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Great Science Fair Projects Mean What?
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Great Science Fair Projects Mean What?

Like it or not we live in a competitive world and you can often really see this show up with kids in school. I’m not talking about athletics, but with school projects like when walking around an elementary or middle school science fair. There are always lots of great science fair projects at these things, and it is easy for parents and kids to get caught up in one upsmanship.  Although the final presentation does need to look good, the best science fair projects are the ones the kids enjoyed doing, can understand and can explain and when have a great time creating their display on their own.

One of the advantages of the technology available to kids today is that kids can produce high quality and polished projects without much help from parents, so the projects are more the kids projects and less the parents.  Parents still come in handy when power tools are needed  to build something, but with the technology skills kids have their projects will be looking great and frankly most kids know more about that stuff than their parents do, so will end up doing a better job without their help.

Teachers have helped things along with how they organized the assignments.  They generally set it up so everyone can have great science fair projects by sending  home a detailed list of requirements and a rubric with the specific things being graded listed.  This way it won’t matter how cool the display looks, or if your parents helped you build a glass framed poster, you can only get a certain number of points for the display, and one without the glass frame will get the same points if they followed the directions!

It is my opinion that the truly great science fair projects bring a blend of technology polish and old-fashioned kid creativity.  I like to see the main title hand drawn or at least done with stencils and colored in and I like to see hand drawn diagrams.  But the photos and graphs that you can print out can make a difference in how polished a final project looks. Labeling of the photos with cool fonts are a life saver for elementary kids with awkward penmanship, not to mention being able to in a blink of an eye go back in and fix those spelling errors you don’t see until the entire thing is finished!  Hand cutting whatever you printed out into interesting shapes and patterns adds an element technology can’t give you!

As the school year progresses and it is time to start doing projects , remember that  the best and really great science fair projects are the ones where the kids learned something cool and fun about science, followed the directions and cam up with a great display they designed themselves using both their own creativity as well as the computer’s.


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