Developed by:PBS Kids
Sid's Science Fair is an educational app based on the television show Sid the Science Kid on PBS Kids. In the app, kids learn about a variety of early science concepts at three different science stations. In Collection Inspection, kids closely examine a collection of butterflies, leaves, buttons, and other items with a magnifying glass. They try to spot three specific elements, as well as explore on their own. In Chart It, kids categorize and sort objects by color, type, position, pattern, or other criterion. By placing items on a chart, it helps them visualize data. In Time Machine, kids choose from a large number of things to see in action. Kids first put a series of five pictures in chronological order, and then they get to see nine pictures of the same object in action. Kids tilt the device or run their fingers along a strip to see the change over time in both directions. (Common Sense Media)
Prepare to use this app by using either of the following activities:
- The Parts of a Scientist!Scientists have extremely observant eyes to notice and analyze really cool, yet tiny details! In the center “Inspection Collection” featured in this app, your child will have to find and match specific details. Help prepare your child for this by choosing objects from around the house or yard and encourage them to spend as much time as they can give to looking really closely at the object’s details. What do they see? Why is it an interesting detail? What do they like about the object, or find particularly interesting? Why? Do you happen to have a magnifying glass at home? If so, let your little scientist use it and watch them discover really awesome, yet tiny details!
- Let’s go to the Mart & Chart!Another center featured in this app is called “Chart It’ and your child will get the chance to chart different kinds of data. Help them prepare for this activity by introducing the idea of a chart and head to the mart. Before you shop for groceries, give them a blank piece of paper with a chart on it that includes any categories of your choice on the left in rows such as fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and so on. As you shop, they can tally the items you put into your cart by putting a tally mark in the corresponding row. You can easily modify this activity to match any errand or outing you might be embarking on that day.
Help your child get the most out this app experience by trying the following activity:
That’s a Cool Fact!
While using this app, your child will be be interacting with the app, thinking, observing, organizing, sorting, and so on. Add another component to keep your child focused by asking them to jot down a few notes after each center on anything they learned that was either new information, or that they found really cool & interesting! Afterwards, based on their interests or hobbies, have them reflect on and share their learning through:
an original song, rap, or poem
a play or “movie”
- a small booklet of drawings or sketches
Extend your child’s learning by using either of the following activities:
- Your Very Own Science Show!Did this app spark your child’s curiosity about everyday objects in your own home? We hope so! Ask your little scientist to choose an object to either closely analyze for tiny details or chart. Whichever they decide to do, have them draw a life size picture of the object or data chart on cardboard or butcher paper and jot the tiny details they noticed or their data. Afterwards, have them star in their own “Sid’s Science Fair” show by explaining their findings in front of friends or family members, and take questions from “audience members” to help them retain the information they learned!
- Take Action!Being a scientist means observing the world around you very closely - so much in fact that you sometimes notice problems and work hard to try and find solutions. Task your child with this goal from this point forward. What do they notice about the world around them? Their community? Their school? What can they fix on their own, or with help from others? Have your child create an “Observing & Building a Better World” chart, decorate and color it, and leave on your fridge, or in your child’s room; somewhere that they can revisit the idea and add to it from time to time. Some sentence starters you can include on the chart: Today I observed...A problem I tried to fix today is...Some examples of observations, or problems include noticing litter, pollution, and so on. Their observations need not only be “problems”, encourage them to notice the beauty around them as well. This chart can be a great discussion starter at mealtimes and, help build more appreciation for the world around them and further instill that they can make a difference in the world, no matter their age!