MustTeachers Check Science Fair Projects

by A Guest Author

Science fair projects are a valuable learning tool. Schools can take advantage of this learning opportunity by incorporating these projects into the normal science curriculum. Not only do these projects get kids excited about science, but they also provide students with the chance to actively learn about specific science concepts, science discovery and the scientific method. However, because of the competitive nature of these projects there are several controversies that need to be discussed before planning a science fair or a science fair project module.

Parent Involvement

Most science fairs have a long list of rules that are intended to make the science fair projects that are produced 100 percent student produced. In most cases parent involvement in the project's development is prohibited. This means that parents are not allowed to help students come up with an idea, develop the experiment or to write up their reports. Parents are allowed, however, to pay for the supplies and to supervise experiments that deal with hazardous materials. It is a good idea to educate parents on what they can and what they cannot do to help their students.

Science Coaches

Science coaches are allowed in certain science competitions, but not in science fairs. This doesn't mean that students can't have a science coach before a science fair. In fact it can be very helpful to work with a science coach to learn how to complete a science fair project, how to write a science fair project report and how to answer the questions asked by science fair judges. However, once the student starts working on their actual science fair project the coaching relationship has to end.


One of the latest controversies to erupt in the science fair industry revolves around the amount of participation that a student's teacher has in the project. It is usually okay for teachers to teach units on science fair projects and to walk a student through the process of completing a science fair project. However, it has been questioned whether teachers should grade and evaluate a project before it has been entered into a science fair.

The controversy over this issue rests in the fact that this evaluation and feedback may give some students an unfair advantage over their peers from other schools. However, an argument can be made that all schools have the option of utilizing pre-science fair teacher evaluations. This makes it perfectly fair for those teachers that want to give their students the chance to enhance their projects before entering them in a science fair.

If you would like help developing lesson plans for science fair units then visit Teacher's Guide for SciFair Projects.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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