My students are in the midst of science fair madness right now, which requires a lot of organization. Organization is not a strong suit of mine, but I’m fortunate to have two awesome student-teachers in my room a couple days a week to help keep the ship sailing amidst students researching, experimenting, cutting, gluing, etc. There are three tech tools that have been invaluable in helping students and myself stay organized on this science fair journey.
Science Buddies – This is, bar none, the best science fair site out there. It has everything you could imagine for teachers, students, and parents when it comes to science fairs. Science Buddies offers a huge repository of science fair ideas grouped by subject area and assigned a difficulty level from 1-10. This is my third year of using it and I love it. The best part of it is how well everything in it adheres to the scientific process. Though some of the experiments (and associated readings) are a little above the middle school level – it provides tons of ideas. They even have a form students can complete to find projects that suit their interest. I have all my students use this as a starting point – even if they don’t use a project from Science Buddies.
Diigo – I’ve written about Diigo for education before, but it’s been especially good for science fair. Though I have to rotate students around to computers each day, it allows me to track their research and see if they’re getting the information they need for their papers and projects. If they need more or go down the wrong track, I (or one of the student teachers) give them suggestions or search terms that would help them. Here is one student’s research page for science fair.
Google Docs – If it weren’t for google docs, I’m not sure how I’d get anything accomplished. My students and I would have also killed about a 1000 more trees and I would have pulled most of my hair out. There is no easier way to share content