Hey Group :) I switched grade levels this year, and part of the expectation in this grade is Science Fair. I am dreading this experience, as I have seen this in the past, and I find this seperates my have's and have nots in the student population. We are a title I school, over 50% of my kids are free/reduced lunch. I find that parents do a lot of the work... I would like information, timelines, suggestions... Anything... I have already tapped into resources for judges, so that is covered :) I would like students to work in class on their projects, but I find that "it's being done at home", "I fogot it", or free time for kids "I am done" :) Also, it is hard to fit this into the curriculum with everything else being covered. Thanks so much Liz

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers
Elizabeth Dalzell
9945 Activity Points

Hi Liz A great on line resource is called Science buddies. It has resources for all grade levels. It also has resources for all areas of science and even outlines whether a project will be easy or hard. I have used it in the past. Best of Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!! See site below: www.sciencebuddies.org

LeRoy Attles
LeRoy Attles
56475 Activity Points

Thanks so much for this site :) This will be a great resource to share with the Science Department. Thanks Liz

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers
Elizabeth Dalzell
9945 Activity Points

Hi Liz and LeRoy,
I appreciate your humor Liz with choosing the title, "Science Fail" for this thread discussion! Throughout 30 years of classroom teaching I have heard more comments from concerned and nervous parents concerning "their" Science Fair grades than from their students.

I've also travelled through the years witnessing the ups and downs of these knowledge exhibits. Science Fairs, Engineering Conventions, Invention Conventions, and Family Science Nights have made the circle of probably every elementary and middle school as educators search for forums that allow students to set goals, follow a process, record, analyze and share data, and celebrate student accomplishments.

Whatever avenue schools choose...it's the hard work, dedication, support and celebration of students and their learning that makes the event memorable!

Enjoy the journey, this thread will provide some creative and outstanding ideas!
Alyce

Alyce Dalzell
Alyce Dalzell
64075 Activity Points

I have put together a collection of NSTA resources on science fairs that you might find helpful. Also, here is a website that might also provide some additional insights for you as well. [url=http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/]Science Fair Central. How have the other teachers in your new grade level conducted the fair in the past? Is there anything that worked well for them that you can duplicate?


Science Fairs Collection
(7 items)
The Road to Stress-Free Science Fairs: A long-term approach to learning inquiry takes the stress out of science fairs
     -Journal Article
Editor’s Note: Science Fairs and Beyond
     -Journal Article
Reverse Your Science Fair with Educational Partnerships
     -Journal Article

Kate Geer
Kate Geer
7865 Activity Points

Kate Thanks so much for you help! I appreciate it... The other teacher I work with has pretty much set how the Science Fair is run, and has been there a few years longer than me. I really want to make sure my students are learning the Scientific Method/Process and are applying their research skills, collect/analyze their own data. I always tell my kiddos, "I know your parents know 7th grade Science, but I need to know you understand it!" I am going to take time and look over this information tonight. Thanks again, Liz

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers
Elizabeth Dalzell
9945 Activity Points

So, I have another question... I read the article about an e-learning science fair. Have any of you used VoiceThread? It is awesome! I am using it in several classes,but am wondering if I could have studnets build their Science Fair on a VoiceThread (it is similiar to PowerPoint, but much easier to navigate, post video, and you can voice over all of your explanations and draw on the program. I attached our VoiceThread that my Eco-Club students made as their application for a grant. Please take a look, you can sign up for a free account for up to 45/50 students.

Click here for Wagers Eco Club Link

I am thinking that I could have students build their Science Fairs using this virtual webiste... Thoughts?

Thanks
Liz

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers
Elizabeth Dalzell
9945 Activity Points

Hi Liz - I use voicethreads and love them as well. You could certainly have students use the platform for a science fair presentation. If you use some of the advanced features such as zoom and doodling students will really be able to show the most important features of their project. A few suggestions might be to develop a template and a rubric for them. You may want to have a set pattern such as a new slide for each part of the scientific method or that students must incorporate one video segment. Keep in mind that what is really exciting about using voicethreads is the interactive component - have a plan for how to handle traffic on the slides. I'd love to see how they come out!

Caryn Meirs
Caryn Meirs
26195 Activity Points

Hi Liz - I use voicethreads and love them as well. You could certainly have students use the platform for a science fair presentation. If you use some of the advanced features such as zoom and doodling students will really be able to show the most important features of their project. A few suggestions might be to develop a template and a rubric for them. You may want to have a set pattern such as a new slide for each part of the scientific method or that students must incorporate one video segment. Keep in mind that what is really exciting about using voicethreads is the interactive component - have a plan for how to handle traffic on the slides. I'd love to see how they come out!

Caryn Meirs
Caryn Meirs
26195 Activity Points

Thanks Caryn I am currently using them for my literacy classes and LOVE them! I think I will "pilot" this with a group of 10-15 students. I think your idea of giving them a rubric, and having one topic per page is a great idea. We are doing Science Fair in April; I will post some of the students work :) I am getting really excited about this now. I was texting my media specialist tonight to see if I could book her in April to help that group of students ? She laughed at me… Thanks for the encouragement; I am starting to get some awesome ideas from this topic group. Liz

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers
Elizabeth Dalzell
9945 Activity Points

So I thought I would provide some reflection to my once nightmare of Science Fair, granted I am in week 1 :) Maybe some humor for this mid-week. My students met with me one on one to develop ideas in areas they were interested in, and I am so stoked! Some students had amazing ideas, and just needed some guidance and others needed an all out call for action! I found this awesome webiste , Science Fair Which is incredible. Thought I would provide you some insight!

Happy Wendesday,
Liz

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers
Elizabeth Dalzell
9945 Activity Points

Hi Liz,
That was an excellent site that you just posted for science fair resources. A few other online sources that might be helpful are:
Super Science Fair Projects
Science Fair Project Resource Guide
Science Buddies
Science Fair Central
The first and last ones mentioned are commercial sites, but still may be of use to browse.
Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79623 Activity Points

Liz, One thing that I have seen successful teachers do to make science fair, or other long term projects work, is to plan objectives for each day that science fair is addressed and assess it that day. So, for example, if the students are to start setting up their experiments on a given day, there are objectives provided to the students that include things like, "By the end of class, you will have written your first draft of your experimental design and had it reviewed by the teacher." They can always improve on an idea they have already worked on and you get to see if there are problems with their understanding of concepts. They must provide product each day that class time is provided and through feedback you can keep students improving their ideas so that their science fair experience is positive, no matter what their SES. The focus on ideas in class will help level the playing field. You get to "check the pulse" of their work regularly so that the products will reflect your students' best work. They learn that long term projects aren't about the finish line, but the process. Hope this helps! Bambi

Bambi Bailey
Bambi Bailey
9515 Activity Points

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