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By Madeline Binder
Final projects are a great way to cap off a year of science education. Many middle school science classes assign a big project to be completed either by the end of the first semester of the school year or by the end of the second semester. These projects are used to gauge how much students have learned, as well as to determine if the student is progressing at an appropriate rate. Here are six possible ways to evaluate student progress.
#1 – Science Journal Project
The first final project that science teachers can assign is a semester or year long science journal project. For this project students will keep a journal for the specified period. They will be required to make a minimum number of entries and they will be required to hit a minimum page count. Teachers can assign subjects for the students to write on each week or they can allow students to pick their own topics.
#2 – Process Report
The second final project that middle school science teachers can assign is a process report. This project will require students to select a science process and to develop a thesis statement around it. The thesis statement can predict a relationship between the process and other factors or it can examine the application of this process. Since this is a final project the page count will be between eight and ten pages.
#3 – Science Fair Projects
A science fair project always makes a good final project option. These projects can be used to evaluate how well students have mastered the scientific method, as well as be used to determine the ability of the student to problem solve and to think critically. This is a great option for 6th through 8th grade students.
#4 – Teach a Class
Another project that can be assigned is a “Teach a Class” project. For this project each student or group of students will be asked to teach a science class. They will be given a topic and instructions on how to develop a lesson plan. Students will then need to develop an informational lecture, a guided learning activity, an independent learning activity and they will be required to evaluate their students’ work.
#5 – Science Demonstrations
A science demonstration is another way to test the science skill proficiency of a student. Since this is a final project option the demonstration will need to include background information on the process or concept that is being demonstrated. Students will also need to write up a report on their concept that includes the steps for the demonstration.
#6 – Comprehensive Examination
One of the quickest ways to evaluate how your students have progressed over the school year is to give a comprehensive exam. A comprehensive exam will cover all of the concepts that were studied during the semester or the year. These exams can be made up of multiple questions, short answers and essay questions. You can also create an exam that includes only one essay question.
About the Author: I have been in the education profession for over 25 years. I am dedicated to providing students, teachers and parents with ways to be more active in the
and to have fun with science.