By Joe Kanooga
To get really good science fair projects from pre-packaged kits takes some creativity, but it can be done. Though many kids science kits are designed with specific experiments in mind and may even come with detailed instructions, it’s probably best to approach the kit as a set of tools that will help you in your own unique research. With this approach, a great kids science kit can help you stand out from other science fair projects.
For instance, one student selected a “miniature greenhouse” science kit, which contained seeds, a flat plastic container of soil, and a clear plastic “greenhouse” lid. He made his experiment unique. He did not study how little he could water with the lid compared to without. Instead, he covered the clear plastic with various colors of translucent plastic to test the effects of colored light on the growth rate of his seedlings.
The most important thing to remember when starting your project is to choose a question you are genuinely interested in, or relates to something you are interested in. Hone your question down making it as precise and concise as possible. Continue to seek simplicity in carrying out your experiment. Question yourself at every stage. Is there any way to get the data in fewer steps or a simpler way? Is there a less complicated way to understand things? Is there a more straightforward way to explain the observations?