I found during my teaching middle school science and working with inservice teachers, students typically had better science fair projects when they used web-based real world data bases or collaborated with students around the country.
Using Online Resources
Students used online resources to support presentations PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheet(s) for data, and word processing for sharing findings of their science fair investigations.
Attributes of webs-based resources my students used to organize data and conduct investigations included:
* Using dedicated online real-time databases for their research or supporting research
* Demonstrating higher level thinking skills and not merely summarizing information
* Demonstrating creativity, judgment, problem-solving, synthesis, and data analysis skills
* Not being a research report on an investigation topic
Students using this approach can conduct real research and/or collabrate with other students in completing research. This helps demonstrate their full understanding of a science project and the project's importance to science fair judges.
Technology Research in Science Projects
There are two main types of science fair projects which my students typically utilized and produced the best projects. These two are:
* Project Based Investigation – focusing on the development of or creating a new product
* Problem Based Investigation – focusing on solving a specific problem or gaining new information about a problem
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