What about an”Interest Fair” as alternative ideas for a school project?
Some schools are gravitating to an Interest Fair instead of a science fair. What teachers have realized is the steps to researching a topic fall in line with the steps to the scientific method, so the topic for an Interest Fair does not have to be science. But uses all the same science investigation steps and ideas for a school project headed to a science fair.
- Topics can be hobbies like sports or music, you could look into food, sewing, yarn, video games, or famous people. There will always be science things too like fish and bugs and ecology stuff because kids are naturally interested in those things.
- Kids will still follow the same steps, they come up with a question and make a prediction about their topic. What do they already know, what do the wonder, why predictions can they make. Some times you create an experiment, Which yarn makes the softest scarf? What subject did Peyton Manning study in college? What is the difference in the sound of acoustic and electric instrument? Then then will need to so some research into the topic and write a report. In some cases a sample will be part of the display, other times there will be photos. In the end you will make an awesome display board that will have to show all the steps you took to look deeper into your interest.
- The advantage of this is that it gives kids who excel in other areas other than science a chance to shine and get excited about something they are interested in. The other advantage it is cross curricular so the librarian and language arts teachers get more involved. You have lots of choices of ideas for a school project this way, not just science.
- What this really would fall under is a research type of science fair, that will have some elements of experimenting or demonstrating, but focuses on the research steps. You break a topic up into teaching pieces, study it, analyze it and often find the answer to your question, or prove or disprove your predictions.
You will find you do this stuff all the time when your kids are home during holiday vacations, you look into things they are interested in. Kids will get ideas from each other and be able to use them in future fairs.
It might be a good thing to alternate between a science fair one year and an interest fair the next. There are things about science that really can be made clear with a science experiment and using the scientific method in an investigation is an important skill, so I would never get rid of a science fair! Really, there just are never ending great ideas for a school project, no matter what the subject is!