Research projects are a key part of all students’ science education. Not only do they support critical thinking and investigatory skills, but they stimulate students’ imagination and improve organizational skills. By being involved in a science project, students learn how to work both individually and in a group. Making presentations can increase their confidence and self esteem, and scientific project work can show them that science is much more than theory and definitions.
Google Science Fair is an online science competition open to students aged 13-18 from all corners of the globe. Last year the project was a great success, with the overall winner, Brittany Wenger, developing an app that tests for breast cancer. Other winners looked at sound waves and marine ecology, and came from countries as diverse as Spain to Swaziland. As one participant explained: “I believe that young people enjoy asking questions to solve problems, and that’s why I love science so much”
The competition is currently open, and the closing date for entries is the 30th April 2013. The prizes include a trip to the Galapagos Islands, substantial scholarships, and once in a lifetime experiences with companies such as Lego, CERN and Google.
The website has an excellent section for teachers that give lesson plans, advice and resources for any classrooms looking to undertake the project. The student pack introduces project participants to developing a research question, writing a hypothesis, selecting a method, independent and dependent variables, results and conclusions.