I cannot stress enough how important it is to take into consideration the materials list for any cool science fair project ideas you are looking at for the upcoming years science fair. Materials can honestly make or break you project and be the difference between a positive and negative experience.
Here are some tips.
**If there is no materials list on the project you are looking at, keep looking. Even online in the summary, a sample materials list should be included. If there isnt one you run the risk of discovering you need something else right in the middle of your experiment, and that is not good. The other problem can be the cost of the material. You do not want to buy a cool project idea and then have it ending up costing you more that you thought.
**Most projects can be done with simple everyday things you can find at home. Or they would be things a trip to the hardware store or grocery store or craft store could take care of. When you look at a materials list make a mental not of how easy or hard it will be to find these things. If you are dealing with a last minute project you shouldnt be running off to the store to buy things. If you have time, then that wont matter so much. If there are things on the list that cannot be found easily, then it might be worth thinking twice or to keep looking. The younger the student the more important that is.
**As kids get older, the project they are doing are often more specialized so it might mean you need a special ingredient. That is fine, just be sure you know the safety steps that you need to have in place to use them, how long it will take to ship and of course the cost. Often with kids this age it is the special ingredients that makes them really cool science project ideas.
**With older students you also run into the need to get specialized equipment. It might be they have to build a frame stand or whatever, and so will need to use power tools and of course have the right supervision and safety equipment. It might mean having to use the schools equipment in the science lab which means scheduling the time to make that happen. It might mean buying a kit or borrowing or renting something . These things are what your professional scientists run into, they build the equipment they need themselves in order to run the experiment!
**With younger elementary school students you do not want the hassle, you want them to focus on the cool science project ideas they came up with and following the steps to make that project a success. This is the age where building good science investigation habits is so important, and it is a lot easier to do that when there is no hassle with the materials.
The bottom line is that choosing a cool school science fair project , means taking a close look at the materials!