Science fair projects involve a number of kids who showcase their science findings at the end of their investigations. They are mostly done in schools to help children know why certain things happen the way they do. The kids are allowed to discover things on their own. Although the projects target students, parents and guardians are allowed to help them where they need assistance.
Ideas to help parents assist their kids to learn science fair projects
• Talk about the Science Fair Project Ideas with your Child
Allow your child to talk about the project they would want to do. It will be detrimental for him or her if you choose it for them. Therefore, even if they appear to have problems coming up with one, it is not your responsibility to create one for them.
If they are totally unable to come up with something, you can give them ideas to provoke their thinking. One aspect may be helping them decide on what category of science they would like to focus on. Perhaps it’s biology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, biochemistry, health, environmental science, math or computer science, engineering, earth science, or others.
You can ask them why certain things happen the way they do. Allow them to think through the issue and give you a feedback. If they are enthusiastic about the project, you can rest assured that it will likely be a smooth ride all the way. Never push a project down your child’s throat; remember they are the ones doing it and not you. It is important for them to feel in control of the project and not dad or mom.
• Take your Child to Places where they can Access Research Materials
Your responsibility is to take your child to a library or any other place where they can research about their project. From there, leave them to do the rest. Of course if they do not how to do it, you can help them learn how to get the information. For instance, if they need to use a computer and they do not know how to get the information they need, you can show them how to do it and leave them to continue.
• Help them to Confirm their Science Hypothesis
Discuss with the child about their hypothesis and how relevant it is to her overall project. All you need to do is to allow them to think through and help them where they seem to falter; that is all. If you feel like they are taking the wrong direction, you can brainstorm the whole idea together and help them rewrite their hypothesis. You may need to leave them alone if they feel that they are right; they will learn that they were wrong at some point and correct their mistake. For that reason allow them to go through the whole process of learning, and do not learn for them.
This is critical because some of the experiments that they will need to do may be dangerous. For that reason, you must be available to confirm with them the steps, and be there to supervise. To put it more clearly, in this project you are an assistant and not the one calling the shots; kindly bear that in mind. Once the experiments are through, get feedback from the child and help them to record their data. If they need to fill a graph allow them to do it on their own, and if they require your help offer it wisely. In other words, your child should be able to redo the whole project, and show another audience why they support their hypothesis without you. They should answer questions and defend their hypothesis in your absence. In fact that is the essence of science fair projects.
• Never Scold your Child during a Science Fair Project
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Respecting your child is very important, and no matter what mistakes they may make, you should never make them feel inferior. Encourage them during the whole science fair projects process, and be their number one fan. When a child feels supported unconditionally it encourages them to step out and risk even more. Some of the greatest scientists learned more from their failures than their successes.
Until next time,