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  1. Someone, anyone, just tell me what to do and I will do it. I promise!! We just do not "do" it. I want to do it..the kids want to do it....we just don't....please just tell me what to do. :confused::confused::confused::confused: WTM notebooks don't happen. We have such good intentions and we try, but alas, not so much. My children are (in the fall) 7th grade boy (only mildly interested) and 3rd grade girl (VERY clever and VERY highly motivated) I just can't reinvent the wheel, so I would love to combine at least on some level. Secular would be preferable (though we are Christian). I'll do some experiments. I'll buy extra books. I just need a plan!
  2. Every year each of my kids does a large scientific investigation, and it is that time of year again. As I did last year , I will write up what we have accomplished each week, so that you can see true scientific inquiry in action. Often people only see the outcome of a scientific investigation, and it always looks so tidy. This is not how science works as you will soon see with my kids' projects. So last year, my older son won the Regional Science Fair and was so excited that he started planning his next project 2 months later! Here is what I wrote up in October: x-post Coming up with an idea. October. Older ds who is in 7th grade. Well, it has been 2 months since the Regional Science Fair, and my ds is already planning his next project. We are studying chemistry this year, so he would really like to do a chemistry project. This is a very difficult thing to do for a few reasons: 1) How does a 12 year old uncover anything new in chemistry? 2) We have no chemical equipment. His first idea was to determine which chemicals made the biggest explosion. Yes, I am sure most of you are smiling. Not really surprising in a 12 year old boy, but not a great idea from the point of view of my insurance. Plus, not really original. The next idea came from his reading on fracking (which unfortunately for me has a different meaning because of watching Battle Star Galactic .) He read an article in Scientific American and was curious as to why the concrete pipes leak underground. So we discussed testing different kinds of concrete for resilience to seismic disturbances. I knew we could get cement for free, and we have lots of different levels of grit for rock tumbling (we had to buy in bulk), which would allow for a quantitative comparison as we know the grit sizes. So we talked about creating different types of concrete and testing it for strength and flexibility. He could have some fun designing some objective ways to smash or shake the concrete, but I was not clear how he could make any tubes. He also was interested in having it set at different temperatures, possibly under water kept at a certain temp with ice cubes etc. Seemed pretty promising, but he just never took to it. His current idea concerns air pollution. He has noticed that one of the longer tunnels in our town is quite smelly. We have to roll up the windows in the car and turn the vent to internal circulation or we are really gassed out. This got him to thinking about what kind of ventilation existed in that tunnel. We also discussed what else affected the air pollution - number of cars, direction the tunnel faces compared to the prevailing wind direction (we live in a very windy town), and the length of the tunnel. Then, he starting thinking about parking decks. We have some smelly ones and some clean ones. Some underground, some above ground. Some with multiple open walls, some with only one open wall. Some with fans, some without. He starting getting excited about building a M.O.D.E.L.... yes , this is my very mathy kid, and he is very motivated to win the math award 2 years in a row. So next up he starts researching how to measure pollution. CO2, lead, CO, etc. He wants to do it himself rather than send the air samples to a lab. He very quickly finds a site that tells him how to build a pump and where to buy the CO2 kits. They are $65 per 10. hummm. I tell him that he has a $200 budget. Given that I spend nothing on lab equipment, it seems like a fair but generous amount. I told him if he plans to spend more, he needs to dip into his $700 winnings from last year's fair. Last year's project cost us $12 for a new ruler when he left it behind + $12 for a poster board. So definitely a money making venture! I told him that we could go to an exhaust testing station and talk to them. I also discussed with him that he does not have to test for ALL the different pollutants. One could be representative. His current question is NOT: Is there pollution in the different parking decks?, but rather creating a model to explain the different pollution levels. So one pollutant could be representative of pollution in general. But he needs to know the *levels* of pollution for this question, not just if the pollutant is found. We also discussed counting cars going through the tunnels during different parts of the day, and counting the number of cars per volume of space in the different parking decks. Good thing he is starting early! Currently, he is very excited about the pollution question. But he needs to see if he can do the work within the budget. I am not so sure. Really depends on the replication he needs. But there is still much more research he needs to do. Scientists do have to work within a budget, so it is not a bad problem to have from the point of view of replicating real science. Ruth in NZ
