You have an important role in supporting your young people to undertake a scientific investigation or engineering design project by encouraging their curiosity and helping them to develop their problem-solving skills.
For students participating in the Awards, there are entry conditions and safety requirements that need to be considered, and you might like to review further information on planning and conducting a project, as well as reporting via a written report and a poster display (PDF 1.5 MB) and speaking with judges.
Three things you can do to support your student
- Review the basic steps of the scientific method or engineering design process yourself. Understanding what is involved will help you feel more confident about the step-wise approach that most projects follow.
- Remember that being "right" is not the goal. A project may not turn out the way your student expects. This doesn't mean the project failed. If your student worked through the appropriate steps and learned something from what went wrong, then the project may, in fact, have been a success.
- Go along to the Project Presentation Day or Awards Evening. Make an effort to see your student's project on display, one poster display among all the others, and to celebrate the hard work and learning that went on as part of the project.
You can help your student in other ways too. Talk about what is happening as they work on their project so that they are better able to understand and articulate what they observe, what problems are encountered, or what else they may need to do in developing their project or analysing their data. You can help out with getting supplies for their project or their poster display. Just taking an interest in your student's project will make all the difference.
Participating in the Awards can be the first step in entering other inquiry-based competitions such as the Tasmanian Science Talent Search.
View the Parent checklist if you're feeling a bit lost.