It's that time again! Time for kids to demonstrate knowledge of scientific processes, learn something new, and hopefully teach a little something to others too. We are neck-deep into science fair projects at our house and I am here to tell you two things:
1. You cannot do a volcano every year
2. Don't panic--I have compiled a list of resources to help you whether your kid is in kindergarten or high school.
And lastly, let's remember that the core of science is discovery--and discovery is FUN.
Up first we have PBS LearningMedia!
This is a storehouse of video clips owned or licensed by PBS. It covers science, social studies, math, and English language arts. There is a drop-down menu at the top that allows you to sort by grade range and subject. This would be an excellent place to learn scientific concepts and spark ideas for projects.
Next is TinkerLab!
This site is for making stuff--all kinds of stuff. Science Experiments are all to be found in the drop down menu on the front page. They range from simple (rock candy experiment) to complex (Makey Makey kits), but they are all feasible and sure to spark a kid's imagination.
Museum of Science & Industry, anyone?
If you live anywhere near Chicago, you should be familiar with the Museum of Science and Industry. But did you know that the website has activities and how-tos? You can learn how to build an electric motor!
Everybody likes a buddy, and this time of year we need a Science Buddy!
You can use the selection wizard tool to help you narrow down your options or pick a project with a kit. The projects are broken down by subject area: physical science, life science, engineering, behavioral and social science, earth and environmental science, math and computer science, and special collections. Additionally there is a section on "science careers" which lists different careers in the aforementioned fields and gives a synopsis of the career, what education is required, and science projects related to that career. Warning: this website has the potential to suck you in for hours!
Let's not forget Education.com!
Education.com covers a wide variety of subjects for kids grades K-12. The Science Fair section can be broken down by field of study or by grade range. You have the option to become a member (not necessary unless you are REALLY into worksheets) but the science fair section is accessible to non-members. The projects are interesting and varied--there is something there for everyone. My complaint is that there are a million ads on the site, which occasionally slow down the load time of the page.
You've heard of Make Magazine, right?
Make Magazine has brought us Maker Faires and celebrates the people who MAKE things. There are a variety of projects on the website, some are elementary-age appropriate and some are high-school level (after experience with hand tools and/or electricity). I like Make because it showcases human ingenuity and people who want to share their ideas and discoveries with you.
Lastly, there is Veritasium, a YouTube channel that explores the world around us through the lens of science.
Don't discount YouTube as a learning tool! There are a lot of really smart people demonstrating how amazing the world we live in can be. I may have to do a whole post on YouTube for learning--because there is some seriously amazing stuff happening over there.
Do you have a favorite online science resource? What did I forget? What should I know about? Fill me in, people!