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Relevant science fair projects?

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:26 pm
by ScienceDad
My son has enjoyed participating in Stardust@home, and takes pride in the quality of his work with the virtual microscope. First of all, thanks for providing this opportunity for budding scientists.

With an upcoming science fair, I'm wondering if there are any potential projects that can be based off of this experience? I'm looking for late-middle school to early-high school level projects, and analyzing data from secondary sources (e.g., Stardust) is fair game. I've seen in this forum that some of you have been involved since school days - any ideas for potential science fair projects here?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Re: Relevant science fair projects?

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:20 pm
by Spica
I am a doctoral students researching the process of putting actual research in the hands of students inprimary and secondary education. If you have a story that might be of interest to share, could you post it or email me a
Vance High
West Virginia University

Re: Relevant science fair projects?

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:46 am
by Nikita
Hi ScienceDad!

Sorry this took so long in responding, I have had a lot going on, including substituting in elementary schools!
I wanted to respond anyway, because this is an AMAZING project with lots of wonderful possibilities. One thread you may look into expanding on is this one with Zack. I really enjoyed it and I think that the information would be totally new and exciting for a science fair project!
This is the link to the classroom info, there may be some stuff there. Also Wiki's info on aerogel is very interesting. Aerogel may be more and more known, it's got incredible potential for every day life!
I hope this helps!

Re: Relevant science fair projects?

Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:56 am
by Nikita
Hi Vance!

I too found this project to be interesting as something for the kiddos. I have given presentations of it to classrooms from 4th grade to 7th grade. I found that some of the info was kinda complex, at least for the younger ones and honestly, if they could do this or a flashy video game...well....

But if I had more time then one classroom period and if the classes were better prepared, it might work more.

However, I always wanted to bring it to the parents. My son has dusted as well. Kids should do very well at it as they are less predisposed to try to see something.

Due to financial issues, my local elementary school looks like it will close and we will be merging with another school. Once that settles down and we see what comes out later this month for us dusters, I'd like to have a science night and bring parents in and start dusting teams with competitions and perhaps a winning prize for the top group. I'd love to get the kids packets of triops, I love those little guys!

But the key, I think, is going to be parental involvment. If my kid came hom with a paper for this website, I might think the teacher was crazy, it really does look more formal and not like Discovery Kids.

If anyone does a presentation, we can easily look at the membership list to see if there were new members the following days afterwards.

Good Luck!

Re: Relevant science fair projects?

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:25 pm
by Spica
I just got this email from Stardust@home so my apology. My first thoughts are:
1) these are the first particles to be returned from space for study since the lunar rocks were returned during the Apollo missions, so the evolution of the technology for this is a great topic.
2) how do planets form and how do suns gather mass in neubula areas to birth other suns? Stardust the building block (tiny isn't it?) took billions of years. You could do this in a time lapse series of photos or drawings in a power point presentation.
3) if your son is good with computers, he might write code for a program building virtual suns from stardust, time lapsed over billion years(s). It could be interactive and be scaled up or down by viewers to watch the prossess. This is rather advanced but the game Tetris has similar programming code.

These are just brainstorming ideas, but have fun with whatever you do.
Vance (aka spica)

Re: Relevant science fair projects?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:04 am
by JohnCle
I'm a teacher and I have very active students, so the brainstormers will be welcomed! Thanks!

Re: Relevant science fair projects?

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:05 pm
by DanZ
One idea maybe is to test different substrates for their ability to capture some sort of impactor (something akin to crater making)in a way that keeps it fairly intact, thereby modeling the thought processes that went into eventually determining that aerogel was the best bet for Stardust. Just an idea!