For weeks, The Boy and I (with occasional help from his siblings and Daddy) have been working on his science fair project. In review, he had chosen to experiment with UV sensitive beads to determine what items would best protect you from UV rays.
We have actually been done with the experiment for well over a week and have been patiently awaiting some graphs I had ordered prints of (my laser printer is only black & white so I was hoping for a few color graphs). While we waited for the prints, we put together the rest of his display board.
We had been very pleased with the way his Popcorn display board turned out for the science fair in 3rd grade (he didn't have to do one in 4th grade). He wound up with an Honorable Mention ribbon. That was a very fun project for The Boy - though we were eating popcorn for a couple weeks afterwards. We learned that not only did we get MORE popped popcorn from the generic brand, but we also preferred the taste of the generic brand, too (Food Lion's store brand).
That board was black from the very start so creating an eye-catching display with black, white and red was easy. This time, though, we didn't have a clear picture as to what colors we would use and neither of us were pleased with the white background of the display board supplied (for a fee) by the school. We strayed from the "3 color rule" and just did what The Boy decided on - a sun, blue sky and green grass.
We used acrylic paints and a roller to roll on the blue sky. It added some interesting texture to the board. We got some neon colored posterboard and made the sun using yellow and orange. The sun had to be big enough to display his title. We bordered the base of the display with "grass" using the neon green.
We backed the headings in red to make them stand out more and because they matched his "photo journal".
The photo journal was an early idea to include pictures of the active UV beads and individual experiment results. Pictures wouldn't fit on his display board with all his data and graphs so we placed everything in a photo book from Snapfish.
The photo journal included everything from how he came up with the idea through his hypothesis, materials, procedure, experiments, data, results and conclusion, to his "Thank You's" at the end. We thought it would make a great keepsake for later when the science fair display board is long gone.
With everything else completed, we were still waiting for his graphs to show up. It was the day before the project was due when they finally showed up in the mail (next time I think I'll just have The Boy make 2 copies of each graph).
School days are already hectic enough without having to add to it the frenzy from trying to properly glue on the most important part of the science fair display board. But with the graphs finally attached, the "results" section (and the entire display board) was complete.
The next morning we toted the project to his school. He was very optimistic about the judging that night because after school he came out and said "Well, I'm pretty confident. Everyone rushed over to see what my project was." That night at the science fair, I found out why. Apparently, a lot of kids didn't put as much work into their display as we had put into his. There were several really good looking displays and other very nice, informative experiments, but overall, you could tell most of the projects were rush jobs. This one was one of my favorites of "that" bunch:
I think I was more nervous than The Boy while the judging was going on. Parents had to leave the classroom while the panel of judges questioned the students. Their verbal explanation of the experiment was worth half of the overall score and with him being the shy guy he is, well...my heart went out to him. I knew he knew the information but I was concerned with how well he'd be able to present it.
The kids weren't going to find out until the morning announcements today who actually won the science fair. The Boy is hoping for a 2nd or 3rd place ribbon (but he chose to wear a blue shirt to think positive for a 1st place ribbon). He knows he did well. I know he did well. I just hope there is some confirmation from the school that he did well, too so he continues to do it in future science fairs throughout middle school.
Update: The Boy brought home a second place ribbon for his project! He was very pleased except that he was "beat by a girl".