15 Tools to Make Kids' Science Fair Projects a Success

Make that tri-fold poster come alive with media and technology resources that motivate kids -- and actually teach something, too. By Caroline Knorr
15 Tools to Make Kids' Science Fair Projects a Success

Science fairs are great learning experiences. But even when only one kid is entering, they tend to take over the entire family. Thankfully, a new crop of media and technology resources makes science fair season much easier. From inspiration to execution, new apps, websites, and even TV programs help motivate, inform, and engage your kids. Here are some of the best:

Apps

  • Sid's Science Fair
    These days, even preschoolers work on science-related units. This app introduces pint-sized scientists to concepts like data collection, observation, and categorization.
  • Bobo Explores Light
    A cool robot guide leads kids through the world of light – what it is and how it works. It's the perfect companion for any science fair projects dealing with reflection, refraction, the color spectrum, and how eyes see.
  • WonderBox: Explore & Learn Science, Geography, Music, and Design
    Curated videos and creative challenges let kids engage with material that interests them. 
  • Science 360 for iPad
    This free app from The National Science Foundation offers an incredible array of high-quality science and engineering news and information.
  • Meet Science: Magnetism and Electricity 
    This comprehensive science resource helps kids learn about magnetism and electricity through lessons, experiments, and mini-games. 
  • Meet Science: Light and Sound
    Each lesson includes a brief quiz and suggestions for experiments to extend the lesson.

Websites

  • Science Bob
    From science fair ideas to simple at-home experiments to research help, Science Bob has thought of everything. The straightforward presentation and tone make the topics accessible and doable.
  • Science Buddies
    A huge database -- more than 1,000 science fair projects in more than 30 categories -- guarantees your kids will not come up empty-handed on project-idea day. You'll also find additional resources, help, and expert answers on specific topics.
  • For Girls in Science
    Not that girls need pink to make science more appealing, but this site from cosmetics company L'Oreal uses attractive visuals to entice girls to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. While it doesn't offer specific project ideas, its videos, camp information, and biographies break down barriers to learning science.
  • StudyJams!
    Engaging multimedia lessons focused mainly on the earth sciences -- plant reproduction, the kingdoms of life, photosynthesis -- are presented in ways that appeal to different learning styles. Kids can sing along to lessons, watch videos, and click through slideshows.  

TV

  • Bill Nye the Science Guy
    Renowned scientist Bill Nye explores topics such as biodiversity, magnetism, and outer space in 25-minute fast-moving episodes that look at each subject from many angles. 
  • Wired Science
    This intriguing series highlights the technological advances that make our daily life more efficient, the medical breakthroughs that lengthen and strengthen our lives, and the developments that broaden our global connectedness. 
  • SciGirls.
    With topics that range from wind power to archaeology, there’s something here for every interest, and viewers will see scientific and math principles applied to real-life scenarios. 
  • Planet Earth
    This high-definition nature series available on Netflix uses flawless time-lapse photography to show climate and seasonal changes, animal life cycles, and much, much more. Use the science fair season as an opportunity to enjoy this mesmerizing explanation of life on earth.
  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
    Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, this program is an updated version of Carl Sagan's award-winning 1980 TV show Cosmos. Its scientific, research-based explanations about the creation of the universe and related phenomena make it essential viewing for any space-related projects.

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About Caroline Knorr

As Common Sense Media's parenting editor, Caroline helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids' media lives. From games to cell phones to movies and more, if you're wondering "what’s the right age for…?"... Read more

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