Parents' Place

Helping Children Select a Science Fair Topic

Choosing an appropriate area of investigation is often the most difficult part of the entire science fair process. Typically, children are overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential projects. It is important, however, that the final choice of a science fair topic be made by the child. Here are some questions you may wish to ask children—questions which can assist them in making appropriate choices.

Interests

  • What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
  • What area of science interests you the most?
  • What are your hobbies or free time activities?
  • What are your special skills or talents?

Time

  • Will you be able to spend some time on this project every week for a minimum of eight weeks?
  • How long do you think you will need to gather preliminary information about this topic?
  • Do you have other activities or responsibilities (e.g., Little League, babysitting, Scouts, etc.) that may affect the time you have to work on the project?

Materials

  • What special materials do you think you'll need for this project?
  • Do you have those materials at home or will you need to buy them?
  • Will others be able to help you obtain the materials?

From the child's standpoint, the most important factor in deciding on a science fair project is: Is the project of sufficient interest to investigate over an extended period of time?

Possible topics for:


Houghton Mifflin