Science Fairs in the News

latino-professor-newspaperYou might be surprised how much news there is about the ubiquitous science fair!  We have collected a few worthy articles for you.  Some are funny, others are provocative—and they’re all worth a look.

If you come across an article of interest, please share it with us in the Comments section below.

Happy reading!

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Science Fair Discussion Starters

Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations NewsletterWhy are science fairs important?  What makes the science fair process valuable?  It’s an excellent question and a good way to start a class discussion about this time-honored tradition.  Why DO we ask our students to work on a science fair project year after year?   The answer, in a nutshell, is to help them learn how to think like scientists.  Scientists find answers to questions that interest them.  Your students simply need to ask themselves, What do I want to know more about?

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Science Fair TV

EI TV - Educational Innovations BlogWhether you’re a science teacher, a parent, or just a science buff, you probably know plenty about how rewarding—and stressful—a science fair can be.   If you’re looking for the best way to communicate with your students about the steps involved in developing and presenting a science project, we’ve got you covered.  Each of the videos below explains how to plan and execute a great science fair presentation.

Enjoy!  If you find a video on science fairs that you’d like to share with us, please leave a comment!

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Lots of Bots

Ted Beyer, Educational Innovations, Ted Beyer

Bots in a Name?

Brushbots, bristlebots, scooterbots, and any other cleverly named bots have been around for years.  You know—the toothbrush head (or something similar) paired with a tiny vibrating motor and a battery.  For years, classroom teachers and homeschool parents have been using them to introduce even young students to the principles of engineering and robotics.

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Building a Hovercraft Science Project

6769_100121036671012_100000193470961_521_4265928_nLook, Mom, No Wheels!  | Building a Hovercraft Science Project

by:  Norm Barstow

The first practical design of the hovercraft was completed in the late 1950’s by British engineer, Sir Christopher Cockerell.  Since then, the continued development of this invention has been ongoing, and currently, the hovercraft is being used commercially, by the military, and for personal use.  Teachers have been constructing versions of the hovercraft using balloons, film canisters and flat materials in classrooms for years.

The principle behind the hovercraft’s levitation is that when the air is released from the balloon, it hits the ground and rushes outward in all directions. The air flowing from the balloon through the holes forms a layer of air between the hovercraft and the table. This reduces the friction (the resistance that occurs when two object rub against each other) that would have existed if the hovercraft rested directly on the table. With less friction, your hovercraft scoots across the table.

Furthermore, extra air molecules are packed underneath the structure, which in turn increases the pressure under the hovercraft.  This increased pressure below the craft produces an overall upward pressure force on the craft therefore it supports its weight. Since air molecules are always leaking out from beneath the craft, you’ll need a source of air molecules to replace them, which is provided by the balloon.

Materials:Building a Hovercraft Science Project

·      Large plastic plate (not the inflexible type)
·      Foam meat tray from grocery store  (6.5” X 8.5”)
·      Old CD
·      Stiff cardboard

  • Poster putty such as Blue Tak, or Poster Tak
  • Smooth surface
  • Hole instrument: Ball point pen tip or hot nail or drill.

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