The Road to Stress-Free Science Fairs: A long-term approach to learning inquiry takes the stress out of science fairsby: Sarah J. Carrier

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If the words "science fair" strike fear in your heart, you're not alone. While few disagree that science fair projects have great potential for student learning, the preparation and execution of projects can be stressful for teachers, students, and parents alike. One teacher tackles this fear head on by providing students with a science fair experience minus the pressure of trying to figure out how to complete a project without prior experience. Instead of presenting science fair projects as a homework assignment, she wanted her students to develop inquiry skills with science fair investigations in mind all year long. Having become comfortable with the process involved with designing and implementing a science fair project, students completed their science fair projects in class and presented them at the school fair.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
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Reviews (3)
  • on Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:07 PM

If you are an elementary teacher interested in establishing or assisting your students with existing science fair competitions, this article can help you organize and prepare your students for successful presentations. I like how the author takes the entire year to teach the inquiry process of science, while providing detailed information and examples on how to complete the activities in your classroom. With modifications, this year long lesson plan idea could be used for up to and including the middle grades students. I recommend this article for help in the development of science fair projects and for help in developing scientific inquiry skills.

Susanne Hokkanen  (Orland Park, IL)
Susanne Hokkanen (Orland Park, IL)

  • on Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:42 PM

This article gives an excellent example how a science fair can be done entirely in the classroom during regular class time. It descirbes how the scicence fair addresses many disciplines like reading, writing, language, mathematics, history and science.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:44 AM

This article outlines a yearlong approach that makes science fairs less stressful. In the beginning of the school year she introduces inquiry. This takes up pretty much the first semester. By February students are introduced to research and investigative design. In March her fourth grade students are already doing investigations. In April she has her students working on presentations. The science fair actually occurs in May. Reading through this article this very organized educator explains what she does at each stage of the preparation. The article ends with her reflections.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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