“Science Buddies” is an award-winning website that offers valuable online support (24 hours a day) to K–12 students, parents, and teachers in many areas of science including ideas for well-designed science projects and activities for many other school and family projects. Developed and authored by scientists, the materials include how-to tips and introduce new techniques and experiments grounded in the newest areas of scientific research. The Science Buddies website, http://www.sciencebuddies.org, offers an “online project library” of more than 1,000 Project Ideas generated by scientists in 30 STEM fields.
This free site features a Teacher Resources area, an “advice forum” where students can ask experts for guidance on science and engineering projects, and more than 100 Career Profiles telling students (and their teachers and counselors) about fascinating careers in STEM fields.
The first time you access this site, you’re asked to register – no fees required, just a simple sign-in. The home page displays family science activities, a science news feed, and a variety of Science Buddies blog posts (sample topics: “Compare sports drinks with the Electrolyte Challenge” or “Mastering a Project Display Board”). Top billing is given to a section on “Find a Science Fair Project Idea.” Click on the latter to open the Topic Selection Wizard tool. Here students, parents, or teachers complete a questionnaire to be matched with a wealth of science fair ideas.
The home page also displays “file tabs” that let users go directly to a Project Guide or to “Ask An Expert” (AAE) where students may ask specific questions, search for answers, or view answers provided by a team of volunteer scientists. Separate tabs for blogs, science career information, and for teachers, parents, or students, give easy access to resources for target populations.
Our test run of the Science Buddies’ science fair ideas yielded 274 suggestions that clearly reflected the academic level, time frame, and scientific interests revealed by completing the questionnaire. The quantity and quality of resources are striking, and speak to a wide range of interests and abilities! Teachers will also welcome the downloadable PDF file, “Teacher’s Guide to Science Projects,” as well as Grading Rubrics for science fair projects, and the chance to receive a free monthly e-newsletter.
About the Creators:
The mission of Science Buddies is to help students from all walks of life build literacy in science and technology to become productive and engaged citizens. All the online resources are available free, thanks to support from sponsors and from parents, teachers, and other individual donors. For more information about Science Buddies, please see: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/aboutus.shtml