I’m all about celebrating the simple joys. So then, why am I talking about science fair projects?! Most moms in the middle of “science fair season” wouldn’t list science fair among their simple joys. Ha! Hear me out though….
Our kids just got done with science fair at their middle school and pffff… it’s always a lot of work. This year, they had such cool science fair projects though that it made the whole process more exciting and fun. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we have been reading the book The Nature Fix by Florence Williams as a family. This book inspired the projects both our kids chose to work on.
I wanted to share them here as it’s hard to find cool projects that will help your kids learn while at the same time making the work relevant to something they can relate to in real life.
While the materials for these projects are not free, both projects can be completed for less than the cost of taking the family to the movies. For both projects you will need a blood pressure monitor which you can buy for about $17.
Project 1: “Can you smell health?”
This project questions the effects of Hinoki oil on our blood pressure and pulse. Hinoki oil comes from the Japanese cypress and is an essential oil that has been used for meditation and relaxation. You can purchase it for about $10 online. After your child completes their project, you can use it in your diffuser to help your family to relax after all that science fair work! :0)
To do the experiment:
Project 2: “Seeing Health in Nature”
This science fair project studies the effects of seeing nature images and city images on your blood pressure and pulse. Since we spend a lot of time in nature, we have a lot of nature photographs (you can check out some of my favorites on my instagram). We printed these on a larger sheet of photographic paper along with city images on a separate sheet. The printing cost about $8 for both sheets but you could certainly print the images at home if you have a good color printer.
To do the experiment:
The best part of doing these science fair projects was that as our kids asked people to participate to be tested, others were so curious about the effects on their blood pressure, they volunteered and asked to be tested as well. In our kids’ experiments, both the Hinoki oil and the nature images lowered the subjects’ blood pressure on average.
While I’m not going into the details of how to interpret the results of the data or what information to include on the project presentation (I trust your child's teacher has given clear instructions), I wanted to share these projects here. I hope they will inspire your kids to enjoy their science fair project and possibly consider a nature inspired project (one of these projects or a variation) that helps them learn about the positive effects of nature.
If you don't have a child working on science fair, count your blessings! ;0) Just get out there and know it's good for you!
Does your child’s school conduct a science fair? How do you support your child's learning to make it relevant to real life?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!