  3. Every year we do a large scientific investigation for our science fair. And I thought that there might be some in the hive who would like to see how scientific inquiry works, especially while we are in the middle of it rather than all tidied up and sugar coated at the end. :001_smile: We are studying Earth Science this year and have done 9 weeks each of astronomy, geology, and oceanography, so there are 9 left for our investigations. Earth Science is always the hardest science topic for kids to study IMHO because the processes are slow (plus I have never studying Earth Science (ever) so I am always at a loss.) I have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader, and the 6th grader will try for the regional science fair this year so there a lot of restrictions on originality and independence. Week 1 6th grader: We discuss what he will study and decide that since he has been reading about Oceanography most recently and has just started learning to sail that he would like to study the ocean. I try to sway him towards studying life in rock pools, maybe how different animals are affected by the tides or prevailing wind etc. He is not interested. "That's Biology; I want to study Earth Science!" sigh. "ok, so what are you interested in?" "I want to study the movement of sand." :001_huh: hummmm. Now, how is an 11-year old going to do that? After some more questioning, he tells me that he would like to see how sand moves differently depending on the location in the bay he sails in. Ok, that is a good question, just maybe not answerable without a million dollars worth of equipment. We go to the library, and find a textbook on seashore ecology which has a chapter on how waves affect animals (my original idea). But not much else. Next, we hunt for articles on sand movement in the peer-reviewed science journals using the library databases. We find that scientists use radioactive sand that they can then trace or they study a shoreline over the period of 5 years. Ok, neither of those are possible. But we discuss how maybe we can use a different color sand and dump it in the water and time its movement and measure its direction. We also brainstorm all the factors that could affect sand movement: sand size, wind speed and direction, prevailing currents, orientation of the bay to the wind and currents (sheltered?), obstacles (rocks, jetties), slope of the shore. WOW. That is a lot of variables to control once we set up the experiment. On Saturday, after sailing he takes a look around the bay to see if the sand moves at all. It does. That is all the information he brings back.:001_huh: Next, we go to a different beach and collect the sand there (which might be a different color), and collect magnetite (magnetic soil mixed into the sand on this beach, it is black and will definitely show up). Finally, we discuss how much he can generalize given the sampling he is considering. Tomorrow, we plan to put the collected sand and magnetite in the water and see if we have any chance of measuring anything, or if this is just a wild goose chase (which it definitely could be). Time: 4 hours including discussions 2nd grader: I start with my this ds trying to convince him that looking at animals in rock pools would be cool (can you see *I* really want to study this) but alas he is not interested. He wants to study how deep the roots of trees go into the soil. :001_huh: I tell him that we could look at this using road cuts, but that perhaps it would be pretty difficult to study. But he does still want to study soil (4 months ago, I read 30 minutes about soil profiles to him, so I am pretty surprised he remembers anything). So we review what we know about soil: layers A,B,C; earthworms, and that is about all he knows. We go to the library and find no books on soil in the kids section and 2 books with a chapter on soil profiles and topsoil composition. The next day when I am out for a walk in the early morning with a friend, I look at the road cuts and notice different layers in the soil. Perhaps we can identify the soil profile using these cuts. I tell ds, and he loves the idea. He packs a backpack and brings a tape measure, a "data collection booklet", a broken pencil :001_huh:, and a trowel. We go to his favorite spot where he digs out "mudrocks" and loves to throw them and watch them smash. I am wondering what a "mudrock" is from the point of view of a soil strata. We get to the site, and start measuring and recording and then promply cannot remember anything about the different strata and how to identify them:lol:. So back home we go, look up the info in the older ds's textbook, take some notes, and go back out. We measure the strata and feel pretty confident. Next, we walk around the woods looking at the different cuts and their strata. Our woods is on a small mountain (large hill) and it was used 100 years ago as a sheep farm so there are lots of old wagon trails that were cut out of the hill side (think Lord of the Rings Weathertop and "get off the road" scenes, because they were filmed 200m from my house). What really really surprises us is that the soil profile just along this one road cut is very different. Top soil thick to non-existant, B horizon 20cm to 150cm deep, or even areas with bedrock exposed. Funny how I have never noticed this before. So, now I ask *the* question: Why? Why is the soil profile different in different areas? We brainstorm a few reasons (I guide him here, but some he comes up with on his own): Slope, vegetation, bikers. He suggests (on his own) that pine trees inhibit the growth of plants under them so that there would be less topsoil where pine trees grow. !!! Excellent thinking and really cool hypothesis. He also suggests that the B horizon is thicker in some areas because in ancient times more soil collected and then over time compacted into b-horizon soil. so.... WOW, this is going to be an AWESOME project. How does the slope and vegetation of the mountain affect the amount of topsoil? If he were 11+, he could win the regional science fair with this one. (or is it that *I* could win? :lol:) Time: 2 hours Ruth in NZ
