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March 2, 2009 • Editorials

Science projects without tears


A few days ago I ranted about my belief that take home School Science Projects should be banned. I’m not altogether against them – it’s just that as a parent of two 9 year olds my experience is that most projects are a test of the parent’s ability to teach their kids how to do a project as opposed to the kids understanding anything at all about what they’re doing.

Little did I know there’s actually a company that creates science project kids that help parents understand the science fair process. You might refer to this kit as parent’s “science fair without tears”. Here’s a sample.

When I first looked at the sample projects from, I thought to myself that this was some type of cheat sheet that kids would use to get around doing any type of work. As I looked over the project outlines a little closer, I discovered that they’re actually project plans FOR PARENTS to help their kids conduct experiments.

What you receive is not a completed science project, rather you receive a complete kit (PDF) that resembles a teacher’s lesson plan with lots of links to resources to help you craft your project.


A quick review of the actual projects revealed these kits as lifesavers for parents.

Two kits are available.

The standard 24 hour science projects kit ($19.95) with 5 projects:

Undercover sneeze: Does covering the mouth help prevent the spread of germs?
A straight flush: Which bathroom tissue is most biodegradable?
Vitamin “C”itrus: Which citrus fruit has the most vitamin C?
A slice of ice: How does shape of ice affect its melting time?
A pinch of salt: How does salt affect the boiling point of water?

A bonus guide is available which includes the standard (above) plus 5 additional projects for $24.95 total.

This bonus package adds the following experiments:

Slip sliding? Now way: Use toy cards to find out about friction
Egg-xperimenting: Take the shell of an egg without boiling
Don’t lose your cool: Which type of insulation works best
Hear, hear: Are two ears better than one?
A flaky showdown: Which brand cereal stays crunchy longest?

Each science project kit outline follows the following format:

– Purpose
– Hypothesis
– Materials
– Procedure
– Data and chart
– Conclusion
– Application (how can the result of the experiment be put to use in the real world?)
– References

Here’s a sample page from the guide:


These science project plans are really well documented professional kits that will help any parent manage their science project (I mean their KIDS science projects).

Remember, what you are purchasing is a project plan and not a cheat sheet or finished project. You still will do all of the work but this kit will make the job simpler. In my opinion worth every penny of the $14.95 for the standard or $24.95 for the bonus guide.

2 Responses to " Science projects without tears "

  1. Susan says:

    Hi Wayne. I am a parent and I agree that we as parents shouldn't be charged with coming up with and doing school projects for our children. A definite part of school is for them to learn, explore and most important ask questions. Not have mom and dad set it up or just do the majority of it. I am doing the science fair with my daughter for the first time this year and have experienced first hand the anxiety as a parent – the pressure to come up with something that will wow at the fair. But it shouldn't be about me. It should be about finding another avenue for learning and expanding her mind.

    I work for a science company that doesn't charge for ideas and instead offers them as guides and encourages students to get their hands dirty and ask questions. I have turned over the research to my daughter and have her searching our website ( ) for an activity or a good science question to explore (with my guidance, but not my complete involvement). Kids and their parents can find over a hundred free ideas for home-based science projects. It takes the pressure off the parents and gives the kids the opportunity to explore on their own. One of my favorite experiments is Colored Milk. It only involves items you find in your kitchen –

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