I may have mentioned a time or twelve that I have been heavily influenced this year by Lori Pickert’s Project-Based Homeschooling. This coincided with the homeschool science class at Lowry Park Zoo that Ben attends deciding that they were going to host their first ever science fair. Ben and I stayed and listened to the presentation on the science fair and he decided he was interested in producing a project for it. So, we were off and running.
Well, not really, first he had to decide what he was interested in. We found (with a little help) the websites Science Buddies and we looked at age appropriate subjects that he could work on. What I did not do was let him read ANY of the material on the website. So, while he took inspiration from the project that we read the discussion of and he developed it on his own from there. It took him a while to figure out which variable he was really interested in (time to crystal or types of crystals developed, etc), but he did figure it out and he did an admirable job of putting it all together.
We spent roughly three months on this project. He didn’t work on it every day. But it was mulled over, discussed, and produced in an approximately three month time frame. We did discover something about Ben during this project that we’re going to be taking to our pediatrician and see about having him evaluated. We know some things are not quite connecting, but we’re not sure how or why, so it needs to be looked into.
I include three things with this post. First, I interviewed Ben this morning about his experiences with his science fair project:
Mom: what was the best part of the science fair?
Ben: my favorite part was getting my medal and working hard to make the project.
Mom: how was presenting your project to the judges?
Ben: I was happy and scared.
Mom: what did you learn from doing this project?
Ben: I learned that it takes a lot of hard work and it doesn’t matter if you win or lose.
Mom: what do you think your next project is going to be?
Ben: I’m interested in rocket science for the science fair.
Mom: what do you think you want to work on for your next project learning project.
Ben: I think I’m going to write a graphic novel about a little rocket who tries to blast into space and bigger rockets who tease him.
Mom: where did you learn about graphic novels?
Ben: from the story Arthur.
A photo of his roughed out board (before we started gluing):
And a photo of Ben explaining his project to an adult who walked by:
You can see that the board is a bit more complete and visually interesting, but he was very determined not to distract from his crystals with too much art. All I can say is let the research into graphic novels begin. And apparently, we’ll be spending the next year researching rocket science.
that is so awesome! it’s great that you used the online resource to look for cool ideas but then went off to do all the research yourselves. so awesome that he wants to study rocket science *and* write a graphic novel! 😀
My 8-year-old’s science project was about how temperature affects salt crystal growth too. She’ll be setting it up tomorrow after school. Crystals seem to be popular with that age.