  4. My dd has been doing some chemistry research this summer, and she wants to work with another student on applying to the Siemens competition this fall, and I am a complete newbie to science competitions. Can someone give me some bullet points on how this will play out for her and our family. Is it terribly time consuming? Lots of papers to write and presentations to practice? I had been thinking about having her coach a homeschooled MathCounts team this season, but I'm wondering now if that will be too much.
  5. As some of you might know, for the past 2 years I have written up our scientific investigations week by week, as they occur. This allows people to see science as it happens, rather than just the tidied-up results at the end. Science is messy and unpredictable, as I am sure that this project will demonstrate. I never know going into an investigation how it will turn out. Can we actually study the question? Will we find anything useful or interesting? Will we need to switch projects? So it is a bit of a leap of faith for me to just put the process out there, with no idea of success or failure. But it is very good for all non-scientists to see, because so many ideas go nowhere. So this year, my kids have decided to skip projects. Last year's projects just about did us in, and next year both boys will be old enough to go to the regional fair, so we want to be well rested! :001_smile: My younger boy is interested in doing some sort of plant survey work in the alpine regions of the local Forest Park, so I might be writing up his research in January! (For those of you who are now scratching your heads, we are in the southern hemisphere, so it will be summer.) The project I am going to write up in this thread is a neighborhood kid's project. He is a friend of my boys, and my tutoree for math and science. What makes this project different for me is that I have no knowledge of what he has studied in science as I have only started working with him, AND I have to meet the school's rules and deadlines. Finally, I have to start from scratch in his understanding of scientific methodology because he clearly has no experience in it. So this project will be a very nice contrast to the larger projects that I have done with my boys as last year they were my older's 7th and my younger's 4th science fair projects, so they had a lot of previous experience! I'll post this, and start writing up how we chose a question. Ruth in NZ
  6. I am responsible for hosting our homeschool organization's first science fair and I don't know where to start. Does anyone know of a good resource to walk me through it? I know where I can get judges (lots of scientists in our group). I need to know about the administrative stuff. I have googled it and haven't come up with anything that is very clear. Thanks!
  7. I posted previously about my daughter's desire to have a phenomenal Science Fair Project next year. This year's project didn't do as well as she expected and instead of giving up, she's doubling down :D She wasn't sure what she wanted to do her project on, though, and didn't know how to go about figuring it out. I had suggested a few things to her and told her she should start documenting tide pool contents in an effort to find a good idea. She's decided she doesn't want to do that now, and instead would like to investigate invasive species. She's started with trying to make a list of invasive species in animal, plant, and insects. She was looking online and was trying to find animals, etc that are invading here, in the Puget Sound area. But she hasn't found a lot so far. She was ready to give up and just find something interesting anywhere in the world, but I've suggested to her that she write a letter. I figure the Woodland Park Zoo, the Point Defiance Zoo, and the Seattle Aquarium will each have staff that know something about some invasive species, right? So am I missing anything I can suggest? Or some direction I can nudge her into? Also, once she finds and interesting invasive species, how can she make that a project? She asked me that already and I told her if she researches it, the question will come, but really, I have no idea! LOL When she proposed this idea, I brought up how, on a National Geographic show we'd recently watched, it showed a mama Owl whose babies hadn't finished all their food. This lead to maggots in the nest, which was a health hazard. The mama went a got a small snake and dropped it in the nest and it ate all the maggots. She said, "Yeah, but that's a symbiotic relationship." ;) Yup! She's right and a little smarty :001_smile: Maybe I should also have her consider who determines that a species is an invasive species? Then she could write them, too. Hmmmmm. I'm kinda thinking out loud here, but also looking for advice and wanting to share in case this thread is helpful to others.
