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Meghan is a recent college graduate that leads an educational portal for students.
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The school science fair is a time honored American tradition. It is meant as a celebration of all things science and allows students to receive praise outside of the classroom. Sure the kids who win the science fair are not held in as high esteem as the kids who win the sports events, but it is often the kids who win the science fair that go on to earn big money. Whereas few of the sporting heroes in school will ever make a career out of their efforts.
Many parents get involved with their students science fair projects. This is also becoming a time-honored tradition, as the parent’s education advice morphs into direct manipulation, often resulting in the kid running off to enjoy video games whilst the parents “play” with their project.
A child is sent to school to learn, which is a shame, because they should be taught how to think. Memorizing every state on the map is not going to help them figure out how to pay a mortgage after they lose their job; it is also not going to help them navigate a convoy of petrol tankers. A child should be taught how to think in school. The science fair is a good way to see how far your child has come. It is a good way to see how well they are learning to “think”.
If your child copies a friend’s idea then you may need to encourage him/her to think of something else. Why not take out their text books and scour them (together) to see what principals they may use for their science fair project. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1 – Creating Hydrogen
A child may rig up a small electrolysis device which fills up small plastic bags with hydrogen. As a little crowd pleaser, the child could explode the bag for the judges. If the child finds a green way of creating the hydrogen, then the green theme may help them win the fair. **
2 – Can smells scare away pests
There are lots of myths that claim that things like Basil smells bad to flies. A child may prove this by growing different herbs and introducing aphids or house flies to the plants. Could the basil be ground into a solution and sprayed on other plants for pest protection?
3 – Can the sun be concentrated?
Could a collecting of mirrors and magnifying glasses be used to heat water using only the sun’s rays?
4 – Smarties or Skittles in cola
They fizz away until the color comes off. Can diet cola fizz away more candies than regular cola? How does Pepsi fair?
5 – Which types of buildings will withstand an earthquake better?
Flexible buildings help, but will a round one fair better than a square one? Will a triangular based building last longer if it only has one central support column?
6 – Boiling points
What substances will lower a waters boiling point? You can show how pure distilled water can be heated until it is explosive.
7 – What grows quicker?
Put radish seeds in soil that has different components and see if you can find what elements make them sprout the quickest.
8 – The science of selling
Are some people more attracted to adverts with certain colors? Can a color really make people not want to look at something? ***
9 – Is it possible to grow stronger in just a week?
Keeping a daily chart of foods and exercise may help the scientist figure out what it is that helps muscles grow. ***
10 – Can heavier planes be forced to fly faster?
Can the downward force being exerted on a flying plane be used to make it move faster diagonally?
**Make sure you have permission to explode the bag!
***Make sure you have permission to do a project involving humans!