Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Science Fair Madness Begins!

Do you (or does your child) have a science fair project due? Or are you a parent, teacher or home schooler looking for some practice guides for hands-on science learning? Recommended online sources for project ideas, tips and guides include:
  • Access Science - All you need is your library card number and you can access supporting articles and research for your science fair projects and research papers. Award-winning materials include encyclopedia articles, videos, news and more.
  • Discovery Education's Science Fair Central - Includes hundreds of project ideas, advice from judges and previous winners and display tips.
  •'s Science Explorations - With the help of audio, text, photos, and video, students thoroughly explore six science topics, from the Galapagos Islands to giant squid.
  • - Here you'll find science fair projects, ideas and experiments from various government agencies; broken down by age and includes a special section for teachers/parents.
  • - Hosted by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder, this site is aimed at elementary and middle school students and includes videos and printable directions.
  • - K-12 students, parents, and teachers can quickly and easily find free project ideas and help in all areas of science from physics to food science and music to microbiology
For offline resources, search the library's online catalog (or browse in the 507.8 and J.507.8 nonfiction section -- sort by "reverse year" to see the most recent titles) to place holds/check out books for science project ideas, including:

For Teens/Older Students

Teens (or middle- or high-school teachers) in search of high quality science content on the web will want to check out Sparticl, a joint venture between Twin Cities Public Television and 3M. Sparticl is a new resource that provides users with filtered, "best of" science materials, including answers to science questions, images, videos, games, and hands-on activities -- all curated by a team of experts.

Sparticle is also a place where teens play a critical part – ranking content, sharing it, and recommending new content, all the while earning points and badges.

In addition, it's a great place for teens to explore careers available to students with education and training in STEM (science, engineering, technology, and math).

Content on the site is broken down by category:
  • Living Things - Mammals, birds, fungi, etc.
  • Matter & Energy - Physics and chemistry topics
  • Tech & Invention - Computers, engineering, transportation
  • Body & Brain - Health, behavior, nutrition
  • Earth & Space - Ecology, environment, space, weather, etc.
  • Explore - Seems to cover everything else, like dinosaurs, sports and controversies
The next time you need to look up/explore a scientific topic, be sure to give these recommended resources a look.

~ Alison, Electronic Resources Librarian

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