  8. My kids entered the regional and state science fairs this year. It was my oldest's second time and she's an 11 year old 5th grader. My boys are 8 and 5 and they had fun and got exactly the right experience for their age from this. My daughter, however, was disappointed at her score in the state science fair. Initially I was very surprised she only received Honorable Mention when last year she received Second Place. But looking at many of the other projects I think it wasn't that she didn't do a good job. It was that her experiment/ project wasn't as indepth as some of her peers. After her shock and disappointment, she has determined that she will work very hard with the goal of First Place in mind. She found she will have the added incentive of being in the Middle School category for the first time. This will make her eligible for one of 20 spots from each state science fair that goes on to a National Science Fair. Now I've told her that 8th graders are most likely to be chosen for most of those spots since it's their last year of eligibility, but I told her that she shouldn't let that stop her from trying. My big question is, though, is that some of the projects didn't seem to have experiments. I wish I could go back and look at some of them now to see how some are put together. I am wondering how a Science Fair Project is put together without an experiment? Such as, one girl, a friend she made last year, had a project asking if a certain flower is used as a coloring or a healing drug. I wish I'd looked more closely at her project but with 3 kids in the fair, spread across the gym, it was hard to look around much. I know she couldn't have been injecting this in drug form into people to see if it cures cancer, so how would she test her theory? And how would she come up with a hypothesis? It really sounds more like a research project. Another girl, my daughter said, had a project about if there are more male or female pandas in captivity. She wrote zoos to ask for information. Again, I don't know all the details, so I don't know if she wrote every zoo. And I dont' know how she came up with a hypothesis or an experiment. I just know that my daughter mentioned this girl's project when I told her that some of the information she might use could come from writing zoos, aquariums, manufacturers, scientists, etc. I told my daughter that I will help her and work her as hard as she wants so she can acheive her goal. But I need to understand how to help her acheive this. I never had the privilige of making a science project ever while growing up. I never heard of or saw a science fair at all. So, I'm a bit out of my league and it's not fair to my kids, most especially my daughter. I really want to help her be successful. I told her I may even have her do one over the summer, with everything except making the display board, and then do another after that. If she can research and work on topics that interest her between now and then, she will be able to pick and choose whichever of her projects she feels she did the best job on and is the most interesting. At these science fairs, there is a large group of kids from one school in another town. It's obvious they have a large support group in not just the school, but the parents as well. The girl who had the flower project this year had an iPad showing some videos of something to do with her project. Last year she did solar powered cars, which she told me she worked on over the summer. We can't afford an iPad, but I know my daughter wants to work hard and compete. I know if she does work hard and learn a lot, she will do well and doesn't need expensive technology to acheive her goals. I sure wish I'd asked this girl about her project this year. She is very confident, but she's also a very nice girl. So, if my daughter has a science fair project, my understanding is that it should have a Purpose, Hypothesis, Procedure, and Conclusion. Say she decided to discover which is more lethal, venom or poison. What would her procedure be? I mean, she's not going to go collect venom and poison and then inject into mice. She's 11 and I don't know anyone who would allow that, plus, I doubt she would want to do that. I've got the first Janice Van Cleave book on 50 Science Fair Projects which is helpful, but I'm still not quite understanding what all her options are. Sorry for this really long ramble. The science fair was just last weekend so we have an entire year to make a plan and execute it. I just feel like I've failed her and wasn't a good enough teacher and I want to make sure that I don't fail her again. She's smart and loves science and she shouldn't fail because of me.
