Elementary Science Projects are often the first introduction that a parent has to the wonderful world of school projects. The first science project is the perfect time for a kid to be amazed at the way things work in the world around us. Learning about stuff like friction, static electricity and fire is fascinating and fun. Often, however, the process of deciding on a topic, finding a project, and getting it to work leads to frustration for parents and students. Somewhere between the fun and the fair, the fun often evaporates with that first science project. It shouldn’t be that way! A science project should be a wonderful time of discovery and learning for a parent and child.
But what if you’re like most parents, and are not a rocket scientist? How can you choose and help your child do a good, if elementary, science project?
Before you discuss it with your child, do your homework. If your elementary school child has been assigned a science project, you already know that your biggest step is choosing a topic. Don’t make the mistake of being too broad and asking your child, “Do you want to do a project about electricity?” Find some specific projects that follow guidelines of your science teacher or science fair. Then, describe the project in exciting terms. “Here’s a cool project about how yeast has enough gas – yes, that kind – to can blow up a balloon!” or “You take the shell off an egg in this project and then bounce the egg on the floor!”
While looking for an experiment, keep in mind that many teachers require that a science project follow the scientific method, even when doing an elementary school science project. That means your child has to come up with a question, do research, state an hypothesis, list independent and dependent variables, test the hypothesis, chart results and declare a conclusion. (Did you feel the fun start to go away?!)
It’s also important not to choose a science project so complicated that the child is only a spectator. Find an experiment that allows the child to participate, to understand the scientific principles, and to have fun!
Yes, we know how difficult this can be. We have four sons, and have done more science projects than we can count. We’ve encountered more than our share of problems, and made lots of mistakes. But somewhere along the way, we started to figure it out! We began to come up with project ideas that met the teacher’s standards, yet were easy to do, affordable, interesting and fun. We’ve written a free guide called, “The Non-Scientist Parent’s Guide to Science Fair Projects”, which will walk you step by step through the whole science project process. Get your copy of the guide at http://www.24HourScienceProjects.com, and we’ll help you and your child discover how easy and fun that it can be to do an elementary science project!