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Science Fair Made Easy (and Free!)

No school project strikes fear in hearts of kids, parents and teachers quite like the science fair project! It just sounds daunting! All those steps, the board, notebook, pictures! I remember quite clearly fretting over my own science fair projects in school, although to be fair, my first one wasn't until sixth grade.

Now, kids from Kindergarten on up are exposed to the process of a science fair project, at least at our school. I have to say, this would have been very helpful for me instead of trying to figure it all out on my own in sixth grade! And this was B.G. (before Google!).

At our school we have very specific expectations for each grade level regarding the science fair. Every teacher is expected to complete one class project along with some other student activity. In second grade, our job is to complete the class project and then have each student create a mini-show board of that project. I believe third grade does the same, but they add the notebook, so that by fourth/fifth grade the students have been exposed to and taken part in the science project process and it's not quite the fear-inducing assignment that it sometimes becomes.

I have a science project display board that I keep from year to year. It's a lot of work to re-create this thing every year and I really don't see the need to do so. We do the ol' flowers in food coloring experiment every year and the kids really dig it! I actually don't show them the finished board as we're completing parts of the project. We talk through the whole thing and I take notes on the whiteboard as we go along and take pictures of the flowers each day.



Then finally, I share the completed board with them - lots of oooh's and ahhh's usually! Then I give them the copies of their mini-project and we glue it all in place following the example on the big board. I try to convince them to keep it in a safe place until third grade to use a model when they have the option of doing their own project.


If you don't have access to a color printer, you can definitely print these in black and white and have the kids color over them. If this looks like something you'd like to do, feel free to download the mini student version {HERE} from GoogleDocs and you can find the full size version {HERE} to make your own class display board.


Hope that helps make the dreaded science project a little less dreadful!


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12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this may come in handy next year!

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  2. I think this is a great introduction to a science fair project. It turned out really nice.
    Thanks for sharing the freebie!
    Connie:)
    www.welcometofirstgraderoom5.blogspot.com

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  3. Total and absolute brilliance Denise!!! Thank you!!

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  4. Great project! Simple and doable with the younger students, but great experience with the scientific process. Congratulations, Denise!

    Sally from ElementaryMatters

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  5. I think this is a great display! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  6. Thank you for sharing this! Next year I think I'll give it a go and do a class project now that I can use this to help them feel more confident with the process.

    Lorena
    Little Treasures

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  7. The file folder board kind of reminds me of the lapbooks I sometimes do with kids! I <3 lapbooks! You've given me a great idea to keep in mind, to use lapbooks as part of a science fair!

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  8. Great idea! Now if you could just design one for my 7th graders! I have a post entitled AGHH! Science Fair for a reason!

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  9. This is a GREAT idea!! I think it is so important that they complete one in 2nd so it is not a totally new concept in 3rd!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!! :) THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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  10. Thank you, thank you! We are having a Science Fair next year for the first time in a LOOOOOONg time and this is perfect to show my class the proper procedures!!

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  11. Thank you so much!!! This will come in handy :-)

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  12. Love this idea! I've just awarded you the "One Lovely Blog" award! Stop by my blog to accept it! Thanks for sharing your great ideas! :)

    Jessica
    Mrs. Heeren's Happenings

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