Have you heard about a local science fair for homeschoolers, but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. Science fairs for homeschoolers is a relatively new idea, but they are becoming increasingly common. With a little preparation, and maybe some books from the library or internet resources, your sixth grader can compete with other homeschoolers their age, just like the public school kids do. We have participated in elementary science fair projects in the past. It is really easy and fun for you homeschooler.
Some simple ideas include growing vegetables from seed and varying the amount of water, or light, or perhaps the temperature, and learning what effects this has on plant growth. This is easy enough to do in the family’s backyard garden! You could also design a new invention, a favorite with middle school kids, like building a robot from simple materials that can push on a domino to start a chain reaction. Just be sure to find a variable to test, like measuring how hard the robot has to push, or testing to see which size of parts to use, etc. Kids love this kind of stuff, and with a little gentle guidance, a science experiment is born!
Be sure they learn how to record their methods and data, because the mark of a successful experiment is when another scientist can come along and repeat your work with the same results. Even if you don’t participate in a science fair, their work on the project itself is valuable as a learning experience.