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Science Fair Secrets!

About

you, me, and my kids

 

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Learn the 3 Secrets to Winning from a science fair judge, teacher, and mom. It could be life changing. Make this science fair the best ever!

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Hi! Welcome to Anytime Science!

I read hundreds of science experiments every year, and I know a couple things science is not. It’s not memorizing from a book or copying something someone else has already done. Science is brains-on, hands-on, and much more exciting. (Like me, wandering around the Amazon rainforest spying the interesting wildlife.)

And do you know the purpose of doing science experiments? It’s to make the world a better place!

How to think like a scientist?

Science is looking around the world with wonder and asking questions. Which of these options will work better? How can I make what I need? Will this spider jump on my face if I get too close? And science is trying to figure out the answer.

Be original. Make things up. Be more creative – starting today. Science is Flying to Mars, and other totally unbelievable things.

Making your own discoveries is what Thinking like a Scientist is all about.

Who are you?

Whether you are a homeschool mom, unschooler, your kid goes to private school or world school, you are a public school teacher, or whatever else, I think we all want our kids to learn to think for themselves – that is the goal. Our children will be the next scientists, and bakers, and librarians, and auto-shop workers, and they all need to be able to ask questions and figure out how the world works. It’s not just about science, it’s about life.

Did you know science includes ice cream sundaes, magic tricks, spiny cactus, designing a kite, Facebook use, ballet, your pet python, rainy days, your deepest thoughts, and everything in between! Science is everywhere. There is not one single thing that you can’t make into a science experiment.

So get your curiosity caps on and let’s go exploring…

Me

Hi, I’m Lani Yamafuji and here is a quickie timeline of my life.

California girl > Illinois > optometrist > wife > Missouri > stay-at-home mother x2 > Arizona > SAHM x3 > science teacher > explorer

As a mom, I love doing hands-on activities with my three kids. But, it wasn’t until my first child was in 2nd grade that I learned about the science fair. It was confusing and we had no idea what we were doing. Of course we did it all wrong and had a major flop in the fair. But, we still had fun! In the following years our curiosity, crafting, and science somehow made a perfect match, and we were hooked.

Teaching Science

After my children finished elementary school, I decided to become a science teacher and share my new joy of science. (Yeah, life leads in some strange directions!) My second year as a K-6 science teacher, my school won Top Elementary School at the State Regional Science Fair for having the most winning projects. Now, I have been a science fair judge for the past 10+ years, so I look at all science experiments through judge’s eyes.

Top Elementary Science Fair Winners

All of these kids are Science Fair Winners!

My Kids

Matthew – My oldest son won his first science fair in 4th grade. He measured how much his lung capacity grew over the 4 months of summer swim team practice. It grew a lot compared to his brother who wasn’t on swim team! When he was in 8th grade he was a finalist in the national Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge in Washington DC. He won a minor planet named after him!

Daniel – My second son won hundreds of dollars for his science projects at SARSEF, the Southern Arizona Research, Science, and Engineering Foundation science fair. In 4th grade he measured whether spit pH has anything to do with how many cavities his classmates had – it did. In 5th grade he rolled 4, 5, 6, and 7 sided dice to see if the numbers came out evenly – they didn’t.

Olivia – My daughter won her first science fair in Kindergarten. She tested left handers (since she is left handed) to see if they used their left hand for everything, or just for some things – most left handers sometimes used their right hand. In 7th grade, she was a semifinalist in the national Broadcom MASTERS science and engineering competition.

My kids won over a dozen science fairs. With the simple formulas I’m going to show you, you can too! (Hint: It’s all about being creative and asking a good question)

Enjoy,

Lani

P.S. A good place to start is What is a Science Experiment?