Monday, May 31, 2010

Paperless Science Fairs: Other Options besides Google Docs

Kelly Bell is a science teacher with a Paperless Mission!   I sooooooooooo appreciate her.  I also did a quasi-paperless science fair this year with Google Docs (all of our 8th graders are 13 or older), but we have 450 students in the 8th grade and in order to have the projects presented all together at the same time, we had a traditional tri-fold-display fair night.  We simply do not yet have the technology to support a paperless "Exposition" event.

Some of her ideas are similar to mine, like setting up your website to serve as a sort of "database" for due dates and downloadable items (worksheets, templates, rubrics, etc.)...Here's an idea to add to that:  how about a timeline/checklist that combines all that? See here: My Project Checklist page

However, Ms. Bell has gone many, many steps further and put together her tech "tutorial" lessons into a Google Presentation that her kids can view online.  It's called "Need Help?" It is intended to be a resource for STUDENTS as a set of reminders on how to do some of the important technology-based steps of the project.  It includes instructions on how to use an online graphing tool (we use Google Spreadsheets--if they know how to use Excel, they're good to go!) from the NCES site, and a terrific Works Consulted tool called BibMe.

I love BibMe

"BibMe is a free automatic bibliography generator that supports MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian formatting. BibMe leverages databases provided by Amazon, FindArticles, Yahoo! News, and CiteULike to quickly and accurately AutoFill citation information for you. BibMe will then format the citation information according to the rules and guidelines of the style guides. If you prefer, you can enter your citation information manually. BibMe also contains a quick citation guide to show students the correct syntax for citing in various formats."

Here are links to my other posts on Science Projects:

Mar 25, 2010
I have several posts to offer on this topic, and will be deluging you with ideas and tips, but here's my very first one: Science Buddies. WOW! There are approximately 10 to the 5 billionth science project sites out there,
Mar 25, 2010
Rocket Aerodynamics is a sample project from Science Buddies. If you look in the right hand side of the page, it gives you time estimates and cost estimates. It also coaches on number of trials, averaging, controlling variables and a ...
Apr 12, 2010
I did promise to give you lots of ideas for science fair projects. My use of Google Docs for my students projects (along with ScienceBuddies) has REVOLUTIONIZED my grading* (posting on that at a later date) and made it much easier for ...


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the "Shout Out"
    I have not added this to the website but will be looking into implementing this next year for the "science fair night."

    Instead of the students creating their backboards for science fair night, they will just log onto the mobile laptops. They will be able to walk their observers through their presentation on the laptop.

    For judging, we will have to set up file with all the contestants. The judges will be able to view the projects on their own time before the big night to pick their winners.

    We have 6 mobile labs and they each hold 16 computers. That should be plenty to present the 6th and 7th grade science fair projects virtually.

    Winners would STILL have to build a back board if the school chooses to go to county!

    Thanks again!
    Kelly Bell