How I Use It
For the past four years, I have used resources in the Science Buddies website to both teach the scientific method and guide students to selecting an interesting science project. To prepare students for their projects, I created a lesson guide on Google Docs with links to specific articles from the Science Fair Project Guide, such as Variables, Experimental Procedure, and Data Analysis and Graphs. Then when we had done several collaborative class experiments, students completed the Topic Selection Wizard tool found on the Project Ideas page. After entering their interests and hobbies, grade, and time frame, students were matched up with project ideas. They created and shared a Google Doc with me, copying the links to their top three projects. I could open the links and write comments on students' Google Docs as well as conference with them with the materials close at hand.
This outstanding website has replaced my extensive library of science project idea books as the main resource for my students. I especially like how the projects are categorized as beginner, intermediate, and advanced, so my beginning students could be successful. The fully developed project ideas are clearly explained to students, with suggestions for how to make the project their own. One caution about the site is students are prone to plagiarize the procedures, unless they are taught how to give credit and/or write their own project based on the examples. One of the best features of this website is how it hooks up students with both scientists in the field and possible careers. Students can click on the "Ask an Expert" button and email specific questions, and the response is prompt. All in all, Science Buddies is a terrific support for teaching the scientific method.