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Resources for InnovatioNation Participants

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Welcome to the Science Buddies InnovatioNation page!

As you explore the world of science through Life Technologies' InnovatioNation program, Science Buddies can help extend that exploration and make it even easier and more fun. The teacher, student, and parent tabs have resources hand-picked for each group of InnovatioNation participants.

Science Projects Related to Your InnovatioNation Module

Are you searching for a science project related to your InnovatioNation module? We've hand-selected, shown below, sample projects from our library that are relevant for each InnovatioNation module. If you are looking for science projects on other topics, try the Topic Selection Wizard. The wizard gives you a brief survey, and then uses those answers to recommend the best, and most interesting, projects for you.

5th Grade Module 5th grade: Genetics & Agricultural Biotechnology

Easy Moderate Challenging
  • May the Best Plant Win! Experiment with Genetically Modified Seeds: When fertilizer and water are scarce, farmers want all those resources to go to their crops — and not the weeds! Investigate whether genetically modified (GM) crops combined with a non-GM specific herbicide can really give the crops a leg up on the weeds.
  • Growing Great Gardens: Using Human Urine as a Fertilizer: In some countries fertilizer is too expensive for farmers to buy, but the soil needs extra nutrients to grow a good crop. Urine has several of the same nutrients as commercial fertilizers. Experiment to see if urine can be a cost-effective way of fertilizing plants.

7th Grade Module 7th grade: Human Identification & King Tut

Easy Moderate Challenging

9th Grade Module 9th grade: Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells

  • How Much Worm Is a Worm?: Yes, it is cool that worms can regenerate after being chopped up. But just how much worm is required? Any specific part(s)? Explore the answers in this project.
  • Shoots: How do Mint Plants Branch to Form New Stems?: Signals from within a cell and/or surrounding cells help determine cell growth. Discover more about how cell growth is controlled using this project.
Moderate Challenging

Science Buddies and Life Technologies recognize that sparking students' interest in science can be a tough job some times. The resources below are aimed at making your job easier. To access these free resources, start by Creating a Free Science Buddies Account. Registering for an account is fast and easy — once registered you won't need to register again, simply log in from any computer or mobile device.

We have also created a special InnovatioNation Teachers' Forum where you can ask professional scientists and engineers questions about science and science fairs, as well as exchange ideas, successes, and frustrations with each other.

Science Buddies Resources for InnovatioNation Teachers

We encourage you to explore the Science Buddies website as it is full of science project and science classroom resources. The table below has a listing, by topic, of some of the most useful resources for before, during, and after your students do their science projects.

Planning and Running a Science Fair or Family Science Night
Family Science Night Planning Tool This teacher-written guide to planning a family science night will help you make sure your science event is a success.
A Guide to Planning a Science Fair (pdf) This step-by-step guide walks you through every step of planning your science fair — from setting goals for the fair, to recruiting and training volunteers and judges, to announcing the winners. The companion judging document is also referenced throughout and is available for download below.
Judging Guide (pdf) This guide includes an introduction to the teacher, as well as thorough instructions to print out for the judges' training on the day of the fair. Features include grade-level expectations, responsibilities, and scoring guidelines. This guide will also prepare them for using the Judging Scorecards below. After reviewing the descriptions below, select and print the scorecard that you feel is most appropriate for your students.
Judging Scorecard (pdf) This scorecard assumes students understand dependent, independent, and controlled variables. If this scorecard is the appropriate target for your fair, please print and hand out copies to the judges on the day of the fair. Additional scorecard options, including a scorecard specific to engineering projects, are available here.
Introducing Science Projects to Students and Answering Their Questions
Teacher's Guide to Science Projects (pdf) This guide includes an explanation of the benefits of doing a science project, teacher and student timelines for completing a science project, and student worksheets for each phase of a science project.
Science Fair Project Guide A step-by-step introduction to the scientific method and the component parts of a science project. This guide is written for students.
Topic Selection Wizard Students often have trouble choosing a science project that interests them. Have your students complete this brief online survey for personalized science project recommendations. Recommended projects come from the Science Buddies library of >1200 Project Ideas.
Ask an Expert An online forum for students to get help with topic specific scienece project questions. The forum is staffed by a group of volunteer professional scientists and engineers (including Life Technologies employees). The Experts won't do the work for them, but they will help guide students to the right answers. Note: Remind all InnovatioNation students to add "LTIN" to the end of their usernames so their questions can be easily identified.
Grading Science Projects
Science Fair Grading Rubrics Science Buddies has developed a set of teacher-vetted grading rubrics for science projects. The rubrics correlate to each step of the science project as detailed in the Science Fair Project Guide.
Integrating Topical Science in the Classroom
Classroom Activities These activities and demonstrations can help add more hands-on science and fun to your classroom or after school curriculum. Activities come with both a teacher guide and a student hand-out.
Science Buddies Newsletter This free monthly newsletter is full of new Project Ideas and Classroom Activities, science events, new teacher science resources, contests, and giveaways.
Science Buddies Blog This frequent blog ties together current events with science projects and key resources on the Science Buddies website.
Facebook, Google+ and Twitter Follow Science Buddies on these social media streams for up-to-the-moment announcements and tie-ins to current and historical events.
Informing Students About Careers in Science
Science Careers These profiles of >150 science and engineering careers give students the real-world scoop on a wide range of science job options. Educational requirements for these careers range from a high school diploma to advanced degrees.
InnovatioNation Science Career Worksheet Use this worksheet to help students read through and internalize information about science careers related to their science project. Note: Each Project Idea on the Science Buddies website links to related careers in the "Learn More" Tab of the Project Idea.

