Science Fair Projects can be really exciting, especially now with all the opportunities the internet gives us. Most kids know how to use a computer for fun and spend, on an average, five hours a week surfing the net. As parents, we would like to encourage them to use some of their computer time for schoolwork and educational projects. And researching scientific ideas and the scientific method are certainly a good use of their time. But in addition, there are many other great reasons for encouraging your children to do science fair projects.* A science fair project is an activity that integrates almost every skill or art children have been taught. Students must learn how to apply their existing abilities to new areas, as well as learn many new skills. A science fair project can involve reading, logical thinking, writing, grammar and spelling, math, statistics and data analysis, computer science, and graphic arts, as well as scientific methodology. If a student participates in a formal competition, then they will also practice public speaking, and learn how to explain and defend their work in front of a panel of judges.* Participating in science fair projects help develop a feeling of confidence and competence among students, and fosters a spirit of scientific inquiry. Projects usually involve scientific questions that the student is interested in, and a specific topic they have chosen for themselves. Participants must research their question, learn and apply the scientific method to create a valid experiment, and think about the meaning of their results. Some kids get so immersed in their project that they forget about other factors like prizes or the fact that they are actually learning new skills. Science fairs are also a way for students to demonstrate motivation, self-learning, critical thinking, ethics and other important skills and traits.* A science fair project is an experience that can be challenging and self-validating. Many students actually do important research and discover previously unknown facts.* Many science fairs offer cash prizes, which can be a significant incentive for some people. They also help open the doors of academic opportunity for students. Winners at regional fairs receive recognition for their work, and gain the right to participate at state-level and higher-level competitions.* Some of those kids (maybe yours someday) qualify for the international competition at the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Here the level of cash prizes is significant. In addition, those whose projects qualify for international competitions are judged by the best in the world: top scientists and people from industry. Imagine your child having his or her project judged by a Nobel Laureate. These kinds of things do immeasurable good for the confidence of the student and certainly encourage them further in all of their activities.These are just of few of the many different benefits of science fair projects. Even if you, as a parent, secretly dread the idea, your help and encouragement with this endeavor will provide life-long advantages for your children.