What are elementary science fair projects? It is a test of not only what your kids know but is essentially an experiment your kid performs to find the answer to a question. Knowing this, it becomes easy to select a topic – one that serves your kid’s interest.
Topic hunting: Existing idealists are the first place to look for a topic. Other places would be the science section of your school or town library. Search various popular science magazines or surf the net. Once you have selected the topic go back to these very sources for further information about your topic. Keep a record about the sources of your information.
Object of the experiment: Follow a scientific procedure. State the object of your experiment- what you want to show or prove. Select variables to prove your point. Indicate how your results will be measured. Finally describe how you will perform the experiment.
The Experiment: Now carry out the experiment as you have described it. Note down all that you think will be required later. Wherever possible make explanatory charts or graphs.
Display: Display in science fair projects is important since it shows the effort you have put in. The display must be attractive and contain adequate information. Judges must not be overloaded with information. Some important aspects of the display need special attention. These are:
- Title: Design the title creatively, carefully and attractively. Keep it short and simple to attract maximum viewership. The font size of the letters should be such that the title is easily read from 3 feet distance. Font size of the headings should be smaller than title font size and color of the headings may be different but avoid using too many colors. Keep the ordinary texts black. You can use self-sticking letters, make them from construction paper or use a computer and printer to print them. Stick to the rules regarding titles, headings and font size if there are any.
- Display board must be of a particular size and shape stipulated by the fair authorities. Within the stipulated parameters you can select one that suits your project the best. You can buy or make your own display board from various materials. Try to get an attractive color combination or else go for neutral pastels.
- Generally avoid sloppiness. Lines, edges and letters should be laid straight.
- Take adequate safety precautions. Hire an electrician if electrical wirings are involved.
Make sure to have a blackboard around. The judges might need some explanation too. Also keep a kit containing colored pencils, markers, erasers, felt pen, glue, paint for last minute touch-ups to your display.
Keep in hand a brief report that you did for the project from its conception to execution. The report should have one or two pages showing the sources of your information.
The elementary science fair projects are a great learning experience for your kids. It evolves around the theme of applying science to everyday life.