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Science Fair Projects for Kids and High School Students
These 12 sites have hundreds of science fair projects, experiments, and advice to help you create the best science fair project you can. They suggest easy projects for kids and more challenging award-winning science fair projects for high school students. I've used many of them with my daughter and students.
Some of the sites provide ideas. Some give you step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments. Some provide kids advice on creating projects for science fairs. And some have forums where kids can get help when they're stuck. Many of these websites have videos to illustrate their experiments.
Note: Some of these sites have forums, which require registration with an email address. Children under age 13 need parent approval to register and submit questions to these forums.
#1 Science Buddies
Strength: Detailed science projects and advice for kids
I most often recommend Science Buddies to students and parents starting work on a science fair project. This is an award-winning site was created by the Kenneth Lafferty Hess Family Charitable Foundation, and has a wealth of resources.
First is the Project Ideas section where you can browse a list of projects by area of study. Or try the Topic Selection Wizard. You answer a series of questions about your science interests and grade level, then you get a list of projects best suited to your situation.
The projects are very detailed. Each includes the background, questions to consider, a list of required supplies and equipment, and step-by-step instructions for the experimental procedure.
The next helpful resource is an extensive Science Fair Project Guide. Here you'll learn more about how to use the scientific method to build your project, how to write your report, and how to display your work. There is also advice on safety procedures, selecting supplies, and techniques.
Finally, you can go to the Ask an Expert Forum if you need more assistance. Look to see if another student has asked a similar question that answers yours. If you've been unable to resolve your problem with the help of a teacher or parent, this group of volunteer scientists will do their best to help you.
The Science Buddies site is easy to navigate. And and the extent of their resources is incomparable.
#2 Cool Science Projects
Strength: Tips for creating award-winning science fair projects
The folks at Cool-Science-Projects.com will walk you through all the steps of creating a science project. You'll find advice and resources for simpler projects for a homework assignment, as well as advice on creating show-stopper competition projects.
There are lots of ideas here by grade level. A few of the ideas have step-by-step instructions for carrying them out. The site's biggest strength is the section it devotes to advice on creating a winning science fair project.
#3 Steve Spangler's Science Experiments
Strength: Entertaining videos of experiments to spark you own project ideas
Steve Spangler's Science Experiments is a particularly useful website for science teachers and homeschool parents. Steve is a teacher's teacher who is televised weekly in Denver and who has appeared on nationally televised shows, demonstrating experiments and explaining the science behind them. He also conducts teacher training seminars throughout the country.
On this site, you can access his collection of science experiments, recipes and projects. His library of projects is accompanied by videos of how to use materials and equipment to conduct experiments. He also has an online store of supplies and equipment.
Steve's delight in science experiments is entertaining, and he'll get you and your kids excited about their experiments too!
#4 Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab
Strength: Advice for creating a successful science fair project
Reeko is passionate about science. His passion is contagious at Reeko's Mad Scientist Lab. Reeko takes a humorous and engaging approach to getting kids interested in science.
Reeko's focus is science experiments. He does not provide guidance for school science projects. But his experiments are a breeding ground for science project ideas.
This award-winning site has games, puzzles and quizzes. And there is a new forum where you can ask a question if you're having problems with your experiment or science in general.
Videos of experiments with accompanying variation ideas for home experiments
DragonflyTV delves into experiments conducted by kids. The folks at PBS Kids Go! offer up plenty of videos of kids conducting experiments.
Then they provide ideas of variations your children can pick from for their own experiments. Or kids can give the Super Science Spinner a whirl until they find an idea they like. DragonflyTV also offers their 12 steps to science fair success.
#6 The Science Club
Strength: Detailed instructions, videos and illustrations of projects
Science Fair Ideas Exchange provides dozens of ideas for projects and experiments. If you need more than written explanations and illustrations, look here. The site is hosted by Bill Beaty of The Science Club.
Many projects are accompanied by a video that shows the key steps in creating your experiment or device. Projects are categorized as simple, medium and advanced.
Some of the video-taped experiments are hazardous, and should be supervised by an adult or conducted only by science teachers.
