Independent science fair projects inspire the next generation of scientists…

Unschooling is a new educational phenomenon that is quickly gaining popularity among parents that are tired of the failures of public school systems to meet the educational needs of their children. Unschooling refers to a type of homeschooling that allows the child to direct their education so that it reflects what they are interested in. Consequently, they are learning faster and more effectively than their contemporaries who are following a routine set of subjects and lesson plans.

Science Fair Projects

Science fair projects are important for the academic development of college bound students. They not only allow the student to explore the scientific method, but they also allow the student to engage in an independent research project for the very first time. This independence gives the child the opportunity to select a subject that they are interested in and to really approach it from unique and creative ways.

Science Fair Projects and Unschooling

Science fair projects really are already set up to be the perfect unschooling activity. This is because they based on what the student is interested in and the outcome is based upon the student’s own ingenuity, creativity and scientific fervor. To get the most from this experience homeschool teachers need to make sure that they offer their students the right balance of guidance/structure and freedom/flexibility.

Developing an Unschooling Module for Science Fair Projects

In order to develop an unschooling module for science fair projects the homeschool teacher needs to think about the various steps that are involved in creating a science fair project and what the student needs in order to launch their project. The first step is to therefore outline the science fair project process from topic selection to the presentation of the project. Science fair project guides and rules can be useful in this process.

image of making a solar oven   On the left is a 6 year old who did an experiment by making a solar oven. He is unschooled. His sister Megan, who is in high school, did a
  chromatogrphay science fair experiment. Both won 1st price in our
 online science fair contest.

The next step is to create the lesson plans for each step of the science fair project. The lesson plan needs to begin with a goal or objective for the lesson and it needs to also define what the final outcome for the lesson needs to be, such as a topic that is written out on a notecard, an outline or a bibliography. The final step will be to detail an introductory activity that will be led by the teacher, a guided activity and a independent activity.

The final step is to gather all the supplies needed for the module. This can include signing your student up for an online library or obtaining a public library card so that they can conduct their research. It will also include selecting science fair project kits and materials for your student’s project.

Conclusion

Unschooling is a new approach to education that is making a big difference in the quality of education for hundreds, if not thousands of students. This education option is a great choice for students that are struggling with ADHD, ADD and autism, as well as those that are excelling beyond the education that is offered by public schools. A fun activity to enhance an unschooling program is a science fair project, which offers your student the chance to explore science on their own terms.

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