How Parents Can Help Students
Science projects need to belong to the student. To provide a level field for each respective grade level, we ask that you consider the needs of each of those grade levels when deciding how much to support your child.
This year we are instituting a number of changes to align with the protocol used by Academy of Science St. Louis Science Fair. Pay special attention to what's new and help your child become familiar with these changes for 2021.
Grade K Thru 2 Students: Elementary students in the K through 2 division will probably need a supportive adult helper. Younger students have a limited ability to read and to write and this may be their first exposure to scientific methods. In addition, many are concrete thinkers so it is best to encourage them to choose a project that they will be able to understand and complete mainly on their own. Allow the student to decide on the project. Let the student guide you in how much help they need. Adult helpers may write as the student dictates. Please make sure the student acknowledges any assistance they receive in their logbook.
Grade 3 Thru 5 Students: Older elementary students need an adult to encourage them, edit their writing, drive to libraries, purchase materials, and to help them focus their research. Monitor your child to be sure they are not taking on too much, or trying to do too many experiments at one time. Be a coach for your child.
Grade 6 Thru 12 Students: For middle and high school students, an adult may need to offer support in terms of editing the final written portion of the project. By this time, students are perfectly capable of completing the projects on their own, but they may need reminders, encouragement, and support. If you feel that the project they are engaged with demands more science content assistance than you can provide, consider finding a science mentor for them. Teachers and science professionals often are willing to offer help and support.