Monday, May 4, 2009

Science Fair

Way back before Spring Break, we found out that LilKat1’s school was having a Science Fair and that students from K-5 were welcome to submit projects. I have always looked forward to helping my kids with Science Fair projects. I remember learning how to make electric motors for my project when I was young and having a great time. But I was in 7th grade! I had no idea that people had Science Fairs for 1st grade and younger.

Well, I thought that it would be a fun thing for me and LilKat1 to do together, so I encouraged him to sign up for it. The first thing we needed was a good age-appropriate project. We tried to think of something that he could do himself. We got an idea from an episode of Curious George. We decided to use our Science Fair project to find out what worms liked. LilKat1 named the project ‘Fascinating Worms’.

Here’s how we did it:

First, we needed some worms. So we went to the worm store and got some:

Next, we gathered up a bunch of materials that we thought worms might like. We had soil, mud, hay, cedar chips, pine bits, coffee grounds, styrofoam packing peanuts, cereal, and easter grass.

Then LilKat1 picked out 4 of the materials and put them into a container like this:

Next, we put a bunch of worms in the middle of the materials like this:


Then we waited while the worms figured out where they wanted to go. When the worms were happy in their new spots, we pulled them out of each section and counted them. LilKat1 used a notebook to record how many worms we found in each material.


We did a total of 4 experiments. Here are pictures of the others:


After our experimenting was done, we had to make our display. I think this part actually took longer than the experimenting! We spent a good 3 evenings of cutting and gluing. I thought LilKat1 might start to get tired of working on his project. But he really liked seeing his experiments come to life on the display that we were creating. We actually had a lot of fun making it.

Here’s the display at the Science Fair:


Here is the raw data that he recorded from the experiments:

Here is a table showing how he interpreted the data:

Each of the Science Fair projects was scored by a group of judges. Projects that scored high enough received a Science Star award. We must’ve done a pretty good job because we got one!


It was a little difficult thinking of a good age appropriate project, but I think we picked a pretty good one. One cool thing was that we (me included) actually found out things that we didn’t know before. Did you know that worms liked styrofoam more than coffee grounds? I didn’t! But most of all, it was a very fun thing to do with my son.  In fact, on the Scientist Question and Answer section, I asked LilKat1 what his favorite thing about the project was, and his answer was ‘Being with Dad’.

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