Resources and Guides

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For Teachers

  • The BEST free resource is A Framework for K-12 Science Education, which you can download for free!
  • Science Buddies: Science Buddies is a non-profit organization focused on providing free science fair ideas, answers and tools for students in Grades K-12. Online resources have been integrated into the NSTA’s SciLinks program. This site empowers students from all walks of life to help themselves and each other develop a love of science and an understanding of the Scientific Method.
  • Archimedes Initiative: This group is focused on strengthening science literacy and increasing the number of scientists and engineers in the United States. The group has chosen competitive science fairs as the starting point for its outreach efforts.  
  • Science for Society & Public: One of the nation’s oldest non-profits dedicated to public engagement in science and science education, Science for Society & Public was formerly known as Science Service. It is responsible for several youth science competitions, including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
  • Science Fair Central: This Discovery Education site transforms classrooms, empowers teachers and captivates students by leading the way in providing free, high quality, dynamic content to school districts large and small. 
  • Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium: Located on the University of Arizona campus, the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium has a home page to find out about exciting science-based programs.
  • SWAEBR: The Southwest Association for Education in Biomedical Research is a Tucson-based organization that provides good reference materials regarding the use of animals in research.
  • NSTA Science Fair Resource: The National Science Teachers Association is the “ultimate science fair resource.” It is a member of the SciLinks program, and is sponsored by the Society for Amateur Scientists. http://www.nsta.org/
  • NSTA Newsletter High School: The National Science Teachers’ Association newsletter, Science Class, offers many great links for teachers. This is the high school edition.
  • NSTA Newsletter Middle School: The National Science Teachers’ Association newsletter, Science Class, offers many great links for teachers. This is the middle school edition.
  • NSTA Newsletter Elementary: The National Science Teachers’ Association newsletter, Science Class, offers many great links for teachers. This is the elementary edition.
  • K12 Academics: This site is an education resource and job placement center for teachers, students, parents, education majors and district officials involved in education of kindergarten through Grade 12 students throughout the United States.
  • National Academy of Engineering: NAE is a private, independent, nonprofit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. Its website is a comprehensive resource center for more information about technology — what it is, how it impacts our lives, where to learn more about it, and why technical literacy is important. http://www.nae.edu/
  • Science News For Kids: This magazine resource has a wealth of ideas for projects and hands on activities for educators, parents and kids. It is published by Society for Science & The Public, and has additional information about Broadcom MASTERS, Intel ISEF, and Intel Science Talent Search (ISTS.) 
  • Eurekalert! News for Kids: This online, global news service operated by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). It provides a central site for universities, medical centers, journals, government agencies, corporations and other organizations engaged in research can bring their news to the media. It features news and resources focused on all areas of science, medicine and technology, and is open to the public. 
  • HubbleSite: This webpage is full of space-y activities and resources for astronomy for students and teachers alike. 
  • Bill Nye, the Science Guy: This is the website for Bill Nye, an American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, writer and scientist. It has lots of fun demos and ideas for your projects! Check out his parallel site: www.eyesofnye.org for information on his television show! 
  • Science Bob A great resource to gather project ideas, as well as information about experiments and research help.
  • Commander Submarine Force US Pacific Fleet: This page gives details about the nuclear-powered USS Tucson. http://www.csp.navy.mil/subssquadrons/tucson/tucson_homepage.shtml
  • WaterCenter.org: This site gives advice about conducting water-based science fair projects for students, teachers and the public. Here you’ll find basic water information and terms from Gordon Snyder at the WaterCenter in Kenmore,Wash. Among other issues, it discusses Hurricane Katrina’s impact on drinking water, toxic water problems, water sampling and testing.
  • ScienceFairCenter.org:  This site gives ideas for water-related science fair projects. http://sciencefairwater.com/water-basics-101-common-water-quality-parameters/intro-science-fair-water-projects/ … Additional information can be found at: http://www.watercenter.net/
  • Homework Spot: This website lists numerous resources to search for ideas, organized for elementary, middle and high school students.
  • Family Education: This site offers tips and insights for families entering the science fair — including information about the Scientific Method, home schooling resources, and a listing of Top Science Fair Projects for All Ages. http://school.familyeducation.com/childrens-science-activities/parents-and-school/33574.html
  • How to Identify Effective STEM Activities for Children

For Fair Directors

A school Fair Director’s job entails a lot of responsibility, and yet, when it is all over, the Fair Director knows that he or she played a part in setting a child on a course that might lead to a future career. The good news is that MOST everything you will need has already been created. If you find yourself writing a form or lengthy letter, STOP!

Science Buddies Guide to Planning a Science Fair: This is the best guide for planning and running a science fair at your school. Here you’ll find a variety of resources already created for you! They have developed the documents below to help you put on a successful science fair, from start to finish. By joining for free, you can access the documents and tailor them to your school’s needs. 

