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Helpful Resources for School Science Fairs

Science fairs first became popular in the early 1940s and have remained a staple of many schools' curricula. From the Google Science Fair to the fair run by the White House, students have many opportunities to showcase their talents in taking a project from start to finish. Along the way they'll learn valuable methods of inquiry and gain greater knowledge of how the world works. They'll also hone presentation and speaking skills as they create a science display and speak about their project. The tools and resources on this list may spark new ideas or projects, guide students through the scientific method, provide sample experiments, or connect kids with the latest science news. There are also sites with data sets that students can use for analysis and apps for collecting data.

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Discover Inspiring Project Ideas and Tips

National Science Digital Library

Treasure trove of pre-K-12 science resources of varying quality

Bottom line: An easy-to-use resource for expanding teachers' science and science-adjacent curriculum options for all ages.

Mystery Science

Big questions, kids' curiosity drive impressive science curriculum

Bottom line: Powerful, quirky science units encourage inquiry and experimentation, inspiring students to ask and answer big questions.

Science Fair Central

Jam-packed resource site supports budding scientists' investigations

Bottom line: Science Fair Central simplifies science fairs for students and teachers.

Project Noah

Engaging online community for relevant, hands-on science fieldwork

Bottom line: Project Noah is a free and easy way to take part in biodiversity research with the support of a knowledgeable and global community.

Science Buddies

A magic wand for those seeking science project support and success

Bottom line: Take the jitters out of science or engineering projects and fairs; this remarkable site coaches and supports students, parents, and teachers.

iNaturalist

Global citizen-science community for real-world research

Bottom line: Teens can do hands-on nature research, but in a limited way.

Read Intriguing Science Research and News

Twig Science Reporter

Topical science news site offers sparse but high-quality resources

Bottom line: It's an easy-to-recommend resource for adding timely science news stories and light science lessons to the classroom, but look elsewhere for depth.

California Academy of Sciences

Expert research and diverse, rich lessons inspire future scientists

Bottom line: A perfect companion to (or substitute for) the Academy, this site delivers highly interactive resources and research with a lot of depth.

Science News for Students

Cool STEM articles with learning supports make for fun, informative reading

Bottom line: Free, fascinating articles make science relevant to students.

Science Friday

A weekly dose of curiosity for teachers and students alike

Bottom line: For a weekly rejuvenation of scientific learning, Science Friday is a source of inspiration for both teachers and students.

Frontiers for Young Minds

Kids and scientists collaborate to create high-quality articles

Bottom line: A well-designed site that keeps kids in mind without sacrificing educational integrity.

bioGraphic

Awe-inspiring nature resource places importance on our planet's future

Bottom line: For learning about how animals survive on a changing planet and about possible solutions to threatened ecosystems, bioGraphic is a stunning and informative place to start.

KQED Education

Excellent multimedia learning hub supports both teachers and students

Bottom line: For those willing to dig around, the site is an exceptional place for both educators and students to find inspirational digital media resources.

NASA Global Climate Change - Vital Signs of the Planet

Tons of climate change info from expert sources in one easy place

Bottom line: This is a one-stop shop for climate change info, from basic intro content to practical guides and raw data; good for middle schoolers and up.

NOVA

Compelling science videos have high-quality classroom applications

Bottom line: Unparalleled science documentaries offer a window into real-world scientific topics in a high-interest way.

Explore Hands-On Projects and Experiments

howtosmile

Useful science resource aggregator promotes diverse lessons

Bottom line: Despite a few broken links, the site's easy and well-organized access to thousands of quality science activities is a valuable teacher resource.

Jet Propulsion Laboratory

STEM lessons creatively build off of NASA data and real space missions

Bottom line: These hands-on lessons approximate the work of NASA scientists, engineers, and astronauts and make use of actual NASA satellite data.

Design Squad Global

Fun engineering problems encourage classroom competition, innovation

Bottom line: Design Squad Global makes learning STEAM concepts fun through hands-on activities and easy-to-understand scientific explanations.

DIY

Design, build, and share new things offline and online

Bottom line: DIY motivates kids to tackle a wide range of problems with independent and scientific thinking.

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Mosa Mack Science

Engaging design challenges turn kids into actual science detectives

Bottom line: A thorough, engaging way to weave some engineering into your middle school science lessons.

KidsThinkDesign

Projects inspire creativity; a place for kids' sharing would boost fun

Bottom line: A go-to site for teachers looking for well-presented project ideas; kids will need opportunities to share work locally.

Technovation Families

Family-focused site for learning AI well-suited to classrooms, too

Bottom line: Makes artificial intelligence and machine learning accessible to students of many ages and abilities.

Exploratorium

Science experiments and activities abound in this comprehensive resource

Bottom line: A host of mostly at-home activities are available if kids stick to the Explore tab of online resources.

Instructables

Endless collection of DIY projects; good for sharing and inspiration

Bottom line: User-generated projects inspire sharing and learning, though more refined navigation would make it easier to sift through all the great ideas.

Make:

Fuel creative makers with project ideas, reviews, and community

Bottom line: Excellent DIY resource that empowers kids to learn by making and experimenting.

Collect and Analyze Data for Experiments

LabCamera

Easy observation and measuring tool fun to use, has endless possibilities

Bottom line: Using this science capturing and measuring tool is an easy, flexible way to expand your toolset and your science lesson options.

Coach's Eye - Video Analysis

Robust video analysis for sports, science, fine arts performances

Bottom line: Cool video-analysis tool is great for the sports field and beyond, but prepare for an onslaught of hidden costs to access all features.

CODAP

Drag and drop data to investigate nearly any subject

Bottom line: A bit awkward to use, but far more engaging than traditional spreadsheet/graphing tools.

Arduino Science Journal

Turn your phone into a lab sensor to collect and analyze data

Bottom line: Science Journal does a good job recording real-time motion, sound, and light data using phones.

Lab4Physics

Bring physics to life using lab sensors built right into your smartphone

Bottom line: Use your smartphone to gather data and study speed, gravity, waves, and other physics concepts.

VelocityLab

Turn anything with wheels into a handy motion sensor

Bottom line: Pair your device with PocketLab sensors to gather position, velocity, and acceleration data on anything that rolls.

Data USA

Elegant treasure trove of data could fuel lessons and projects

Bottom line: An efficient research tool that makes it easier to incorporate stats into a host of lessons or projects focusing on the U.S.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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