The ABCs of Elementary School Science Fair Projects

One way elementary school teachers excite students about science is through science fair projects. Read on to learn how you can help your child choose a science fair topic, research it, and create the final product.

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Selecting a project, following through with it, and presenting what you've learned to others requires a lot of work, especially for the parent.

Select a Topics

If your child is interested in their topic they will be more eager to complete the remaining work.

There are numerous disciplines within science that are appropriate and fun to explore for younger students. Look through science books with your children to narrow their options. Search the internet with your children for websites that offer students science fair project suggestions. Ask your children what science activities they have done in class that they enjoy.

Defining the Project

Once the topic has been picked, your children must decide what form their project will take. According to the Discovery Channel website,, there are three main types of science fair projects:

  1. Investigation- This type of project investigates a specific question or topic, such as the following: How long does it take the heart of an average fifth grader to return to normal after exercise?
  2. Construction of a kit or model- This type of project occurs when a student constructs a model or kit to learn how something works. A classic example is the creation of a papier-mâché volcano.
  3. Demonstration of a scientific principle- This type of project focuses on a particular subject and asks a question; after researching and finding the answer, the student demonstrates why it is true. An example is the following: Is large lung capacity an advantage during exercise?

Project Research

Play an integral role during research by offering a ride to the library and or help with the Internet. When researching, both you and your children need to be aware of what makes a source credible, especially when referring websites. When researching online, make sure your child knows who published the site and when the information was last updated.

Important Reminders

  • Students need to do their own work.
  • You may need to remind your children that a science fair project does not need to be overly complicated.

You can help your children choose a topic and find research materials, but they need to do the project on their own. You should take the same role you do when you help your children with their homework: be the advisor, not the doer.

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