3 Steps to an Easier and Better Science Project

  1. Create a free Science Buddies Account.
    • An account will let you quickly save, and find again, your favorite science project ideas. You can log in to your account from any internet-connected computer or mobile device.
  2. Use the Topic Selection Wizard to find a project that interests you.
    • Why do an "okay" science project when you can do one you love? Filling out the short questionnaire in the Topic Selection Wizard will give you a list of science projects that cover topics you are interested in. With over 1200 projects it doesn't matter if you are interested in airplanes, cats, baking, dancing, robots, the environment, video games, or something else — there is a project just right for you.
  3. Get help with your project, when you need it.
    • Science Fair Project Guide: If you need general help on the scientific method, how to write a hypothesis or examples of what a science project display board should look like then this is the place to go.
    • Ask an Expert Forum: If you have a specific question about your science project and need personalized help you can enter this forum and post your question for professional scientists and engineers to answer. You will need to register to use the forum. When registering, make sure you:
      • Add the letters LTIN to the end of your username. That lets everyone know you are a student in the InnovatioNation program.
      • Answer "Science" to the last question on the registration form.

More Ways to Explore and Enjoy Science

Fun with Science Experiments
Hands-on Science Activities A list of fun science projects that you can do with simple household materials.
Summer Science Camp Resource If you are interested in attending a summer science camp, explore the options in this guide to help you find a camp that is perfect for you.
Science Buddies Blog This frequent blog often has posts about interesting new science projects and activities.
Science Buddies YouTube Channel Videos of some of our science projects.
Exploring a Career in Science
Science Careers Profiles of >150 science and engineering careers featuring interviews with professionals, salary and education information, and detailed descriptions of a typical work-day.

Ways to Support your Science Student

Are you looking for ways to help your student succeed in science? The table below outlines resources for you and your student before, during, and after your student's science project.

Engage with Your Student's Science Project
Topic Selection Wizard Encourage your student to use the wizard — it will help them find a science project that truly interests them. It is easier to enjoy and succeed in science when you start with an interesting topic.
Parent Guide to Helping with Science Projects It can be hard to find the right level of involvement in your child's project. This guide gives practical suggestions of how to help and support them.
Science Fair Project Guide If your student has general questions about how to do a science project, help them read through this guide — it has details on every phase of a science project.
Ask an Expert Forum If your student has a science question that is stumping both of you, help them post their question on this forum — it is staffed by professional scientists and engineers knowledgeable about many science topics and science fairs.
Explore and Discuss Science with your Student
Hands-on Science Activities Try doing one, or more, of these fun science projects together. All of these can be done with household materials.
Science Buddies' Blog, Newsletter, and Facebook page Visit these resources for up-to-date information about new science projects, fun science activities, and science tie-ins to current and historical events.
Summer Science Camp Resource Is your student interested in attending a summer science camp? This resource will help you find the best camp for him or her.
Science Careers If your student shows interest in science, encourage them to check out this library of >150 science and engineering career profiles.