By Shannon McClintock Miller, Teacher Librarian
The new year is here, and we’ve jumped right back into all the wonderful things that take place in classrooms and libraries throughout the year.
At the school where I was a teacher librarian, the new year meant that the annual science fair was right around the corner. The students would create impressive projects showcasing the results of their hard work in the form of a display board, report, model, digital story, or other delightful presentation.
As the teacher librarian in our district, I came into the picture long before we even started planning to tell the students about the science fair. I would collect resources all year long for the students to use as they picked their science fair topics, researched, carried out experiments, and put their projects together. I shared them with the teachers as we collaborated on how we were going to roll it out and make it a little different than the year before. And when it was time, we shared this rich collection of science fair resources with our students.
Each year, there were several books and resources that stood out in the collection. The amazing science fair books from our friends at DK Publishing were at the top of the list. Our teachers and students counted on DK to always have something very special fit with the excitement around the science fair.
And today, I cannot wait to share a brand-new collection from DK with you! I picked out seven of my favorites!
At the top of my list is Maker Lab with a foreword by Jack Andraka.
As the DK website explains,
Each step-by-step activity is appropriate for kids ages 8–12, and ranked easy, medium, or hard, with an estimated time frame for completion. Requiring only household materials.
Photographs and facts carefully detail the "why" and "how" of each experiment using real-world examples to provide context so kids can gain a deeper understanding of the scientific principles applied.
Another book, and one that has more than a hundred experiments for your students to try, is 101 Great Science Experiments.
This is one of my favorites when helping students find a science fair project they will love.
Organized into eleven different science subjects, 101 Great Science Experiments includes experiments for almost any interest area. Photos and illustrations make each process clear and accessible for children and parents.
The next one jumped right out of the box at us! My son Hagan actually first grabbed this one and said, “Hey, this book lots just like a laptop!” With its metallic cover and 250 incredible photographs, digital artworks, cross-sections, X-rays, and cutaways, this book will surely be a hit with your students.
Super Cool Tech explores the latest gadgets, gizmos and state-of-the-art buildings and technology that will change lives today and in the future.
How Machines Work: Zoo Break!, by David Macaulay, is the next book and just as cool as the first three with its interactive pages that include simple mechanisms. This will definitely inspire your future engineers to conduct experiments and projects focused on simple machines for the science fair.
The two fun characters Sloth and Sengi will keep readers engaged and entertained too!
Coding is a hot new topic in education and would be a great topic to pull into the science fair. A pair of books that would be perfect for researching and learning the topic is Coding in Scratch: Projects Workbook and Coding Games in Scratch.
The last one I want to share is DKfindout! Science, which is part of the DKfindout! series, which all our kids love!
DKfindout! Science will keep your scientists engaged and interested with all the fun facts, colorful page spreads, quizzes, timelines, and other interesting text features throughout the book.
This series also has an incredible online companion and is the eighth resource I want to share.
DKfindout!is a free online encyclopedia where students can research even more science topics and find information to support topics in the DK science fair books, such as coding, earth, space, and science.
One more quick tip I’d like to share is to remember how well the DK books team up to take on the science fair. If kids find an idea to make a balloon rocket car in Maker Lab, then they will be able to research cars in Super Cool Tech.
With all the beautiful books DK publishes each year, you know your students will be able to find what they need in a variety of the books, through various reading and interest levels, and on just about any topic imaginable.
This is why we love DK and everything they create for our young scientists during the science fair and all year long.