Keep in mind that everything for the science fair is done at home. Kids come up with their own projects, do the experiment, keep a journal, write a hypothesis, document their methodology, and the list goes on. My initial reaction was, “Um. Seriously? I’m so spent right now. There’s no way we can do this in two weeks!” But here’s the kicker. He and his sister wanted to sign up together…as a team! Now, let me tell you, my kids don’t do ANYTHING together unless it involves wrestling, arguing, or fighting. So, I jumped at the chance to provide a happy time of togetherness and learning. All in all, I think it was pretty successful too.
I borrowed a few science fair idea books from a teacher at my school. My kids looked through the books and settled on a project. The project involved putting hot water inside a bottle, ice around the bottle, and air pressure eventually crushing the bottle. The did all of the work themselves. My son did the typing. My daughter wrote some of the explanations by hand. I was very impressed with their teamwork.
Another area that had me impressed was my son’s desire to use his increasing science vocabulary. His 5th grade teacher really works with the kids on vocabulary development and spelling. The past few weeks, the lists have been all about science. As my kids were composing their paragraphs, my son would stop, think, and then reword with more scientific terms. I was just about jumping up and down when I saw this learning transfer into his science project! It was really a great science and literacy experience for both of my kids.
Here are a few other projects we enjoyed.