The Make It Solar Science Fair Information provides detailed information on carrying out a project using the scientific method and steps illustrated here. For teachers who have a website, Make It Solar provides the code to put the illustration at the right into your site with a link to its science fair info.
You'll also find planning guides, research tips, illustrations of display layouts. The site's focus is solar energy, so they furnish details on how to create several solar energy science projects.
#8 MadSci Network
Strength: Answers to your science experiment and project questions
Created by MadSci Network & Third Sector New England, MadSci Network is a great place to get answers to your science questions. Their extensive questions and answers archive can help you as you build your project.
The MadSci Library provides links to other resources by topic area. Look for answers to common science fair questions at the MadSci FAQ page.
If you can't find an answer in their archives of past questions, submit your own question.
Strength: Kids' comments on how the experiments worked for them
ZOOMsci from by PBS Kids & WGBH has dozens of science activities for children in grades K-8. The emphasis is on having fun with science experiments, as opposed to a rigorous scientific method.
Pick an activity, carry it out, then record your observations and comments on the ZOOMsci site. Personally identifiable information is not collected here.
#10 Scientific Methods at pppst.com
Strength: Lessons to help kids learn the scientific method
Teachers and homeschool parents can make use of the resources for elementary and middle school students at Scientific Methods at pppst.com. There are presentations to use when teaching the scientific method, as well as printable materials.
For kids, there are links numerous resources to help them learn and remember the steps contained in the scientific method.
One of Mr. Donn's greatest strengths is that his material is readable at the upper elementary age level. So adults don't have to do a lot of interpretation.
#11 Hands-on Activities
Strength: Detailed instructions for experiments
At Exploratorium's Hands-on Activities page, you'll find lots of ideas for experiments and science projects. Activities are grouped by topic such as food, living things, or sports science.
Each activity provides a list of needed materials and step-by-step instructions. Illustrations and photos accompany the instructions. A few even have videos.
Note that some of the activities are not true "activities" but rather information on how something, like cycling, works.
If you are making a model of the solar system to scale, you have to take a look at the Build a Solar System activity. There is a scale calculator that uses the diameter of the sun you plan to create to calculate the dimensions for all of the planets and orbit radius of each planet.
#12 Step-by-Step Science Fair Success
Strength: Advice for teachers and schools on organizing a successful science fair
Step-by-Step Science Fair Success is a guide for teachers and schools to use in planning a science fair. Lily Ning, a middle school teacher, discusses:
- Preplanning, sending out letters, and rules for group projects
- Creating guidelines, submission categories, and scientific methodology to be used
- Student tasks in proposing, planning, carrying out, and displaying project results
- Assessment using a rubric and grading sheets for the notebook, paper, and display
- Judging rubric
Directory of Science Project Websites
There are more than 30 science fair project and experiment websites listed in LearningReviews Directory of Science Project Websites. Some of the sites have simple experiments for kids to carry out at home. Others have more sophisticated projects for high school students and science fairs. Kids, parents and teachers write reviews about the sites they like best.
Other Science categories on the site help you to learn more about chemistry, astronomy, biology, etc., as you prepare for your science project.
Get Ready for Your Science Fair with Janice VanCleave
Janice VanCleave is a teacher, scientist and author of award-winning science books for kids. This virtual field trip is hosted on Meet Me at the Corner.org, where you can find more science fair project ideas.
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It is now the high time to do our own share in protecting Earth and her wonderful creatures.
Our planet is indeed gasping for breath right now, our harmful pollution is indeed choking her slowly and continues to strip off her ozone layer. I think it is about time to give our response to this alarming state of the only planet we live in, by doing our own share of protecting her with doing simple things that will surely stir big difference. For if not, we might be harming ourselves in the years ahead as well, for nature has its own destructive ways of getting back at us humans, the signs of earth's displeasure with inappropriate and harmful activities of humans are now seen and felt all across the globe like the global warming, climate change, acid rain, drought, flash floods and other forms of natural catastrophes.
Antarctic glaciers and ice sheets are melting at a fast rate, the populations of bees worldwide are dwindling down, numerous species of flora and fauna all across the world are becoming extinct as years go by, the ecosystem is continuously harmed, polar bears are getting hungry and the list goes on.
