School science projects serve many purposes, helping kids develop skills in research, organization, presentation and communication. Science projects are an example of active learning, allowing kids to learn through hands-on experience.
Choosing and developing an idea for a science project often involves significant research on a given topic. This process can build skills in library and Internet research, which are easily applicable to other subjects in school and in life. Creating or deciding on project ideas also gives kids a chance to exercise their creativity.
For many students, particularly younger ones, a science project may be the longest and most in-depth project they have ever undertaken. Unlike simple homework assignments completed in a night or two, work on a science project typically takes places over the course of weeks or months. Students must learn to manage their time and organize the different stages of the project, which can develop skills that transfer far beyond the scope of the project.
After completing the project, students must typically present and discuss their work, developing communication skills along the way. Honing a presentation and learning to field questions from judges can help kids work on their ability to talk to adults, think on the spot and organize a presentation. Students who progress to higher levels of competition can also learn about revising their presentations in order to make them more effective.