This time of year, a lot of schools start planning for science fairs. While these have a certain amount of ugh factor for parents (who do you think is making that poster??) finding a cool experiment is easier than ever thanks to a number of seriously cool web sites. Not doing a science fair? Even better! You can do some easy investigations just for fun!
If your kids are doing the science fair as a school assignment, be sure to attend the informational session if you’re a first-timer. Virtually all schools have one-call and ask!
I know our first go-round there were some bits we were seriously confused by! (You can head here if you want to read more about our family’s science fair misadventure).
If you could use some help brainstorming, here’s a round-up of favorite sites. Be sure to share yours, too!
- ScienceBuddies.org A very organized site, especially good for finding an experiment suitable for a school science fair.
- ZoomSci Based on the PBS Zoom series this site has loads of easy, fun experiments organized by science discipline. I also like that it includes comments from kids who have tried them and suggestions for variations.
- BillNye Does anyone else remember watching him on Almost Live? A cool site for older kids. Check the “Parents and Kids,” sections for home experiments.
- ScienceKids Colorful, comprehensive site with games and information as well as ideas for experiments.
Don’t forget that your library has shelves of books on easy science activities. If you haven’t ventured out of kids’ fiction, you’re missing out!
If you’re a home schooling family, I also urge you to look into the various science clubs at the Tacoma Nature Center (non home schoolers can enroll as well). The Pierce County Library system also offers many free, STEM themed programs. I typically list these in my weekend list and the calendar. The Geek Dad events are particularly good ones (and no, you don’t have to be a dad).
And, of course, there are lots of great destinations for young scientists and explorers all around the South Sound (for a Seattle adventure, don’t forget to check out the deal of the day page for the Groupon to the aquarium. I’d love to hear your favorite destinations for fun and learning, too-or your best science fair survival tips!