  9. My kids entered the regional and state science fairs this year. It was my oldest's second time and she's an 11 year old 5th grader. My boys are 8 and 5 and they had fun and got exactly the right experience for their age from this. My daughter, however, was disappointed at her score in the state science fair. Initially I was very surprised she only received Honorable Mention when last year she received Second Place. But looking at many of the other projects I think it wasn't that she didn't do a good job. It was that her experiment/ project wasn't as indepth as some of her peers. After her shock and disappointment, she has determined that she will work very hard with the goal of First Place in mind. She found she will have the added incentive of being in the Middle School category for the first time. This will make her eligible for one of 20 spots from each state science fair that goes on to a National Science Fair. Now I've told her that 8th graders are most likely to be chosen for most of those spots since it's their last year of eligibility, but I told her that she shouldn't let that stop her from trying. My big question is, though, is that some of the projects didn't seem to have experiments. I wish I could go back and look at some of them now to see how some are put together. I am wondering how a Science Fair Project is put together without an experiment? Such as, one girl, a friend she made last year, had a project asking if a certain flower is used as a coloring or a healing drug. I wish I'd looked more closely at her project but with 3 kids in the fair, spread across the gym, it was hard to look around much. I know she couldn't have been injecting this in drug form into people to see if it cures cancer, so how would she test her theory? And how would she come up with a hypothesis? It really sounds more like a research project. Another girl, my daughter said, had a project about if there are more male or female pandas in captivity. She wrote zoos to ask for information. Again, I don't know all the details, so I don't know if she wrote every zoo. And I dont' know how she came up with a hypothesis or an experiment. I just know that my daughter mentioned this girl's project when I told her that some of the information she might use could come from writing zoos, aquariums, manufacturers, scientists, etc. I told my daughter that I will help her and work her as hard as she wants so she can acheive her goal. But I need to understand how to help her acheive this. I never had the privilige of making a science project ever while growing up. I never heard of or saw a science fair at all. So, I'm a bit out of my league and it's not fair to my kids, most especially my daughter. I really want to help her be successful. I told her I may even have her do one over the summer, with everything except making the display board, and then do another after that. If she can research and work on topics that interest her between now and then, she will be able to pick and choose whichever of her projects she feels she did the best job on and is the most interesting. At these science fairs, there is a large group of kids from one school in another town. It's obvious they have a large support group in not just the school, but the parents as well. The girl who had the flower project this year had an iPad showing some videos of something to do with her project. Last year she did solar powered cars, which she told me she worked on over the summer. We can't afford an iPad, but I know my daughter wants to work hard and compete. I know if she does work hard and learn a lot, she will do well and doesn't need expensive technology to acheive her goals. I sure wish I'd asked this girl about her project this year. She is very confident, but she's also a very nice girl. So, if my daughter has a science fair project, my understanding is that it should have a Purpose, Hypothesis, Procedure, and Conclusion. Say she decided to discover which is more lethal, venom or poison. What would her procedure be? I mean, she's not going to go collect venom and poison and then inject into mice. She's 11 and I don't know anyone who would allow that, plus, I doubt she would want to do that. I've got the first Janice Van Cleave book on 50 Science Fair Projects which is helpful, but I'm still not quite understanding what all her options are. Sorry for this really long ramble. The science fair was just last weekend so we have an entire year to make a plan and execute it. I just feel like I've failed her and wasn't a good enough teacher and I want to make sure that I don't fail her again. She's smart and loves science and she shouldn't fail because of me.
  10. My youngest has to do a science project, due in January, and wants to do something with chemistry. I am drawing a blank. My other two have done physics or bio projects. This is not a science child, but she can use lab equipment and I have a lot of it courtesy of years spent working in an environmental lab (metals) and teaching science at co-ops. I'm willing to budget ~$50 for it. EVERYTHING on the internet is either sooo babyish or it's at the national competition level and ya practically need a mass spec, lol. :glare: Any ideas? Thanks! Georgia
  11. My dd is very excited about entering the fair next year and I'm wondering if anyone has any tips to share about doing it? There is no tradition of science fairs here, and my experience from high school is quite antiquated.:) I have been able to discern from afar that the level of projects has gotten a lot higher than my time... So any tips would be greatly appreciated! Joan
  12. If you're interested in exploring the topic of clean water, there are what look like interesting experiments available here. They did have a summer science kit giveaway going, but it looks like they have run out. If you click on the Activity Kit link you can see a list of materials for all of the downloadable experiments.
