Our homeschool group puts on a science fair each year. We always make the effort to participate and have found it to be a worthwhile experience. Unlike most public school science fairs, there are:
- No grades
- No competition
- No rules about what constitutes a “legal” project
Some students do traditional projects by coming up with an hypothesis, testing it, and drawing conclusions, all displayed on a project board. Others bring an experiment to demonstrate or make a poster about a favorite animal or concept. Because it is low pressure, most of the results are obviously kid-made, not adult-designed. Certainly parents assist, but the students are doing most of the work (and learning). There isn’t the pressure for perfection that there might be in some situations. Each student has the opportunity to tell about his or her project. I think for some, this is one of the few opportunities they have to speak in front of a group. That, too, is good experience.
Here are some of the topics we’ve visited through the years:
Structural Strength of Different Shapes
Do Objects All Fall at the Same Rate?
Testing the Effects of Leaving Different Ingredients Out of Bread
Bubble Gum! Comparing Different Brands for Maximum Bubble Size, Stretchiness, Flavor, Etc.