Conducting a Science Fair Experiment in Middle School
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Some middle school students get excited when it is time to do a science fair project. Others tremble in fear at the thought of the work and time it takes to do such an experiment. By the time a child reaches middle school, the subjects are more complex and involved than they were in elementary school. Here are some ideas and tips for middle school science projects that should help even the most uninterested student take notice.
The first step to doing a middle school science project is to pick a subject that interests the student. It is a lot easier to complete a project when it is fun and exciting. Many students may have a hobby and they do not even realize that there may be a method behind what they love. For instance, if your child is into working on jigsaw puzzles, explain to them that they can do a science project on "Brain Power." This refers to psychology, which is science of the mind or mental processes. The topic of psychology opens a world of ideas and presentations that a student can do a project on. They can pick the broad topic of psychology, or pinpoint their project to human behavior or how the brain functions.
The next step in working on a middle school science project involves research. The student must gather data and cite sources for their research. Great places to utilize for this task include using the Internet, encyclopedias, magazines, and specific books on their topic. Data is extremely important to a science project because it helps to prove or disprove a theory, and it helps people understand why things happen the way they do. A student must also be prepared to write a short report about their findings on their project.
Another reason that research is so important to a science project is that there is a good chance people are going to ask questions about the project. This part of a presentation can make some students freeze in their tracks, but it does not have to be that way. Thorough research and understanding of what you read will make this part of the project easier. A student should act relaxed and natural when they are discussing their projects with others, and being prepared ahead of time will help relieve any sense of anxiety.
Conducting an experiment is the best part of a middle school science project. This is where the student gets down and dirty, and conducts a physical action that backs up their data and report. It is important that the student have all of the necessary materials to do the experiment accurately. It is no fun to show off your hard work and do not have your experiment work right. The student should also document each step of the experiment on paper in a way that someone else could read their notes and do the experiment the exact same way.
Finally, a student should present their experience with an interesting and eye-catching display. It should attract onlookers to come and see what is going at your exhibition. Consider having handouts that people can take with them, present your display with colors and clipart, and, if possible, wear a uniform that helps what type of scientist would study the field based around your project. In other words, be creative.
As you can see, a middle school science project can be fun and rewarding. It takes effort. It takes time. But, the finished project is something that students can be proud of.