Tools to Manage Science Projects and Science Fairs
Find tools to help streamline assigning, managing, and assessing science projects. We also have resources to help you plan your science fair! This is part 4 in our 5-part STEM Education series on the value of science projects and science fairs.
Science Buddies has a number of free tools for educators to help manage the student science fair project, from start to finish. The tools linked below work hand-in-hand with the tips and best practices we shared in the previous post in this series.
Teacher's Guide to Science Projects
The Teacher's Guide to Science Projects contains pedagogical information about doing science projects, discussion of multiple ways to do presentations, a science expo planner, and more. The resource has printable handouts, including a Student Science Project Schedule, a letter to parents (with a table outlining appropriate parent involvement), and a Project Proposal form. This guide also contains printable worksheets that align with individual steps of the science project, from forming a hypothesis to a final report checklist.
Educator Resource for Science Projects and Science Fairs
The following information highlights tools and teacher resources that map to the stages of assigning and managing student science projects.
Prepare students for doing independent science projects:
- Introduce or review the scientific method and engineering design process:
- Teaching the Scientific Method with Paper Rockets, grades 3-5
- Defining an Engineering Design Problem with Paper Airplanes, grades 3-5
- Paper Rockets to Learn the Scientific Method, grades 6-8
- Teaching Engineering Design with an Egg Drop, grades 6-8
- Scientific Method: How Do Scientists Make Discoveries?, grades 3-8
- How Do Engineers Solve Problems?, grades 3-5
- Use the Which should you choose? Scientific Method versus Engineering Design Process video to explore the differences between the scientific method and the engineering design process. A side-by-side comparison chart is also available.
Plan the science project assignment timeline:
- The Science Fair Schedule Worksheet contains suggestions for how much time to set aside for each step of the project.
Help students find and select projects:
- Have students use the Topic Selection Wizard to identify projects of interest.
- Use the Science Fair Project Proposal form or the Engineering Project Proposal Form for project selection and review.
Monitor and assess students throughout the science project:
As described in 10 Tips and Best Practices for Assigning and Managing Science Fair Projects, breaking the project into smaller assignments helps keep students on track with their projects. A number of free tools and rubrics are available to support individual assignments (and assessment) related to specific parts of the science project process:
- Use the Science Project and Engineering Design Process Resource Guides. These step-by-step guides contain worksheets, checklists, and examples students can use at each step of their projects.
- Grading rubrics are available for specific steps of the project, including: The Question, Bibliography, Research Plan, Research Paper, Variables & Hypothesis, Materials and Procedures, Data Analysis & Graphs, Conclusions, Final Report, and Display Board.
- Have students use the Ask an Expert forums to ask questions and get troubleshooting support.
Help students prepare for the science fair:
These tools can help students as they write their final report, prepare a project display board, and get ready to share the project at the science fair:
Science Fair Planning and Judging
If you are planning on holding your own school science fair, the A Guide to Planning a Science Fair resource walks you through every step of planning your school science fair—from setting goals for the fair to recruiting and training volunteers and judges. Judging guides, scorecards, and rubrics for both science and engineering projects can be downloaded from the Science Fair Tools page.
See all posts in the Why Do Science Projects and Science Fairs? series.
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