Coaching Your Child Through Their Science Fair Project

A science fair project can take anywhere from one day to several months. The amount of effort that is put into a science fair is dependent upon the student working on the project and the amount of encouragement that they receive from their parents. While you cannot directly help your child complete their science fair project, you can coach them through the process.

Pre-Science Fair Activities

As your child’s science fair coach, your job is to keep them motivated and focused throughout the process. This job begins well before the science fair project actually starts. During the off season you need to encourage your kids to explore science and to learn about new discoveries that they can apply to their project. Field trips to museums and lectures are a great option for getting kids involved in science, as is working on family projects. The more excited you are about science, the more excited and interested your kids will be about science.

The Planning Meeting

After a science fair project has been assigned you need to sit down your child and plan out the project from start to finish. You can help this process by providing a large wall calendar or desk calendar where deadlines can be listed. Throughout the process remind your child when aspects of the project are due and help keep them focused on meeting each deadline. You will reduce both of your stress levels by spreading out the responsibilities of the science fair project over time, as opposed to allowing your child to procrastinate and try to finish 24 hours before the project is due.


Another coaching responsibility is to shop with your child for the materials that they need for their project. During this shopping trip ask your child about their ideas and what they want to accomplish with their project. Get excited about their ideas and provide them with encouragement and motivation.

Practice Runs

Towards the end of the science fair project, your child will need to come up with a presentation which explains their project. Your coaching job in this situation will be to listen to the presentation, to ask questions and to point out where improvement can be made. You can download and use the judge’s scoring manual to help point your child in the right direction. However, be careful not to be too judgmental or overly critical of their work. Point out the good parts as well as the parts that need improvement.

Guest Author Byline: Madeline Binder's Super Science Fair Projects has free science fair abstracts as well as science fair kits. Her Super Science Fair Projects Blog, has helpful tips for kids, parents, teachers and professors.