Science Project Guidelines for Parents - 
Do's and Don'ts for Helping Your Child

...also see Science Project Guidelines for Educators and Students

 


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Help your child plan and complete his or her science project following the suggestions below:

 

Your Preparation and Role as a Parent

 

(Students - print this page for your parents)

 

If you question your own ability to help your child because you were not very successful with science in school yourself, you may help in many ways, regardless of your comfort level in science.

bullet Begin by reading the section with links on 'How to Start Your Project -Students' along with your child.  This will provide the background information to plan and prepare a successful project.  Discuss the steps to prepare the project with your child to make sure your child understands each step.
bullet Planning each step and estimating the time each step may take may be difficult for your budding scientist without your help.  Your experience as an adult will help you to understand that many things take longer than it may seem in the eyes of a child.  If you are thinking of growing plants, for example, it may take several weeks or months for the plants to grow or demonstrate the affect of your experiment.  Several books on propagating plants could help plan the time for growing plants from seeds or cuttings.
bullet If you have a computer at home, help your child prepare a planning chart on a spreadsheet where you list each step of the project and chart the dates for starting and completing each step.  You may accomplish the same planning chart on a piece of graphing paper or budget sheets without a computer.  You can also download a free Science Project Planning Guide from Ergonica on the Download page.
bullet Give your child a reasonable budget for the costs of materials needed for the project.  Many excellent projects can be accomplished with very little expenditures.  For example, seeds for growing plants and related materials usually cost only a few dollars.
bullet Try to help your child find a project that is truly interesting to your child.  If your child is self-motivated by the project, he or she will probably learn much more than by working on a project that someone else selected for the child.
bullet Take your child to the library and ask the librarian to direct you to materials to help with science projects.  You may also visit some book stores and ask the clerk for books on science projects.  We have also compiled a list of science project books from Amazon.com that are listed on our main science projects page.

Do's and Don'ts for Parents

bullet DO help your child with background research.
bullet DON'T do all the research yourself.  Make sure your child reads and understands the important lessons to learn for the project.
bullet DO help your child with the planning process and setting up a planning timeline chart.
bullet DON'T make the planning decisions yourself.  If the dates your child selects to complete each step are too early, help your child understand why the time should be extended and let him or her make the adjustments.
bullet DO help with general supervision over doing the steps of each project
bullet DON'T do the steps yourself.  Keep in mind that learning is gained by doing, not by watching your parent doing.
bullet DO meet with your child every week to discuss the progress of the project.
bullet DON'T choke the fun out of the project by supervising too closely or showing negative emotions.  If you behave like a winner, your child will behave like a winner.  (Winners seldom complain, instead they explain and motivate.)
bullet DO take your child to the book store or library.
bullet DON'T restrict your child from independent research at libraries or online.  If your child can safely walk to the local library, give him or her permission to go with appropriate restrictions.  If you have a computer with online access at home, let your child surf the net with occasional supervision and guidance.

 Prepared and presented by Ray Cruz, Ergonica (C).

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Cool Science Projects Books and Stuff!

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Download a Free Science Project Planning Guide from Ergonica

Use the Steps to Prepare Your Science Project  from Cyber-Fair to plan your project.  

Cyber Fair

Get help from the Internet Public Library about the Scientific Method, Choosing a Topic, Sample Projects and Resources.  

Check out the Internet Public Library

 

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Caught in the Last-Minute Science Project Scramble?


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You’re in luck! With Janice VanCleave’s Help! My Science Project Is Due Tomorrow! you can choose from a wide variety of ideas drawing from all the scientific disciplines. Just pick any topic you’re interested in–stars, telescopes, cells, spiders, chemical change, solutions, the water cycle, energy, and many more–read the background information, gather a few simple materials, and start experimenting!

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* Scents of Smell: Some aromas say they'll put you in a certain mood. But, do they?
* The Yolks on You!: Demonstrate the power of osmosis--using the humble egg.
* The Iceman Cometh: You've skated on icy ponds--but why can't you ever skate on the ocean? Find out how salt lowers the freezing temperature.
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Science Fair Projects Made Easy

Here's a checklist to help gauge your understanding of what a science project entails:


Do you know how judges grade projects? Do you know what they look out for?
What are the rules for displaying a project?  Is it necessary to perform an experiment? (Can you do a project without an experiment?)  How many different types of science projects are there?  There are so many different possibilities. Is there a systematic way to choose a topic?  How is scientific "Theory" different from a "Hypothesis"?
What can your child do if an experiment goes wrong?  How did you do? If you can confidently answer the questions above, you're ready to provide your child with sound guidance.
 

However, if you were unsure about some of the questions, we offer a book that provides clear and relevant guidelines. It will guide you and your child to:
 

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In addition, a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of this e-book will go towards our site. If you feel that we've provided you and your child a useful service, we would be grateful if you would consider supporting us in this way.

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School Science Projects for Everyone Check it out!

School Science Projects Planning and Resources for Students Check it out!

School Science Projects Planning Guidelines for Teachers Check it out!

See more Successful Science Project Plans and Videos  Check it out!

Check out Science Projects Books Check it out!

 

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