Motivating students to follow through with Science Fair: any suggestions?I am trying to have my students finish the last leg of our Science Fair.  Unfortunately, this important scientific process...

Motivating students to follow through with Science Fair: any suggestions?

I am trying to have my students finish the last leg of our Science Fair.  Unfortunately, this important scientific process was broken up by our Winter Break, and I am hoping that after the two weeks, my students have results from their Science Fair topic.

I have heard teachers use a variety of motivational techniques in their classrooms, but are there any techniques in particular you recommend for such a long project?

Asked on by shiojia

7 Answers

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Are you expecting them to do the work over vacation? Some schools I have worked at have assigned work over winter break, but it's never crucial. Winter break is such a hectic time that you'll probably get only resentment and poor results. You might try a class project instead, that doesn't require much work over break.
booksnmore's profile pic

booksnmore | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I also like the idea of e-mail...but to take that a little further, what about setting up a Facebook page for the project the next time you assign it? You could ask students to subscribe, post reminders on the wall, send out reminders that way, etc. I used to hand out calendars when starting a project to show landmarks that students should be working toward. But now with Facebook, it could all be electronic. Students could even post on the wall with updates on how they're doing.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I like the idea of sending email reminders during the break to keep students reminded of the project. You might also send emails to the parents so that they know the students have something they are suppose to be doing over break. In future years you might try, if possible, arranging the project so that you either start after break or finish before break.

drmonica's profile pic

drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

Helping students to "break down" a long assignment into smaller steps and chunks goes a long way to help motivate them. The very size of such an assignment paralyzes some students, and few people have the inherent motivation to break such a task into chunks themselves. They wait until the proverbial last minute and then produce a barely-competent product that the teacher doesn't even want to grade.

lynn30k's profile pic

lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

It's hard keeping up over winter break. Do you have email addresses for your students? Most kids have email these days, and that would be my suggestion. You could have just a "tip of the day" that could go to all the kids, and individual attention for those that need it. You could also have them sending you updates on their projects.

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Other than reminding of them of not only your expectations of what top students they are, you could offer them an incentive in the form of outside recognition of some kind, if you know of a science teacher or kids science magazine that they could also offer their project as some type of article with their by-line.

versatilekamini's profile pic

versatilekamini | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Motivate your students through e-mail because winter break has started.You just plan what you have to do with science fair.E-mail your students about your planing and projects.I think every student will have its own e-mail address.Students can feel tempted to come up with their new ideas and try to actualize them.