For Students

  • Science Buddies: Science Buddies is a non-profit organization focused on providing free science fair ideas, answers and tools for students in Grades K-12. Our online resources have been integrated into the NSTA’s SciLinks program, and have received praise from students, teachers and parents across the nation. Science Buddies empowers students from all walks of life to help themselves and each other develop a love of science and an understanding of the Scientific Method. Our innovative online tools and programs encourage, acknowledge, and reward student research projects, and aim to increase science fair participation
  • Society for Science & The Public: SSP is the organization responsible for several youth science competitions, including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
  • Science Fair Central: The Discovery Channel’s resource of project ideas! These are the national middle school competition sponsors.
  • Flandrau: Visit the University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center home page to find out about exciting science-based programs and workshop opportunities at Flandrau.
  • Southwest Association for Education in Biomedical Research (SwAEBR): Good reference materials regarding the use of animals in research.
  • Arizona/Nevada Academy of Sciences: Links to resources, and individuals in the science community.
  • K12 Academics: An education resource center and job placement site for teachers, students, parents, education majors and district officials involved in Grades K-12 throughout the United States.
  • Science News For Students: A magazine resource of ideas for projects. Published by Society for Science & The Public (formerly the Science Service.)
  • Science Bob: A great resource to gather project ideas. There are good basic concepts and techniques, too!
  • WaterCenter.org: Basic water information and terms from Dr. Gordon Snyder at the WaterCenter in Kenmore,Wash. The blog discusses Hurricane Katrina’s impact on drinking water, toxic water problems, water sampling and testing at www.watercenter.org/blog.
  • Water Project info: Student science fair project ideas about water from Dr. Gordon Snyder at the WaterCenter in Kenmore, Wash.
  • Water Demos & Experiments: Experiments and demonstrations for teachers and educators from Dr. Gordon Snyder at the WaterCenter in Kenmore, Wash.
  • Homework Spot: Lists of numerous resources to search for ideas!
  • Family Oriented: Tips and insights for families entering the science fair! There’s a fair bit of advertising sold to finance the site, but the tips and ideas are worth it.
  • Masters in Data Science has a great The Ultimate Guide to STEM for kids (K-12) organized by age and interest, and a section specifically focused on resources and activities for girls!
  • The Best Colleges has a listing of STEM Scholarships available.
  • Guide to Colleges & Careers for Women in STEM

Virtual Fairs

Many fairs are being held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some resources for virtual fairs:

  • SARSEF School Fairs is free of charge, and allows Arizona schools to hold their school fair online through a virtual exhibit hall. Unlimited projects can be uploaded and viewed by family members, judges, teachers, and administrators. 
  • zFairs is a popular virtual science fair platform that offers an exhibit hall and integrated judging tools. While not free, it is a fully-automated science fair service. 
  • RocketJudge is another popular paid platform that provides judges a way to electronically score the fair. 

Project Boards

Project boards can be purchased at most craft stores, office supply stores, and teacher supply stores. We particularly like Jonathan’s Educational Resources (http://www.jonathansonline.com/). They carry a variety of colors in the right sizes, as well as borders that can help jazz up a project board. They even carry lettering for titles, specially designed for science fair projects that follow the scientific method. 

If you want specialized titles, go to Science Buddies to check out what pre-printed titles are available.

Judging Resources

Would You Like to Know What the Judges Are Looking For?

The following forms outline the criteria that teams will use when judging the projects. Note there are separate forms for projects that use the Scientific Process and Engineering Design, and for K-8 versus the HS level.

All forms are based on the criteria used at the ISEF competition level.

Elem and MS Engineering Criteria

Elem and MS Science Criteria

HS Science Criteria

HS Engineering Criteria

Other Science Competitions

Every year, more than 9 million students in Grades K–12 enter a science competition. Your project may also be entered in some of the following:

State Fair: Arizona Science and Engineering Fair

AzSEF is the state fair for Arizona.

Only first-place projects will advance to AzSEF. The definition of first place can include those that take first place at the SCHOOL level as well. (See below.)

Students in Grades 5-12 who have placed first at a school, home school, district, county or regional science fair are eligible to compete at AzSEF.

Contact: azsef@azscience.org

National and International Fairs and Competitions

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is a competition for Grade 6-8 students who participate in science fairs in the United States, and are nominated to compete in the national competition. Thirty finalists will win an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete for the $25,000 grand prize.

Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Awards: Challenges student teams to solve real-world problems in the areas of clean energy, aerospace exploration and cyber security. For students age 13-18. Winning team is awarded $5,000 to continue product development. Spirit of Innovation Awards are sponsored, in part, by Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program:  This program aims to recognize exceptional students and support them in the fulfillment of their potential. It includes categories of science, mathematics and technology, among others. The top prize is $50,000.

Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF):  For high school students only, who must first qualify at an affiliated fair. Top prize is a $75,000 scholarship. Six high school projects and two to three middle school projects are selected each year at SARSEF to attend this global competition.

Regeneron Science Talent Search:  A competition for high school seniors. Top prize is a $100,000 scholarship.

Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology:  A competition for high school students. Top prize is a $100,000 scholarship.

Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC):  The world’s largest model rocket contest, accepts teams of students in Grades 7-12 from any U.S. school or non-profit youth organization.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS):  This program invites high school students in Grades 9–12 to conduct an original research investigation in the sciences, engineering or mathematics, and to participate in a regional symposium sponsored by universities or other academic institutions. Regional winners proceed to a national competition.

