Science Fair Guide for Teachers – Science and nature share a direct co-relation with each other. It is the powerful natural forces that have garnered interest in defining scientific theories. The natural flying ability of birds fascinated the Wright Brothers to discover aero planes. The falling of an apple inspired Einstein to discover theories on gravity. We have several natural forces whose potential still needs to be tapped.
The present generation is plagued with depleting natural resources or global warming. Our younger teens need to look for producing electricity or power using eco-friendly ways. Constant deforestation in terms of cutting bamboo trees can be avoided if one can come up with environment friendly ways of designing paper. Here comes a beautifully laid out science fair guide for teachers. They are after all the building blocks of a new and upcoming generation.
Setting up a time-line
A time line resembles a time-table for students and parents to prepare on a science project. A science project is a vast one. You allow students to research on their desired area of study. The project props will have to be prepared. Case-studies or white papers relating to data classification need to be collated. Since the nature of activities involve rigorous preparation, students and parents take up the project in a phased out manner. As a teacher, allow five to six phases to complete sub clauses within the wider subject. These are insider tips on how you can prepare the time-line in an effective manner.
- Allow Monday as the completion date for each assigned topic. This is for phase 1. You repeat the similar range of steps for the next five to six phases. The week-end gives ample time for students or parents to create project preps, visit libraries and so on.
- During the week, allow ample time for students to conduct their own hypothesis. You can allow library meets in an expansive manner. This way, research material is collected in advance.
- Allow four month duration for students and parents to prepare on a nation-wide or city-wide science expo project.
- Familiarize on the upcoming dates and rules or regulations the science expo sponsors come up with.
Documents to be sent across
As teachers, you need to maintain a clear communication link between the students and parents. You need to send home a copy of the safety guide and the safety contract. Of course the copy of the time line and progress cards also needs to be punched in. This way, parents also keep a track of their wards’ progress and encourage their kids to pursue their area of study in an intensified manner.
Increasing students’ motivation levels
Keeping the students involved throughout the project is the most pivotal role of teachers. You may involve all the students of your class. Else include specified students to represent from your school.
Again, you evaluate by making students participate in top science fairs class-wise. Selected entries participate in state-wide or city-wide campaigns. The short-listed students make it all the way to the top. Like, they get to participate in international science exhibition fairs. So you need to improve the motivation levels of students taking part in various expo-events. Include the resources the school provides on the time-line copy itself.
Instruction Worksheets can be handed over to students. These contain detailed set of instructions on how they go about doing the science project. The themes have to be explained in a systematic manner. The due-dates for assignment completion are again stated on the time-line itself. As a teacher, you need to look into the time line charts every week or at least once in ten days. This is to make sure you track the students’ progress from time to time.
Preparatory work of parents
Your child’s progress depends on how well you encourage him/her. Success in a perennial science project is equally the responsibility of parents as it is of the students. Parents’ progress reports or preparatory charts include assignments on what the parents come up with. To help their children perform better in their field of study.
They can be assigned with project models or preps so that students are not burdened too much. They may have their weekly tests in other subjects as well. They will have to do their home-work in Math, English or Social sciences. Henceforth, parents will have to lend their never-ending support to students in completion of their science-expo projects. You can notify to parents as to how they are supposed to compliment the efforts of their children.
What do judges expect?
Teachers will have to inform students and parents as to how judges evaluate the projects on display. On a general parlance, this is how judges evaluate projects:
- Creation of ideas using scientific theories- 30%
- Using creativity in approach- 30%
- Adequateness in investigation or research- 15%
- Usage of skills in performing suave experiments in a fearless manner- 15%
- Project presentation in terms of case study or creation of white papers- 10%
As science teachers, you will have to emphasize the judge’s evaluation grid from time to time. This is a very important aspect of the science fair guide for teachers. This way, the students or parents will not lose focus.
Other important considerations
As teachers, you will have to brief students on the following aspects as well. These are bulleted points for an easier understanding.
- Encourage your students towards displaying giant sized project displays. This way, the theme can be designed in a mind-captivating manner.
- Explain to your students that the science fair must be backed up with a clear hypothesis, research plan and a fitting conclusion. Here, science theories can be explained in a brief manner.
- Allow them to design experiments using a scientific approach. Free style ideas will not go well with a science project.
- You must brief the students that they conduct experiments under controlled environmental conditions. An acid blast can create havoc to audiences who have come to visit the science expo. Hence as teachers, you will have to emphasize the safety grid or safe working conditions from time to time.
- Encourage your students to use creative or environment friendly materials while designing exhibits.
- Never allow students to compare with what their fellow students did. Students will be given their individual area of study based on which the theme has to be designed.
Here you have a complete end to end science fair guide for teachers which can also be used by both students and parents.