Need help getting started on your science fair project? In this video series, a JPL scientist, engineer and educator team up to help you learn how to craft your very own idea for a great science fair project and see it through to completion. EXCELLENT SERIES!
Notes for Teachers and Parents:
Step 1: This video series is intended to help your students learn to observe the world around them and ask questions about the things they observe. Download the image used in this video and ask students to identify objects in the image they could ask a question about. Then, ask students to look around their classroom, house, school, or neighborhood and identify more things they could ask a question about.
Step 2: Help students develop their ideas into testable questions that follow the format, “How does INPUT affect OUTPUT?”
Step 3: Help students make sure they are only testing one thing. Students often want to change lots of things in an experiment. Make sure they understand they can only change or test one thing and this “thing” is called a variable. Encourage students to think ahead about outside factors that might influence their science experiment or engineering design and do everything they can to eliminate these influences. Only by eliminating other influencing factors can we be sure our variable is the only thing we are testing.
Step 4: Help students understand that many outside factors can influence a science experiment or engineering design. Lead them through thinking about what could have affected their experiment or design that they did not anticipate at first.
Step 5: Make sure students carefully review what is required for a display and abide by those guidelines. Here is a good description of the elements of a display: http://www.lascifair.org/students/the-display/
Resources: all videos are downloadable!
Download this image used throughout the video series and have students practice asking questions about the scene that they could then use to develop their science fair project.