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Encouraging Students to Learn & Think Like Scientists…. The Positive Science Fair Experience Presenter David W. Helm, Science Specialist

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Presentation on theme: "Encouraging Students to Learn & Think Like Scientists…. The Positive Science Fair Experience Presenter David W. Helm, Science Specialist"— Presentation transcript:

1 Encouraging Students to Learn & Think Like Scientists…. The Positive Science Fair Experience Presenter David W. Helm, Science Specialist

2 Project Selection Work with your child to select a topic interesting to them (e.g., paper airplanes) Work with your child to select a topic interesting to them (e.g., paper airplanes) Ask, “What does the topic do?” Ask, “What does the topic do?” Q: “What do paper airplanes do?” A: “They fly!!!”

3 Project Selection Q: “How do I change what paper airplanes do?” A: “Perhaps I can change the mass of the plane?” So now you have your experimental question! “Does changing the mass of a paper airplane effect how far it flies?”

4 Variable Identification Independent Variable : The variable changed by the experimenter. Independent Variable : The variable changed by the experimenter. Mass of the paper airplane Mass of the paper airplane Dependent Variable: The variable that changes as a result of IV change (the change which is measured) Dependent Variable: The variable that changes as a result of IV change (the change which is measured) The distance the plane flies The distance the plane flies

5 Variable Identification Controlled Variables – things that might change but shouldn’t because they might effect the results; sometimes referred to as constants. Controlled Variables – things that might change but shouldn’t because they might effect the results; sometimes referred to as constants. Type of paper Type of paper Airplane shape Airplane shape Launch style Launch style Winds aloft Winds aloft Others? Others?

6 Hypothesis An Educated Prediction An Educated Prediction If ……. then……… If ……. then……… If (independent variable changes this way), then (the dependent variable changes this way) If (independent variable changes this way), then (the dependent variable changes this way) If the mass of the paper airplane is increased, then the distance the plane flies will decrease If the mass of the paper airplane is increased, then the distance the plane flies will decrease

7 Materials and Procedure Use things you have already Use things you have already Be creative with existing materials Be creative with existing materials Procedures should be clear and concise Procedures should be clear and concise Perform multiple trials Perform multiple trials Repeatable by others Repeatable by others

8 Data Collection / Results Multiple Trials Performed Multiple Trials Performed Averages determined where appropriate Averages determined where appropriate Record in an organized fashion Record in an organized fashion Tables, charts, spreadsheets, etc. Tables, charts, spreadsheets, etc. Graph – line, bar, histogram, etc. Graph – line, bar, histogram, etc.

9 Conclusion Summarize results Summarize results Conclusions reached are justified, based on the experimental data Conclusions reached are justified, based on the experimental data Identify new questions for investigation Identify new questions for investigation Possible application of the work Possible application of the work

10 Display Boards Title Title Purpose Purpose Hypothesis Hypothesis Procedures Procedures Data Data Graph(s) Graph(s) Conclusion Conclusion

11 - Science Fair Projects - A Successful Science Fair Project: Represents student work Represents student work Shows careful planning Shows careful planning Includes a complete record – i.e., journal Includes a complete record – i.e., journal Includes photos, charts, pictures, etc. Includes photos, charts, pictures, etc. Has accurate, valid, and correct observations Has accurate, valid, and correct observations Is attractive and organized Is attractive and organized

12 - Science Fair Projects - A Successful Science Fair Project: - Science Fair Projects - A Successful Science Fair Project: Does NOT have to cost much $$$$$ Does NOT have to cost much $$$$$ Gives credit to those who helped Gives credit to those who helped Is an experiment! Is an experiment!

13 Science Fair Projects are not……. Just a report Just a report A plastic model made from a kit A plastic model made from a kit A weekend chore A weekend chore A poster A poster Something done only by Mom or Dad Something done only by Mom or Dad (or that loving sibling)

14 Helping Your Child Give support, encouragement, and guidance – always be POSITIVE! Give support, encouragement, and guidance – always be POSITIVE! Help your child plan mutually Help your child plan mutually Help your child to develop appropriate process skills Help your child to develop appropriate process skills Assist with good record keeping Assist with good record keeping Help your child develop a safe project! Help your child develop a safe project!

15 Helping Your Child Feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when the project and science fair are finished Feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when the project and science fair are finished ENJOY AND HAVE FUN WITH THIS!!! ENJOY AND HAVE FUN WITH THIS!!!

16 Questions???

17 Encouraging Students to Learn & Think Like Scientists…. The Positive Science Fair Experience Presenter David W. Helm, Science Specialist


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