Common Sense


Top Tools for Science Fair Inspiration and Support

Science fairs first became popular in the early 1950s 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. The tools on this list may spark new ideas, guide students through the scientific method, provide sample experiments, or connect kids with the latest science news.

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Ideas and Tips

Science Fair Central

Jam-packed resource site supports budding scientists' investigations

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

Wizard School!

Curated videos and creative challenges ignite active learning

Bottom line: There's plenty of material to inspire kids to embark on learning adventures that get them to explore, create, and share safely on the screen and off.

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.

Google Science Fair

Kids pursue passions, solve global challenges with empowering contest

Bottom line: Google Science Fair has tools to help budding researchers across the globe, whether they choose to compete or not.

Latest Science 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.


Support kids' sense of wonder with outstanding short video lessons

Bottom line: TED-Ed includes excellent, engaging videos and support for flipped-class lessons with an incredible community of thinkers and doers.


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.


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.

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.


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.

Making and Design

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.

Curiosity Machine

Kids build, share, receive pro feedback with awesome engineering site

Bottom line: Though it may not be an instant fit for your classroom, the exceptional quality of the site’s projects and processes makes it worth any problem solving.

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.


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.


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.


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.


Fuel creative makers with project ideas, reviews, and community

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

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