Tips for Parents

Set your child up for Success

Your child will be more likely to have a positive Science Fair experience if you follow these tips:

* Be positive about your child's work.

* Be aware of the boy-girl syndrome; girls CAN do science projects also.

* Be aware of the "perfect project" syndrome; allow yourself and your child to make mistakes. Edison made many before he came up with the right answer!

* Be honest with your children: If you don't know the answer, tell your child.

* Look around for ideas: take youngsters to your garden, library, etc.

* Seek out people to help you, friends who could "assist" your child.

* Get books for your children, join and use the public library.

* Collect and save materials; free and inexpensive materials found around the home often work best.

* Work with materials; allow your child to "mess about" with materials without your direction.

* Allow your child time for thinking, exploring, and doing the project.

* Save time especially for repeating the experiment many times.

* Stress "how to" skills, e.g., observing rather than memorizing facts.

* Examine issues with moral consequences, e.g., animals being harmed for experimental purposes.

* Help children to keep a daily log of their research activities.

* Help children write a report of their science fair research.

* Go over the results of your child's research with your child in order to help him/her practice explaining their research.

* Go to the science fair with your child and take pictures of projects that you are all interested in. These will serve as a resource for future research ideas.

* Talk to your child about future science fair projects that they would like to do.

* Keep a log of ideas as they come up throughout the year.

* If the experiment "didn't work," discuss with your child why this is so. Encourage your child to explain the results and ENTER the project anyway!

* REMEMBER, this is a learning experience for you CHILD. Projects should be done and understood by your child. You are welcome to guide.

* There are many websites that have science fair ideas in many topics. Go to Google.com and type in "science fair projects" and several sites will appear.



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