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Science Fair Season – Ask Questions, Explore and Discover

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Science Fairs are held year round, but February is a very popular month for schools to hold a science fair. Have you signed up for your school’s science fair but haven’t picked a science fair project? Or are you thinking about joining your science fair but don’t know where to start?

Participating in the science fair is an amazing opportunity to learn about the scientific method, ask questions, explore, make new discoveries and gain an understanding of how science works.

If you are excited about your child’s science fair project, they will be excited too. Use this opportunity to teach your child the importance of building life long learning skills. Conducting science experiments and teaching process skills take time, and the unfortunate truth is that teachers may not have the necessary time in class to allow the children to explore on their own. That’s why it’s so important for you as the parent to take the time to create a meaningful learning experience and to rekindle your child’s natural sense of wonder.

The start to a great science fair project is asking questions. To find a science fair project, browse the Internet for science sites like SteveSpanglerScience.com, PBS Kids/ DragonflyTV.org or ScienceBuddies.org. Browse the experiments and start asking questions like “why does it work that way,” and “what if I did it this way?”

For example, dropping Mentos into Diet Coke is not a science fair project. It’s a science demonstration. Asking questions like “what temperature of Diet Coke will make the tallest geyser,” or “what soda makes the shortest geyser?” are good science fair projects.

Asking questions is step one in the scientific method.

Scientists use the scientific method to learn and study about the world around them. It is also used in all science fair projects.

Here are the seven steps to the scientific method:

Step one: Ask Questions
Step two: Research – gather information about your question.
Step three: Hypothesis – make an educated guess on what you think the outcome will be
Step four: Procedure – perform your experiment
Step five: Collect data – document your experiment
Step six: Observations – write a description of what you discovered
Step seven: Conclusion – was your hypothesis correct or incorrect?

Summarize the results of your experiment and compare the results to your original guess, and remember… it’s okay if your hypothesis was wrong. That is all part of the scientific process.

For more information, science fair project ideas and help on putting together an amazing science fair experiment check out the Science Fair section on SteveSpanglerScience.com. You can also read about my personal experience with my daughter and science fair last year. I learned that science fair isn’t just for the science geeks and it isn’t just about science on my blog at TwoHandsTwoFeet.com.

Guest blogger Susan Wells is the mom to two girls, ages 4 and 8. She enjoys enriching her daughter’s education by finding the learning in everything. They especially enjoy science activities. She works as a blogger and social media strategist for Steve Spangler Science, a Colorado company dedicated to helping teachers and parents get children excited about science.

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