As students enter middle school, subjects become increasingly complicated and kids must work more and more independently. And 6th grade science is definitely no exception!
One of the hallmarks of middle school is the science fair. Your child might have participated in simpler fairs through elementary school, but in many districts, fairs become more intense (and more competitive!) in 6th grade science.
Most science fairs in middle school are relatively free-form, with students choosing projects that are appealing to them based on the curriculum throughout the year in their science class. This freedom is thrilling for budding scientists, but how do you narrow their interests down to a successful fair project? Identify their everyday interests and ask open-ended questions that could lead to a winning 6th grade science fair project! For instance:
- If your child loves to make up his own recipes, there are tons of opportunities for science experiments in the kitchen. From studying the effect of garlic on bacteria to building the classic baking soda volcano, common cooking supplies can be used for super science experiments. Hint: don’t throw away the moldy bread!
- The sports field is another area brimming with potential scientific inquiry. The effectiveness of certain baseball bats or golf clubs leads to an array of physics experiments. Football players might examine how different helmets protect against concussion or other injury. A meteorology experiment can be found in how various balls travel in different weather conditions.
- For green-thumb kids, 6th grade science projects are waiting in the garden! Will organic or processed fertilizers work best on a certain crop? What is the effect of music on how plants grow? Will water that has been microwaved affect crops in a different way than plain tap water? Than purified water? Keep asking your child questions to specify the experiment.
The most important thing of all in choosing a science project is that it be enduringly fascinating for your child. Stop and pay attention whenever you hear him utter the magic words “I wonder if...”