Homeschool Science Fair
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By Beverly S. Krueger
Planning a science fair is a big task. If you're considering
starting a homeschool science fair for your support group, the
following considerations and resource suggestions should help
make the job easier. If you're a student looking for science fair
ideas or help, jump to the bottom of the page.
Will your science fair be affiliated with another science
fair such as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair?
If your fair is a precursor to a larger science fair, you will
need to obtain all the rules and guidelines for that fair and
follow them. It is also possible to allow fair entrants to meet
more stringent guidelines if they wish to pursue entrance in another
science fair, or to meet less strict guidelines with the understanding
that they won't be considered for advance to the next level.
Usually your fair must have a required number of entrants and
meet other geographic requirements. Research this well in advance
to be sure that you meet all requirements and have sufficient
time to file required paperwork.
Fair listings - national, state, regional, local and virtual.
Will you be judging all science fair entrants?
Possible options include judging all entrants, judging older entrants,
or allowing entrants the choice of having their project judged
Choosing a date and location.
If your fair will be sending winners on to another level of science
fair, you will need to be sure to hold your fair in plenty of
time to meet that fair's deadlines. Intel ISEF affiliation forms
are due by October 1, 2003.
You will also need to find a location for the fair that allows
sufficient room for all projects. It's best to limit project size,
so that you have a reasonable estimate of the space and number
of tables you will require. ISEF project size guidelines are:
30 inches (76 centimeters) deep
48 inches (122 centimeters) wide
108 inches (274 centimeters) high including table
You'll also need to determine the electrical outlet capacity
of your facility. Electricity requirements for each participant
should be part of their fair application. Also make clear with
running water will be available for projects.
What type of restrictions will be placed on projects?
Will humans or animals be allowed as subjects of a project? If
so, what guidelines must be met? Will hazardous materials be allowed?
If so, which hazardous materials will be allowed and what restrictions
will apply to them? To learn more about such restrictions read
Science & Engineering Fair Rules and Guidelines.
What roles will your volunteers play? How will you select judges?
What role can students play at fair? ISEF has a good breakdown
of roles and who can fill those roles. Recruiting
Science Fair Volunteers
For judges to be able to make a fair comparison of projects they
must have specific criteria for judging projects. The criteria
you choose will be based on the purpose of your fair and the level
of students being judged.
Sample judging criteria:
Science Fair Sponsors
You may want to subsidize the costs of your fair by asking
local businesses to sponsor your fair. The Greater Philadelphia
Homeschool Science Fair is cosponsored by a local university chapter
of Sigma Xi, a science and engineering honor society. This allows
sponsor donations to be tax deductible. GPHSF has a complete section
on their site devoted to fair
More resources for Homeschool Science Fair Coordinators
Science Fair Forms
Science Fair Project Ideas and Helps
you planning to start a research project?
This Intel ISEF Student section includes information about selecting
a project, the scientific method, a student fair checklist,
information for parents, and the Intel ISEF Rules and Guidelines.
an Experiment for the Science Fair
This guide for student's from the Greater Philadelphia Homeschool
Science Fair includes a timeline for taking a project from start
to finish. It includes tips and information about how to display
your project, how to write a project summary, how to give an
oral presentation, keeping a journal or log book, and writing
a written report including an abstract.
Science Fair Project Resource Guide
Are you looking for some help with a science fair project? If
so, then you have come to the right place. The IPL will guide
you to a variety of web site resources, leading you through
the necessary steps to successfully complete a science experiment.
- Future Scientists and Engineers
Home of the hands-on project.
- School Science
Project idea lists categorized by age.
Discovery School's science fair site includes the Soup to Nuts
Handbook, everything you need to know about creating a science
fair project., and a project ideas list of project topics to
help you get started.
Quest - Science Projects
Science projects and energy activities for students, K-12
Fair Project Ideas
This site lists projects by category. Each category provides
numerous ideas which you may use to develop a science fair project.
Most are not fully developed projects, but just ideas and outlines.
It is left to the student to fully develop the project.
- The Ultimate Science Fair
Includes an idea bank and idea exchange.
Virtual science fair. Created for and by students in grades
3 through 6. Students and teachers the world-over are welcome
to visit this site to:
- read the results of student science fair projects
- look for ideas for their own projects
- share the results of their projects with other students
The Experimental Science Projects Introductory
Guides give good break downs on creating a project and include
information for what to do when your project doesn't go
Student Science Fair
Access the Quick Links pull down menu for specific sections
for students, teachers and judges.
Copyright © 2003 Eclectic Homeschool Association