Science Buddies, This Teacher's Go-to Resource for Science Projects
When this science teacher moved to a new state, she took Science Buddies with her. Year after year, she returns to Science Buddies with her students during science fair season.
Dedicated Science Teacher Relies on Science Buddies
Brenda Roth has been teaching middle school science for the last eleven years. Since discovering Science Buddies in 2011, she has used the website as a primary resource for students doing science fair projects, and all of her students do science fair projects. When she relocated from Nevada, where she taught for nine years, to Washington, where she now teaches sixth-grade Earth science, she took Science Buddies with her to her new school. When asked which Science Buddies resources she uses with her students, she enthusiastically replies, "All of them!!!"
An advocate of science fair and the value of hands-on science projects, Brenda says she uses Science Buddies throughout the science fair season, kicking things off with the Topic Selection Wizard. "I love the Topic Selection Wizard when I am first introducing Science Fair Projects as a way for students to explore, talk to their peers, and begin collaborations." Brenda says she finds the Topic Selection Wizard to be a helpful tool for students at all levels. "It's not only a great way for students to select a project. It [also] inspires highly creative students to develop a unique idea through the 'make it your own' additions." While she does not require students to choose a project from Science Buddies, Brenda estimates that 75% of her students do.
After students select and get approval for their projects, Brenda uses the Science Buddies Project Guide with her students as a resource for all stages of doing a science fair project. "I use it constantly during the two months of Science Fair preparation! At first, I screencast it, so students can quickly learn how to navigate it," says Brenda. "I find that the Background Research Plan is essential for middle school students to plan their research in a way that, for most of them, is unfamiliar," she adds, talking about elements of the Project Guide that she finds particularly helpful in the classroom.
To help keep students on track and ensure no one gets left behind and ends up scrambling to do a science project at the last minute, Brenda's students follow a timeline that has built-in checkpoints based on the sections of the Project Guide. "I prepare assignment checklists and require them to show evidence of their work and collect my signature at each 'checkpoint.'"
Bringing Science Fair Success to a New School
Last year, her first at her current school, Brenda helped strengthen the school science fair to follow ISEF standards. At the conclusion of the school's multi-phase science fair, winners of the schoolwide science fair automatically advance to the county and regional fairs. Brenda's students did well at the school fair and in the advanced competitions. "Our middle school had four projects win county and one win regional," says Brenda proudly. "All were my students who had used Science Buddies!"
Brenda says that her new colleagues may not have been familiar with Science Buddies when she arrived, but now they are!
Science Buddies—A Trusted Resource
There are many online science resources available to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. Teachers can spend a great deal of time considering options that will work in their classrooms and with their curriculum. For Brenda, Science Buddies is a trusted solution. What brings her back each year? "Science Buddies is and has always been easy to use with a plethora of FREE resources that never need modifications... they are that good!"
When asked what she would tell Science Buddies' sponsors about the value of Science Buddies, Brenda highlights the struggle many teachers face. "I would say that due to budget cuts and my own personal inability to cover many classroom expenses, this resource is priceless to me and any teacher who utilizes its resources! Without it, I can safely say I would not have had the success I've had coaching Science Fair participants!"
Science Buddies is proud to support dedicated teachers like Brenda and is grateful to all of the teachers, around the world, who are helping build science literacy and engagement with their students.
Share Your Story
Do you use Science Buddies in the classroom? We would love to hear your story and share your excitement about Science Buddies and science education! Reach out to Science Buddies by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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