This week I have been continuing to focus on asking my students to complete specific topics for their science fair projects. I am finding that I am conflicted with the idea of demanding that my students all be at the same place within their projects at the same time. From the years of experience that I have with science fairs, and my experience with Canada Wide Science Fair, I am continually reminded that students work at a different pace from one another. Originally, I just wanted to have students blog about what they were doing up to date on their projects. I then began to feel that my students were not blogging simply because they had not started their projects yet (their choice, not mine) therefore they had nothing to write about. I could only keep asking for resources so much before I realized that this was not allowing students to work on their project and that the project soon began to feel like a blog and not a science fair; good for me…but not for them. I have always pushed my students to explore open inquiry within their projects, but slowly started feeling that I was pulling that back a bit.
I found an article from Steven Spangler that explained how to blog science fair projects, although this blog was written by a very young student, it was the content of the blog itself in which I began to look more closely at. I have now just asked my students to blog one “final blog” and edit it on a regular basis. As stated before, these projects have now been pushed back to January and would not be completed until after this class.
Therefore, I have re-started my major project, sort of, by just having my students blog one project – the race car project. The testing of my students cars were completed last week and students had until Friday to submit their final projects to me. I have all but one blog submitted on time – and these students handed in a paper copy because their blog wasn’t working well! Woohoo, it is actually better than handing in a “traditional” paper. I have not marked my students on their abilities of blogging for this project as they were not told that they would be, but have commented on their blogs about what I was excited to see and what I would have liked to have seen which would have enhanced their blog just that much more (picture on the side is the beginning of one of the cars). Last week, I posted a link to a student’s blog that was in progress. This week I am sharing the completed blog – it is really amazing, check it out! I have learned a lot from this project, I have learned that students really do well with blogging as it allows for a creative environment to show their work and one in which they can research easily as they are already connected to the internet, also blogging has allowed my students to think outside of the box and to be okay with creating their own projects with their own “look”.