alex's school is a science and technology magnet. so science fair time? kind of a big deal. and here's the thing - it's expected to be THEIR big deal.
most of the work is completed at school. they have a 45m homeroom period at the end of every day (it sounds crazy, but it's a cool concept. it serves as part study hall, and now that science fair is over they do exploratory classes in this time - alex signed up for one on app design) - and during the fall, that time is all about science fair. they have a workbook that walks them through all of the steps, from concept to research to execution. they have access to the library and their teachers, but the work that goes into the final product is their own.
alex's project this year was on the effect that different weights of paper had on a paper airplane's flight. we supplied the types of paper he asked for, helped him make sure his internet sources were sound, and had a minor parental freakout over his time manangement skills as he got down to the wire (he pulled it off. WHEW). everything else? all him.
it's not always easy as a parent to step back, bite your tongue, and let them go their own way (hence the aforementioned parently freakout). but it's amazing to see where it takes them.
in his case, it was 16/16 on the project, and a 2nd place ribbon. and that is all sorts of awesome.