Why are Science Fairs Important?
Are your students asking "why" it matters? Understanding "why" science fairs are important and being able to talk with your child about the value of science projects will make you more comfortable talking about science in everyday life with your family.
A science fair project can give your child the first chance to design his or her own learning experience, one that allows him or her to innovate, just as scientists do in the real world. Students will be able to explore personal interests to select an area for his or her science fair project, as well as learn the scientific method to answer a question. Each student will also develop skills above and beyond science proficiency, such as:
- Reading Comprehension and Writing: Doing background research and writing a research paper
- Math: Creating graphs and performing data analysis
- Time Management: Planning a multi-step project
- Communication: Presenting and explaining the science fair project
- Ethics Understanding: Learning about plagiarism and the importance of credit and citations
For additional information about the value of science fairs, view these insightful Science Buddies webpages:
How Much Parent Involvement is Appropriate?
It can be challenging as a parent to find the balance between being involved with and supportive of a child's science fair project and helping too much. Our information on appropriate parent involvement makes it easy to be involved at the right level. Letting your child explore, observe, make mistakes, ask questions—and seek the answers—is at the heart of the science fair process.
Resources to Prepare You and Your Child for Science Fair Success
At Science Buddies, we have resources designed to help your child at every step of the science fair project. The following resources can help your student select an appropriate and exciting project and can help ensure he or she gets off to a good start. If a problem arises, Science Buddies has answers in our online Project Guide and via our Ask an Expert online advice forums, where questions are answered by a team of volunteer experts. Click any of the items below to learn more about the resources we offer.
- Project Guide
- Topic Selection Wizard
- Project Ideas
- Ask an Expert
- Science Fair Project Overview
- The Scientific Method
- Explaining Plagiarism
A Note About Internet Safety: The Internet can be an excellent resource as your children perform research for their science fair projects; however, there are also risks you might not have considered. Educate yourself and your children about the importance of safe online practices by viewing our Internet Safety materials.
Stay Connected to Science BuddiesSign up today to receive the Science Buddies newsletter and receive updates on new project ideas, useful tips and tricks, and Science Buddies' resources. Visit our Newsletter Archive to view past issues. Science can be part of your daily conversation with your kids. On the Science Buddies Blog, we tie together current events from movies to science news with key scientific principles and projects. Join us at Facebook to make staying on top of our updates even easier.
Fun, Science Activities for You and Your Family
Science Buddies isn't just for science fairs! Many of our science Project Ideas are perfect for a rainy day, a vacation from school, or family science exploration. With the right science activities, you will all have fun, and everyone will be learning more about science! The Project Ideas below are low-cost, require readily available and/or household materials, and take only a few hours, start to finish.
- M&M Survival Challenge
- Cabbage Chemistry
- Do-It-Yourself DNA
- Rubber Bands for Energy
- Are You Left or Right Sided?
- View more projects to do at home
If you try one of these with your family, let us know what you think—and what fun you had!
*NEW* Classroom Activities
Science Buddies is now adapting some of our more popular project ideas into at-home, in-class, or after-school activities. Each activity comes with student instructions, and a facilitator guide with just enough information to help anyone lead a good discussion on the science behind the activity.
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and 4-H Activities
Many of our Project Ideas satisfy requirements for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and 4-H activities. We've pulled together lists of projects, below, designed for use in earning club-related badges, patches, pins, belt loops, and more.
Make Science a Part of Everyday Life
To make science a part of your family's everyday life:
- Don't start with science. Start with your child's personal interests. (Our Topic Selection Wizard can help!)
- Tie science into what they know—a new movie, a favorite book, a hobby.
- Motivate your child by making science fun.
- Discuss science news and issues at dinner or breakfast.
Our Very Own Science Mom
Science Buddies vice president Courtney Corda has two children of her own and knows the value of talking about and exploring science with her kids. As she said in a recent appearance on the popular San Francisco-based TV show View from the Bay, doing science at home is as important as reading with your kids and emphasizing good nutrition. In her TV appearances, Courtney demonstrates engaging, simple, educational Science Buddies projects, as well as tips for how to inspire children's interest in science. Get started with these recently featured projects, which also include the video clips of Courtney's appearances.
Science in the Summer
Does science come to mind when you think about summer camp? We hope so! Summer science camp offers students exciting and innovative ways to get hands-on experience with important science, technology, and engineering (STEM) concepts. Thanks to a grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, we've created a new Summer Science Camp resource to help you better understand the value of summer science camps—and to help you easily locate quality science-related programs in your area!