Every school year around this time the buzzword in our house coming from the school is “Science Fair”. This is the time when our kids are being told that they will have to submit an experiment or project for the upcoming science fair that will take place in the next two months. Some schools may have their science fairs at different times of the year but the anxiety created mostly among the parents is all the same. For me it brings back memories to when I was a child in elementary school and participated in the science fair. Every year I would go to the fair and be marveled by the experiments that always seemed to be a bit better than mine. There was always your assortment of usual experiments like the exploding or foaming volcano, the potato clock, or growing mold on bread. I recall doing a presentation once on Sow bugs (pill bugs) known now as the woodlouse. I gathered a bunch of these sow bugs from our backyard and kept them in a glass jar with wood and leaves inside. I did research at the library on them and put my findings together on a large piece of oak tag. My project was not that impressive and lets just say I didn’t get a blue ribbon that year from the judges.
Nowadays in many schools they give ribbons or prizes to everyone who participates which I think just leads to mediocrity. But lets leave that discussion for another time. Today I would like to talk about how we can use Netflix to inspire our young minds and spur their creativity. Your probably wondering how in the world is watching something on Netflix going to help my children with their science fair projects. Well its not really going to give you specific science project ideas but it will certainly inspire your children and get their creative juices going. For example there is a series available on Netlfix called “Watch How Stuff Works.” It is a great series that shows you how common everyday things in our live work. For example have you ever wondered how food scientists get food to taste so great? Or maybe you interested in how wheat has over 1000 uses in our foods and other products.
Another show that is very interesting and really worth a look is called “How do they do it?” This show looks more at the technology of machines, processes, and other things we may see in our everyday life. For example one episode examines how they build skyscrapers, how to earthquake proof buildings, how does de-icing work, and how is perfume made. There are many different episodes that are really interesting once you see them. I have always been fascinated at finding out how things in my world are accomplished.
I have two shows on Netflix that are personal favorites that are “Extreme Engineering” and “Myth Busters.” These are both original series from the Discovery Channel that are available to stream on Netflix. In “Extreme Engineering” they take a look at how monumental and extreme projects like the building of The Gothard Tunnel the worlds largest rail tunnel is being done. Or how engineers are building a ski resort in the Desert city of Dubai. The show is simply amazing. If you like big machines and big ideas you will love this series. Now “Myth Busters” is a show that most people have probably heard of. It’s hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take viewers on a fantastic journey into busting some of the craziest myths out there. Like if you drop a penny off the Empire State Building and it hits someone in the head it will kill them. Or the myth of the exploding toilet bowl. Lets just say if you watch this show you’re in for some real fun, excitement, and explosions.
All of the shows that I have mentioned are available for streaming though Netflix. They are great ways to spend educational quality time or “EQT” with your family. And you never know you may not only inspire the next great science fair project but also the next great scientist.
Get Science Fair Inspiration from These 12 Titles on Netflix
For your big kids
1. How Stuff Works
2. How Do They Do It
3. Is It Possible?
4. Build It Bigger
5. How the Universe Works
6. Extreme Engineering
And for your little kids
1. Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius
2. Peep and the Big Wide World
3. Magic School Bus: All Dried Up
4. Animal Mechanicals
5. Wild Kratts
Need a project inspiration? I found this quick and easy light bulb experiment. Click here to learn how to create your own.
I wrote this post on behalf of Netflix as a member of Netflix Stream Team. No compensations is received. All opinions are my own.