choose a project that your child will be able to handle the bulk of the work. This ensures your child learns the most from the project and also keeps it fair for all the other students in his or her grade also participating in the Science Fair. When my older daughter was in Kindergarten, she decided to make a leaf collection for her science fair. We spent a delightful day in the park collecting different types of leaves and then she glued them to her poster board. When we arrived at the Science Fair, there was a multitude of projects that were so detailed and complicated, it was quite obvious that the parents of these students were the creators of the projects. This resulted in my daughter feeling very badly about her own project, thinking that it didn’t measure up. Instead of feeling great pride in her work, she felt very badly that hers didn’t have the fanciness and bells and whistles that some of the other science fair projects had.
Let Your Child Do The Bulk Of The Science Fair Project Himself. This goes hand in hand with the point mentioned above. Be sure to pick a project that is age appropriate enough for your child to be able to do the majority of work alone. Be available to lend a hand, offer suggestions or to answer questions, but don’t do the work for the child. If you need to do more than a minimal amount of work on your child’s science fair project, this is a good indication that the project is not age appropriate.
Set Aside Time Every Day To Work On The Science Project. Do not allow your child to leave all the work until the last minute. Make up a separate Science Fair project work schedule to ensure that the work is completed on time without rushing through it at the eleventh hour. A set work schedule will allow your child to learn and work at a relaxed pace, without stress or anxiety.
Make The Science Fair A Family Affair. From choosing the project to gathering the materials until the night of the science fair itself, involve the entire family. Welcome everyone’s input and lavish praise on the child participating in the science fair. By involving every family member in this exciting event in your student’s life, the school science fair can be an educational and positive experience for the entire family.