  13. Last night we participated in our local Home School program's science fair. We had a really great time. I loved walking around and looking at all of the great projects. What really impressed me the most was the excitement that all of the kids had when explaining their projects. It was incredible how the projects excited all of the kids about science! Little Man won two awards. We were so surprised and shocked when he won Best in Show (1st place) for K-3 age group and Visitor's Choice award (granted, he had a lot of family visitors that voted for him on this one). My guy is 6 and in K so all of our friends and family were very impressed with his performance. Is anyone else participating in the local science fair?
  14. My oldest is participating in her first Science Fair today. It's a large one, meant for public, private, and homeschooled kids for the entire state. It's an hour away. Then tomorrow, she is participating in the regional version of the Science Fair. We are very excited. I hope she has a blast. Her experiment was testing which sweetener yeast likes best. She tested plain sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, aspartame, and saccharin. She also had a control. She had 6 water bottles, put an inch of water, a packet of yeast, and a sweetener in each bottle. The control was just yeast and water. Then she put a balloon over the mouth of each bottle. We blew them up a few times first, to stretch them out. Then she watched them for about 30 minutes, while the balloons grew. After about 30 minutes, she measured the circumference by putting a string around the fattest part of the ballon, then measuring that. She ran the experiment 5 times, then averaged the results. We were all very surprised that saccharin won and sugar was last! The control never did anything, though. She had to make 2 display boards, because the fairs are in the same weekend. (long story. I guess that doesn't normally happen) She had to write an abstract and a written report and keep a science journal during her experiments. We didn't know how much work this was going to be when we agreed to let her participate. She has worked so hard on this and had a blast and I am so proud of her. I hope she has fun at both fairs. She can't wait to see what everyone else has done.
  15. And now for something that isn't about controversy of any kind! This is our first year entering the local science fair. I was always too lazy to try to do something that unfamiliar before. Well, it turns out to be pretty easy and my kids enjoyed doing their experiments. 10yo made a xylophone out of copper pipe and 7yo tested left and right dominance. I actually got the timeline completely wrong and thought it wasn't for a couple more weeks. If my 7yo hadn't asked me on Sunday morning exactly what day the fair was on (er...tomorrow, dear!:001_huh:), we would have missed it entirely. We spent 6 hours Sunday afternoon frantically making exhibits. Well, I guess it was worth the trouble, because 10yo daughter won a prize! I wasn't expecting that. :001_smile: Yay, homeschooling kids rock!
  16. My ds8 would love to do his project about bombs: atomic bombs, nuclear bombs, nuclear warheads, what makes a nuclear bomb the worst bomb and why don't we use it all the time? And about 1000 other questions about bombs. This is what he came up with when I asked him to think about a science fair project. :001_huh: Should I ask him to come up with something testable or is there something I'm missing to actually turn his interest in bombs into a science fair project? Thanks :)
  17. I had that reading experimental children at first, but decided that all our children are experiments (or should be, anyway, I think), so I changed it. Anyway, if you have a child who is wandering around the house today with a camping mat stuck into a tube with a gluegun over his face, you might find this helpful: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_guide_index.shtml I wish I had known earlier that the key word "science fair" would produce lots of help for those children who want to try interesting things on their own. -Nan
  18. Our DD is in Montessori K this year (we'll be starting HS in the fall), and she just brought home a letter today about a science fair. She needs a simple project that she can demonstrate for the class with minimal teacher help (and no parent). They'd like a hypothesis, prediction, conclusion, etc. We have three weeks... Help!?!
  19. Our hs group science fair was Monday. Since we were doing chemistry this year, my 3rd grader did his presentation on that. It came out great! He requested a labcoat, bow tie and mad scientist spiked hair (but decided he didn't like the hair gel so we didn't do that on Monday). He also asked to use his dad's laser pointer, but we weren't ready to unleash him and a laser pointer on a room full of people with eyeballs! But he did an incredible job! Unfortunately we don't have pics of his experiment. He was showing a chemical reaction by mixing vinegar and baking soda and blowing up a balloon. We put the baking soda in the balloon and attached it to the top of a bottle. It worked great.
