The science fair does not become mandatory until 3rd or 4th grade, but the younger kids are allowed to do a project if they wish. Wordgirl and Computerguy decided she wanted to do a project. I pretty much stayed out of the way (I’m on regular homework duty; he does the projects).
The school emphasizes in all the projects the kids do (they have a project of one kind or another about every month, but Science Fair is a bigger deal) that they need to be the kid’s work. It spelled out clearly in the science fair packet that parents may “consult,” but the work needs to be the kids’. These projects are clearly the kids’ work. They are not fancy, but they do experiments and they follow directions and they write them up.
We walked through and looked at projects and waited until the judging was done. Finally, they began bringing the winning projects out to the quad.
Wordgirl’s was among them. I texted Computerguy, who was probably going to come from work at the 3:30 prize-giving time, to come for sure. She followed directions; she wrote up her findings; she did a fine job. She told me, “I didn’t finish writing everything in my notebook.” I didn’t tell her than I hadn’t seen any other 2nd grade project WITH notebook (though I did tell her later). We waited, and at 3:30 they began announcing the winners. Kinder, first, and then Second: 3rd, 2nd, and finally, 1st Place: Wordgirl! Yay for her.
So it was a successful foray into the world of science fairs. She learned a lot from doing it. We have ideas for what to do differently next time. She says she would have been glad to have done it even if she hadn’t won. And, Yay for Wordgirl! 1st place for second grade!