A NASA Engineer’s Advice for Winning School Science Fairs

Put down your baking soda volcano! It might be a fun project, but it’s probably a little too tried and true to win the school science fair. You may want to throw out all the other overused ideas that have lost their power to impress as well. 

Popular projects like plant growth, invisible ink, and even balloon-powered cars all make great in-home science experiments, but they might not impress the judges. 

Instead, consider this former NASA engineer’s advice for winning:

Science fairs don’t have to be a source of stress. They’re meant to be an exciting way for children to explore and learn. Who knows? Participation could lead to a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field. It can boost creativity, encourage creative problem solving and help the child learn critical thinking skills. 

Working with your child on a project is also a wonderful way to spend quality time with them. Remember: you don’t need to be a NASA engineer to come up with something different and exciting.

Keep in mind that the goal is to have fun and learn — not just to win. Still, with these helpful tips, don’t be surprised if you walk away with the first-place prize!