  20. I had a flyer that we had used before for a science fair that we did back in MN, but, I can't find it now. I need to get an information sheet ready to hand out in co-op this week and I was wondering if you all could help me out! The project has to be health, nutrition, or body oriented. The students will be expected to present their projects to the group and also individually to the judges who will be participating. What should the requirements be for the projects? Should I break things down into age groups as well? We have students from 1st to 11th grades, so I'm thinking 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 would be the age groups. Everyone will get a ribbon or a reward and there will be evaluations made by the judges--doctors, nurses, etc--for each student. Does anyone have a copy of requirements and also evaluation forms that you received when you participated in a fair like this? Thanks!
  21. There is going to be a science fair at Boo's school. Her first grade will be doing class project (it is required for K-3 todo class projects and 4-5 to do individual projects.) But it is also optional for K-3 to do individual projects (done at home), which Boo wants to do (her favorite subject is science), and we thought it would be great start doing them in 1-3 as test runs for 4th and 5th. So we got the guideline paperwork and the board (Everything needs to be on this "board". it's more like cardstock and I'm really not sure how it's going to hold anything - it doesn't even stand up on it's own). :confused: The paperwork gives us ideas, but not how to do the project (it's also says to use the child's imagination and interests as ideas). So I started surfing the net and found sciencebuddies.com and had Boo take their quiz to find projects that match her interests and her age level. We went over the resulting projects and she like this one: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/Zoo_p012.shtml My question is does this seem feasible for a first grader? She like the idea of working with m&m's (though she was disappointed that she couldn't be a test subject and eat the m&m's) and she's makes a link from the project to the chameleon Pascal in Tangled. My other question is, as a parent, can I talk her through each step (as long as she does what is needed.) and talk her through the questions she needs to answer - or is that too much involvement? After the issue with helping her story based on her spelling words, I'm trying to find that line, between helping and helping too much. Any BTDT advice would be most welcomed! TIA!
  22. Older dd11 is going to do a project for a fairly informal sci fair and I thought I'd have ds (almost 8) work on a simple one. I've never even done or been to a sci fair so I'm not sure where to start with him! (Older dd will be researching, etc., on her own with my help when needed.)
  23. I found this at the library. It looks quite good. http://www.amazon.com/SCIENCE-WORKBOOK-Instructions-Winning-Science/dp/0615136613/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1290905180&sr=8-4 http://books.google.com/books?id=5w3FBx3taMUC&dq=a+science+fair+workbook&printsec=frontcover&source=in&hl=en&ei=CKjxTM3xD4iq8Abl34H9Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=11&ved=0CD4Q6AEwCg#v=onepage&q&f=false
  24. My dds (2nd & 4th grade) are going to be doing science projects for a 4-H science fair. It is completely 'open' - there are no suggestions. I have no idea how complex or simple the other kids' projects will be. I've found many sites that have ideas BUT here is my issue: to me, the whole thing is pointless unless the child understands the science behind what's going on. For example - the classic 'volcano' experiment. There is no way elementary kids understand what's going on besides saying "it's a chemical reaction" I want my dc to be able to fully understand and explain their projects. Any suggestions? Maybe something practical, like comparing battery life for the younger one?
  25. I haven't posted in awhile, but of course I'll go to the Hive Mind for an odd question :). My daughter needs a science fair topic, and I'm wondering if our kefir could be used. Kefir, a "good bacteria" supposedly kills the bad bacteria in the body. To prove that, could we show two different samples of bacteria, one with kefir, and one with something else (perhaps regular yogurt without probiotics?). I hypothesize that the one with kefir present would show less growth of bad bacteria due to the presence of the kefir. My knowledge of bacteria and microscopes is limited, however. Would I be able to distinguish between good and bad bacteria with a microscope? We have a decent microscope but little experience - would this be a reasonable experiment for an amateur (I could find some help, however)? My science fair experience is zero, so if this is a flawed experiment, let me know! Any other suggestions for using kefir? Thanks, hive! Peace be with you, Cyndi
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