Many elementary school students participate in math fairs, which are much like traditional science fairs. These fairs show off students' work in math and present awards for quality work. When picking topics to create meaningful math fair projects, fifth-graders use guidance from parents and teachers. These students show that math is not just crunching numbers but a integral part of everyday life.
A project can reveal the numbers appearing most frequently on two rolled dice. The fifth-grader uses a frequency chart numbered two to 12 to record the sum that two rolled dice produce. For example, if two rolled dice display a one and a four, then the student would put a mark in the fives column of the frequency chart. After she repeats the process 100 times, she totals each column of the frequency chart and then makes a line graph from the results. The line graph should be a bell-shaped curve.
To demonstrate container volume for a project, a student finds 12 food and beverage containers of different shapes and sizes in his home. He measures the dimensions and calculates the volume of the containers. Then he illustrates a poster board showing each container and labels the volume.
A project that displays survey results begins with generating 10 simple questions that classmates can answer. Questions may include: What is your favorite food? What is your favorite movie? What is your favorite pet? The fifth-grader compiles the answers and displays the results as fractions in a graph. For example, perhaps 9/10 of her classmates like pizza, and 3/5 of them like cats.
A student can create a dictionary that defines all the geometry terms used in the fifth grade. The project may include illustrations and examples of each term. The fifth-grader binds the dictionary and decorates its cover. After the math fair, he could present the dictionary to the school librarian or his teacher for use by future students.