Young Naturalist Awards:  This program from the American Museum of Natural History, and sponsored by Alcoa Corporation, is a research-based essay contest for students in Grades 7-12 to promote participation and communication in science.

 

What Do You Wonder & COVID19 Resources

We have assembled a list of Coronavirus/COVID 19 resources for families and educators and grouped them into six categories: Citizen science, Sharing with children, What is a virus, Coronavirus specifically, Tracking the spread and understanding the epidemiology of COVID19, Handwashing and other best practices for preventing infectious disease.  We hope these are useful to you.

 

National Citizen Science Opportunity:  Covid Near You

Help researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical Center track the COVID-19.  You log in daily and report how you are feeling: Great! Or Not so well.  Takes less than one minute of your time and you are contributing to research!
https://covidnearyou.org/#!/

 

Science Friday. March 27, 2020 Interview with Dr. John Brownstein, co-founder of COVID Near You Near You Citizen Science Project
https://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/citizen-science-covid-19/

 

Resources for sharing information about Coronavirus with young children
 *Very clear and calm explanation of the novel Coronavirus, SARS CoV-2. Dr. Peter Lin
https://www.swhealth.org/dr-peter-lin-breaks-down-information-on-coronavirus-covid-19/

 

New York Times Podcast for Kids: A Kids’ Guide to Coronavirus
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/podcasts/the-daily/kids-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=audio-series-bar&region=header&pgtype=Article

 

Resources about the biology of a virus. Some of our favorites are noted with an asterisk *, be sure to check out those resources! 

 

What is a virus? Is it alive?
*What is a virus: WinchPharma Science & Health
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KXHwhTghWI

 

*How big is a virus? Look and see, slide the bar at the bottom of the image to zoom all the way in to the virus; go beyond that to understand how tiny an atom is: https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cells/scale/

 

Amoeba Sisters Explain Viruses Video  6:48 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FqlTslU22s

 

Professor Dave Explains. An other explanation of viruses in general.  Appropriate for high school students (10:00 minutes) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUgEhfo_qxU

 

Resources about the novel Coronavirus that causes COVID 19

*The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do   Kurzgesagt- In a Nutshell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtN-goy9VOY

 

*Where do new viruses come from? An excellent explanation about where novel viruses come from, explaining how viruses can change host species from Stated Clearly
https://www.statedclearly.com/videos/where-do-new-viruses-come-from/

 

*Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus. What science and genetic material can tell us about the spread of COVID 19. Science really works! Using molecular biology to track the novel coronavirus, SARS CoV-2, which is causing the COVID 19 outbreak.
https://nextstrain.org/ncov

 

*Bad News Wrapped in Protein: Inside the Coronavirus Genome

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/science/coronavirus-genome-bad-news-wrapped-in-protein.html?fbclid=IwAR13bi0H0ikNdsAjEMovK1ijrwBLXr_MkHbSVIZtpumnO1bOz6DRfpluWd0

 

*No, the coronavirus wasn’t made in a lab. A genetic analysis shows it’s from nature
Scientists took conspiracy theories about SARS-CoV-2’s origins seriously, and debunked them
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid-19-not-human-made-lab-genetic-analysis-nature

 

IB Biology teacher Greta Van Bargen (near Seattle, Washington) has assembled a huge variety of teaching materials using primary sources to help her students understand the Coronavirus and COVID 19 outbreak. She is sharing her work with other educators. Click here to view her work.

 

Resources for tracking and understanding the spread and epidemiology of COVID 19

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine: Tracking the number of COVID 19 cases.
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

 

COVID 19 resources, maps, projections,

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle WA
http://www.healthdata.org/covid

 

Our World in Data is a website that shows how global living conditions and the earth’s environment are changing. Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development at the University of Oxford are scientific editors of the website content; and the non-profit organization Global Change Data Lab, who publishes and maintains the website.

https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

 

Pima County Health Department
https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=527452

 

Sites for Proper Handwashing

How we can prevent the spread of all viruses and bacteria: Hand washing!

I never knew I did it wrong until I watched these videos!

 

*WHO Hand washing

This is great! But please turn off the water while scrubbing and turn back on to rinse!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=RDCMUC07-dOwgza1IguKA86jqxNA&v=3PmVJQUCm4E&feature=emb_rel_end

 

You washed your hands but SEE WHAT YOU MISSED!

Children’s Museum of Indianopolis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg3Wce-yjr4

 

*This video uses black ink on gloved hands to let you see where the soap is going! It’s really good!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbX0xwKORjk

 

Tips for helping young children practice best hand washing:

https://www.fatherly.com/love-money/best-hand-washing-songs-for-kids/

CDC  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d914EnpU4Fo&feature=youtu.be

https://www.cdc.gov/cdctv/healthyliving/hygiene/fight-germs-wash-hands.html

 

CDC Web pages for talking to children about COVID 19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/talking-with-children.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/checklist-household-ready.html

 

World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

Every Child. Thinking Critically. Solving Problems.

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