A favorite of the librarians at Santa Clara City Library! The ScienceBuddies.org website has a worksheet which suggests projects based on your expressed interests.
Ideas for projects/demonstrations at home with younger students at:
Best Science Fair Book: Painless Science Projects
The directors of the Synopsys Championship recommend this book for parents, teachers, and students. It’s the best science-fair book that we’ve ever seen. Recently this otherwise excellent book went out of print, but used copies still are available from http://www.amazon.com and from http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/. Search for Painless Science Projects.
This presentation is by Mr. Bruce Kawanami of Monta Vista High School, in Cupertino.
Santa Clara City Library’s website: http://library.santaclaraca.gov
A helpful book in the library’s reference collection is Science Experiments Index for Young People by Mary Anne Pilger (Juv Ref 507.8 P63). You can look up an experiment by topic, and then find out the title and author for the book in which the full experiment is printed. Librarians can help you use this index during your visit to the library. It cannot be borrowed with your library card.
To find books listing experiments, look in the juvenile nonfiction under the Dewey decimal call number 507.8. (You won’t find all of the books there, but it’s a great start.) You can also search science experiments in the library’s online catalog. To get even more specific, add a topic keyword in your search like science experiments magnets or science experiments plants.
Science books will be shelved in the nonfiction area under a Dewey Decimal call number. Here are call number ranges for common science subjects:
520 Stars, planets, astronomy
530 Physical Science – force and motion,electricity, magnetism
540 Chemistry, Atoms and Molecules
550 Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Weather
560 Dinosaurs, Prehistoric Animals
570 Forests, Deserts, Mountains, Oceans
580 Plants and Trees
590 Animals and Insects
610 Human body, Disease
Encyclopedias are books that have articles about many topics. Some encyclopedias, like World Book, cover all subjects. Some encyclopedias only cover science topics, and can be a good source of background research on your experiment. Some of these encyclopedias can be borrowed with your library card. Find these books in the library’s online catalog by searching science encyclopedia. Two good examples are The World Book Student Discovery Science Encyclopedia (Juv 503 W927) and Growing up with Science (Juv 503 G88).
The library has databases where you can find full text articles free of charge. You can do this from home over the internet with your library card. Even though you use the internet to obtain the articles, these aren’t “websites” – these are actual magazine articles the library has in electronic format instead of print format. To access these databases, go to our website library.santaclaraca.gov. Click on the Research/Resources tab at the top; then click on Electronic Resources on the drop down menu. Scroll down to the Student Resources subject heading. Two excellent databases for older elementary and middle school students needing science research are Kids Search and Science Reference Center.
Top Secret Tip for 6-8 grades
Are you comparing the performance of items like laundry detergent in your experiment? Look at Consumer Reports – the library has it online as well as in print.