Can students work in groups?
Yes. Students may work in groups. Design projects are often done best in groups. The more ideas, the better. In fact, in the future, it is likely most students will be working in groups in their careers.
Can parents or other adults help?
Yes. There is often a lot of talk about students doing the project themselves. We want this to be a learning experience. It is okay to guide your student. In fact, we encourage you to think of yourself as a coach. Give your child things to think about. Discuss results together. Ask them to analyze. Practice the presentation together. In the end, your child will be judged what he has learned and how he talks about the project.
Where do we get the materials?
Try to do projects that use items easily found around your house. Contact us if you need certain equipment. We just might have something in the STEAM room. Science presentation boards can be purchased through the office.
Is there anything we are not allowed to do?
The list below contains items that cannot be brought into the fair. If you do a project with one of the items, take pictures, but leave the item at home. We strongly recommend that you consider ethical consequences before doing experiments with animals especially if they could endanger their health.
- living creatures, including plants and microbes
- organisms, fungi, cultured growths, spoiled food, or mold
- human or animal parts (except teeth, hair, nails, animal bones, histological sections and wet-mount tissue slides… these are allowed)
- poisons, drugs, or controlled substances
- flames or highly flammable materials
- projects with moving parts that have unprotected bolts & pulleys
- taxidermy specimens of parts
- soil or waste samples
- containers filled with ANY liquid
- human or animal food
- sharp items (or items that may become sharp if broken)
What if our experiment/design doesn’t work
That’s okay! Scientists and engineers experience a lot of things don’t work before they find the solution. Try making a change. When you present your findings, it is okay to say it did not work. You can give your reasons and what you would do differently. There is so much to be learned when things do not work!
What does the project have to include?
It needs to include either the steps of the scientific process or the steps of the engineering design process. For each step, the student must explain what they did and what they found. It needs to have documentation of the testing phase and an analysis of the testing. Please check out our final project and presentation resources.