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Tools to Manage Science Projects and Science Fairs

Find tools to help streamline assigning, managing, and assessing student science projects. We also have resources to help you plan your science fair! This is part 4 in our STEM education series on the value of science projects and science fairs.

Student with science project display board - part of Why Do Science Projects and Science Fairs series, post 4 on tools to help manage and plan science projects and science fairs

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of assigning science fair projects? We can help!

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 Resources 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:

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.
  • Google Classroom teachers can use Science Project Pathways to break the science project into a series of smaller assignments. Enter the project start date, and the tool will create a custom schedule with recommended assignments and due dates. Teachers can then make and monitor assignments in Google Classroom. See How to Use the Science Project Pathways Tool to learn more about using the Pathways tool.

Help students find and select projects:

Monitor and assess students throughout the science project:

As described in 11 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:

"All of the resources and checklists for the science projects have been super useful and I use them as rubrics for my student's science fair projects. I love them!" Lauren, a teacher in MN

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.

The Value of Science Projects and Science Fairs Series

  1. Why Do Science Projects and Science Fairs?
  2. The Value of Science Projects
  3. 11 Tips and Best Practices for Assigning Science Projects
  4. Tools and Resources to Support Student Science Projects

Pictured: Andrew, a fourth-grade student who put distracted driving t o the test with a video game-based science project. Browse success stories for other inspiring stories.


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