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09/04/2019

what’s less work? a science fair project or 4 normal smaller projects?

QUESTION
what’s less work? a science fair project or 4 normal smaller projects?
My Biology teacher gave us the option to either do a science fair, or just a small science project every quarter. an example of a small science project is like a 500 word essay about a science topic. 500 words aren’t really that much. But I’m having a hard time deciding weather to pick the 4 smaller ones, or the 1 Big Science fair project.

ANSWER
In terms of a grade, the 4 smaller projects is less of a risk than an all or nothing, single science fair project. On the other hand, the teacher might be honestly wishing that you do the science fair project which means that the grade criteria is actually easier with the science fair project. Depending upon what you do, how you set it up, and how you present it – the science fair project could even take less time and effort than the 4 smaller projects. It sounds like a 500 word essay is not a problem for you; are you allowed a few more words if needed because sometimes it;s harder to convey information in fewer words than in more words. Sometimes, a science fair project ends up requring project and presentation costs that are hard to come up; an essay is relatively cheap. The other thing about a science fair project is that it often requires you to get the project to the fair and/or to be present. Are you able to do this? Lastly, are there clear judging/grading criteria for the smaller and the larger projects; if so, which seem more acheivable to you?

You might even consider both the 4 smaller projects and the larger, science fair project. Ideally, get a concept of the scope of each type of project. Then, head to your public library to look over the science and science project materials for kids pre-school through high school. (Sometimes those pre-K through grade 3 or 4 books present projects for demonstrating a whole host of fundamental concepts taught in the upper grades through early college. They are a great resource for learning fundamentals as well as demonstrating them in number of different intuitive, simple, and even deductive ways.) See if you can get enough ideas for both the 4 smaller and the single larger project. Ideally, you can pick up a series of quick, easy, simple to do projects for the 4 smaller projects then whip up a data gathering charting system, reporting, and research sceme that brings them to the upper grade level you are at. Chances are, you can find something that can be worked into a science fair project through added sophsitication among the materials in same section of the library. If not, search for materials aimed at instructors and teachers that tells them how to make demonstrations and experiments to teach different concepts and information to students.