Experienced Parents - Help needed; Upcoming 1st Grade Science Fair (1 Viewer)

Pure Energy

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My oldest is in 1st grade. The science fair is in 2 weeks. He's chosen the Solar System and we've been working on a theme for about 2 weeks now and he's selected the number of years it takes the planets to orbit the sun. We're still working out whether or not to show Pluto or not (Pluto is now one of 3 dwarf planets).

We discussed showing the planets orbits on poster board and then showing them orbit the sun and representing the planets by gluing ping-pong balls to the top of a Poker Chip stack that represents the number of years it takes to orbit the sun. He's dragging his feet on this project and my wife's got 3 other kids to take care of.

My temptation is just to do the project for him and have him explain it. However, I'm not sure that's the right thing to do.

I know some of you have been through this Science Fair stuff. Please share your words of wisdom and pearls of knowledge. I have to keep reminding myself this is 1st grade, 1st grade, 1st grade.....
 

Colin311

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My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine ???? Have to have Pluto or else you get no pizza.
 

Jonesy77

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My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine ???? Have to have Pluto or else you get no pizza.
She could just serve you nachos....problem solved.
 

CT Saints Fan

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Let/make him do his own project. My kids have turned in some projects over the years that look like a first grader did it, but when we show up and you see some of the professional quality work that sits next to it, it always reminds that it is SUPPOSED to look like a first grader did it. Even if it looks like a first grader did it the night before it was due.

I like to ask them questions to find out what they want the project to be, and I may sketch out their ideas for them, mostly to keep them focused, but I let them put together their own project to turn in. I think that benefits them the most.
 

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Let/make him do his own project. My kids have turned in some projects over the years that look like a first grader did it, but when we show up and you see some of the professional quality work that sits next to it, it always reminds that it is SUPPOSED to look like a first grader did it. Even if it looks like a first grader did it the night before it was due.

I like to ask them questions to find out what they want the project to be, and I may sketch out their ideas for them, mostly to keep them focused, but I let them put together their own project to turn in. I think that benefits them the most.
Yeah I help my kids with ideas but it's not my assignment so while I'm happy to act as a consultant it's their job. They take greater pride in the work and long term they build the skills to eventually do projects that don't look like a first grader made them.
 
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Pure Energy

Pure Energy

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Let/make him do his own project. My kids have turned in some projects over the years that look like a first grader did it, but when we show up and you see some of the professional quality work that sits next to it, it always reminds that it is SUPPOSED to look like a first grader did it. Even if it looks like a first grader did it the night before it was due.

I like to ask them questions to find out what they want the project to be, and I may sketch out their ideas for them, mostly to keep them focused, but I let them put together their own project to turn in. I think that benefits them the most.
Makes sense....I have a feeling this is going to be a night before it's due type of thing.

btw...I'm not working from the assumption that if I did it, it would look any better than the average first grader's work; only that it would be done :hihi:
 

antipop

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can't you just buy a science project off of ebay??? i mean, it is 2008
 

Sabine

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My oldest is in 1st grade. The science fair is in 2 weeks. He's chosen the Solar System and we've been working on a theme for about 2 weeks now and he's selected the number of years it takes the planets to orbit the sun. We're still working out whether or not to show Pluto or not (Pluto is now one of 3 dwarf planets).

We discussed showing the planets orbits on poster board and then showing them orbit the sun and representing the planets by gluing ping-pong balls to the top of a Poker Chip stack that represents the number of years it takes to orbit the sun. He's dragging his feet on this project and my wife's got 3 other kids to take care of.

My temptation is just to do the project for him and have him explain it. However, I'm not sure that's the right thing to do.

I know some of you have been through this Science Fair stuff. Please share your words of wisdom and pearls of knowledge. I have to keep reminding myself this is 1st grade, 1st grade, 1st grade.....
I've been through many of these PE, and I understand the temptation to "help" a child too much. I've wonder what genius thought it was actually possible to pull a scientific theory out of every 6 year old. Clearly, science fairs were busy work for parents because we don't have enough to do. OK, whoa there Nelly. I could rant away, but I'll get back to your post.

I agree with the others. This should be your child's work - something simple. The teachers and judges will know when it's not. More importantly, so will your child. Sure, some will show up with their parent's elaborate models and projects. There's nothing anyone can do about that. You and your child can only "keep your side of the street clean" so to speak.

Here's a simple science fair project that one of mine did on her own, and it actually won an award (over some parent-made solar projects, I might add). With 2 weeks, your child could do something similar. Daughter #2 knew the sun helped plants grow. She planted (soaked okra?) seeds in two different pots and placed one in a sunny window and the other in a cabinet away from light. She was surprised to find that the one in the cabinet grew taller during the early stage (1 1/2 weeks), but the one in the window was stronger and greener.

Often, kids will come up with these grand ideas, or "borrow " one from someone else because it sounds cool. But, it's just too advanced and overwhelming, so the project stalls - or they wait for mom or dad to bail them out. Try encouraging him to pick something that is within his ability or slightly challenging. Otherwise, he'll get overloaded (and all that come behind him - your other 3) along with you and your wife. Just wait until all four kids have science fair projects. If you start with the solar system in 1st grade what are you going to do for 6th grade? Splice genes?

1st grade projects should be simple - Like watching food coloring get sucked up by celery sticks or carnations.

Good Luck.
 
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geauxboy

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Not a parent, but I would make them do it themselves. Sure, I'll help, but I'm doing it like I got my Mom to make by Napolean project. The judge busted me so fast with such a simple question. What was his wife's name? Umm.....errrr.....ummmmm.....I don't know.
 

jayd265

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i remember my brother did a project on firefighting once, my dad built a small would house, probably 8"x8" and about a foot tall. and my brother made the "ground" out of some green fabric and a road out of some gray fabric, then made telephone poles wires and all that. then we used one of our fire truck toys to "set up" a firefighting scene. then before the judges came around my brother put dry ice in the house and put water on it so it looked like the house was on fire.

that doesnt help you any but i thought it was cool, so if any of your children like firefighting try that out next time.
 

lsu31always

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Not a parent, but I would make them do it themselves. Sure, I'll help, but I'm doing it like I got my Mom to make by Napolean project. The judge busted me so fast with such a simple question. What was his wife's name? Umm.....errrr.....ummmmm.....I don't know.
Jospehine
 

DavidM

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1st grade projects should be simple - Like watching food coloring get sucked up by celery sticks or carnations.

Good Luck.
Another idea -- no kid should pass through early childhood without making a baking soda/vinegar/food coloring volcano. The messier, the better. But then I can't say that from a parent's perspective. ;)
 

Redlands Saints

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PE the solar system, man you are getting off easy. my daughter wanted to catch space dust, sometimes the discovery channel can ruin your day. let the child do the project but you will need to prod them along. other than the small help I gave my daughter catching space dust the kids did their own projects. my wife bought a book, 101 science projects for kids. they picked the project and did it on their own. one year my son finished his the morning it was due while eating his breakfast. oh and if anyone wants to know how to catch space dust just ask, its easier than you think.
 

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