A mother from Doral, Florida sent me a copy of her second grader’s science fair project requirements. The entire project is to be done at home. The mother, a chemical engineer, thought the project was way beyond the capabilities of any second grader, so she wrote to both the teacher and the principal expressing her concern. The assistant principal wrote back:
I understand your concern as a parent. However, the decisions regarding the Science Fair projects are made as a collaboration between the administration, Science Coach, and teachers. I have looked over the science fair timeline and expectations carefully. The project is given in a way that there is enough time to complete each section.
The purpose of the project is to provde a time for inquiry and exposure to the scientific method. My suggestion is to make sure that the project that your daughter chooses is grade appropriate, keep it simple as she is in second grade, and speak to the teacher again if you are unclear about any of the components of the project. I have spoken to her teacher regarding this and I believe her expectations of the project are grade appropriate.
Please make sure that all the requirements are met as she wil be graded accordingly.
The project, replete with multiple deadlines, requires the second graders to, among other things, write an abstract and hypothesis, have a materials list and a complete bibliography (following a standard format), discuss procedures and variables, make a display board, and do an oral presentation. The school holds a workshop to teach parents what’s expected.