Elementary and Middle School Science Projects are always challenging for children and without proper guidance and knowledge they remain uneducated about which project to choose
Elementary School Science Projects
An idea for a science project for a child who is in elementary school can sometimes be a challenge to come up with. There are a lot of different project ideas out there but, which one is appropriate for a child in elementary school?
Doing a science experiment is about finding the answer to a question by trial and error. When it comes to elementary school kids, this can be very easy or very complicated. Most likely the student receives a list of topics along with the assignment. This is an excellent way to get an idea of what kind of project to do. Highlight the topics that the student finds the most interesting. A great way to show creativity and an acceleration to learn is to pick the topic yourself. But, that still leaves the question what is an age appropriate topic.
At this level, the topic should not be too complicated and it should be something that the child has an interest in finding the answer to. If the child has an interest in chemistry, they can show how different liquids expand or contrast through heating or freezing them. Or maybe they have an interest in botany and they would like to show how plants grow towards the light. With these two projects, very simple known results are broken down and are able to be proven on a very basic level.
These are the type of topics that students at this level should be looking for. Choosing a topic that is too complicated will most likely lead to a project that is frustrating and dull for the student who is performing it.
Pick a couple of different topics so you can narrow the choices down. Do a little bit of research on each topic that was chosen so you can understand what is involved in the project. Also, figure out the amount of time it will take to complete the experiment. Some experiments can take over a month to complete. The student will need to choose a project that can be done within the time frame that is already set by the teacher or school.
Plus, a good idea to consider when choosing a science project is a budget. Figure out after the research has been done, what kinds of supplies will be needed to complete the project and if the budget will allow it. The student will also benefit from a project that reinforces what is being taught in school. This will show good judgment on the part of the student and a willingness to go beyond the curriculum to further enlighten themselves on what is already being taught.
Another good way to show the student’s good judgment is to pick a project that can limit the involvement of their parents. By doing this, the student is exhibiting a desire to learn on their own and that the results, whether they come out all wrong or all right, are the direct result of the student’s ability to follow directions and their determination to find out the answer to their question.
Middle School Science Projects
Even if you have done science projects before, maybe in elementary school, what is acceptable as an elementary school science project may not be acceptable as a middle school science project? You have grown as a scientist and are now able to put together a science project that is worth the wonderful grade you will most definitely receive on it.
There are three main types of projects that are expected to be done by the student. A model is a display that is assembled in order to illustrate something related to science. Most people are familiar with the erupting volcano or the solar system made of foam balls. These types of science projects require the least amount of work. Although perfectly acceptable, they often time lack creativity is more commonly used for elementary school science projects.
The demonstration project is another type of project. It illustrates a known scientific principle by demonstrating it. For example, a tornado in a wind tunnel is an example of a demonstration science project. Like building a model, it does not answer a question through experimentation and it doesn’t challenge the student to think critically about scientific ideas, principles or procedures.
When you are picking the topic that you would like to do for a science project, try to propose a hypothesis and test it.
It is the type of project that is called the investigation. It is a proper scientific experiment that uses a scientific method to seek out unknown answers to hypothetical questions.
Most of these types of experiments include a variable and a control. The control is what you compare the variable to as the experiment goes on or when it is through. This is probably the best type of project to choose but, other aspects of the project may affect the decision on whether you are going to pick that project or not.
Choose a project that can be completed in no longer then a month. Also, choose a project that is feasible. Stay away from projects that use harmful chemicals or harm animals.
A science project should be something that can be done solely by the individual with little outside help, will be interesting enough for the student not to get bored halfway through it and will strike the interest of those around them.
In a middle school science project, the teachers or judges are looking for a more complete project. Aim to complete a typed presentation or report with visual aids, such as pictures or physical examples. Using a display board is highly effective, gives the project a professional look and will highlight the important details of the project. In your report you should include a statement about the exact purpose of the experiment.