Here are some practical and small ways that could help our planet get a sigh of relief. Collective small efforts by those who are genuinely concerned with earth's welfare will inevitably help her by great leap and bounds.
1. Don’t allow your children to free those colorful balloons in mid-air. Teach your children not to release balloons. For balloons that escaped the grasps of your children that will hover the sky and eventually fell into oceans and seas will be mistaken as (irresistible meal) jellyfish by sea turtles. Sea turtles take a lot of years to mature and unfortunately some of them got killed by eating balloon or plastic bags. Sea turtles are part of the delicate cycle and if their population is affected other species of marine creatures are also under threat.
2. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Make it a habit to reduce the things we need or we consume. Purchase only things that we only need and eat only what you can. Let us do our share not to be part of the problem or should I say part of the garbage problem. Reuse all the things that can still be repaired/fixed or those things that are still okay.
Recycle things to conserve our resources, collect old newspapers, books, magazines, used papers, bottles (plastic and glass), and any other things that you could sell in junkyards. There is money in garbage and at the same time we’re doing our part in recycling process.
3. Be kind to trees. As much as possible use forests products and timber very well with optimum efficiency. You may use the back of coupons, use pencils until it become as small as possible, and don’t play with matches. Try to get involved in tree planting in your local conservation program. This could be fun as trees can give us added oxygen, shades for people and a refuge to different insects and birds.
4. Broken scientific apparatus like thermometer, barometers, manometers, sphygmanometers, and float valves and other things that have mercury on it should be disposed properly. Avoid throwing this in rivers for mercury is toxic and poisonous not only to the fishes and invertebrates but to the humans as well.
5. Minimize the use of refrigerators, foam blowers, solvents, aerosol spray propellants, fire extinguishers, and chemical reagents for these contains chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that are responsible to the climate change and depletion of our precious ozone layer. Do not burn plastic please this habit is also harmful to our ozone layer.
6. Do not buy exotic and endangered animals. These animals are intended to be in the wild not as mere decorations to your home, pets or playthings.
7. Educate our children, friends and even our local community about the harmful effects of dynamite fishing, illegal logging, animal poaching, over reliance to wood products and hos of other environmental issues.
8. Do not even bother to try eating exotic and endangered animals for they are not intended to be part of human’s diet. Let the other predatory animal do the stalking and eating hehehe you’re not fit to be a lion. One of the most badly hit by human's penchant for delicious foods are the sharks (shark fin soup), sturgeon (sturgeon roes - caviar- are valued for their great taste and one of the most prized eats in the world), snakes, sea turtles and many other animals.
9. Do not patronize things (coats, purse, belt, etc.) that are made up of an endangered animal or animal part (like skin, fur, bones, tusks, antlers, etc.).
10. Be responsible with your garbage, dispose them properly. Also try to use segregation scheme with your trashes, separate those decomposable from those that are not. You may utilize a compost pit to serve as haven for all of your organic trashes and eventually use this as your fertilizer for your backyard garden or trees.
11. Do the traditional way of helping to conserve our environment by virtue of avoiding smoke-belching.
12. Conserve electrical energy and water by employing tips such as regular cleaning of our bulb and fluorescent light in our home, use only appliances when needed, avoiding dripping of water from our faucets, and reporting any case of broken water pipelines to local government.
13. Support any environmental conservation in your community, you may give some donations if this will not bother you to support their cause. You may also join them in their information dissemination drive and campaign as well. You may also do things that can benefit our environment. If you're living in nearby beaches try putting old tires in the sea, this will serve as sanctuary for fishes to lay their eggs and for a place to hide from predators. You may have some vegetation (vegetables, trees or ornamental plants) in your own backyard, for extra oxygen in your area.
14. Support and visit eco-tours near you, these may promote awareness about the importance of ecology to your children, relative and friends.
15. When visiting any tourism site/protected parks please be responsible with your trashes as much as possible adhere to the rules and regulations of the park even if no one is looking at you.
16. Learn how to appreciate nature and her gifts to mankind and support any environmental campaigns that will help nurture and protect the only planet we live in.
This is my fifth entry to the hubchallenge...