Maybe you organized your school’s fair last year. Or maybe you helped out last year and you are stepping up to take the reins. You are an innovator and want to make some simple tweaks to improve the whole experience for kiddos and their grownups. Here are some quick tips for you to consider as you embark on your super-hero role in inspiring kiddos to lead authentic Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) projects during your fair.
We at Science Fair Fun recognize the potential for Science & Engineering Fairs to be ideal incubators for inspiring and empowering our next generation of innovators when those fairs align with the following principles:
Whew! You have done all of the hard work of finishing up your Science & Engineering Fair project – congratulations! I’m sure you learned a ton. Now is your chance to celebrate and share all that you learned with your peers. No matter how your project turned out, you should be VERY proud of all that you learned along the way. Here are some good tips for putting it all together for your display.
A Science & Engineering Fair judge can either make or break a student’s passion for STEM. All too often, we’ve seen judges who are far too critical of students’ projects and don’t have a clear understanding of an appropriate level of work for the grade levels they are judging. Recruit professionals in your community who have connections to your school’s grade levels and provide them with clear instructions on how to assess students’ projects.
At just about any Science Fair, you see projects that are absolutely perfect! They have perfect procedures, perfect results, and perfect project boards. Unfortunately, sometimes these projects are examples of perfect plagiarism. They are either copied from a published project or are actually the parents’ work. These students totally get robbed of the opportunity to use their creativity and critical thinking.
After your child has completed their project, they can be sure that they’ve had a successful Science & Engineering Fair experience if they can honestly say they enjoyed the experience and feel confident and proud of what they did.
Break the cycle… Be an innovative planner and foster innovation at your school’s Science & Engineering Fair! It’s a lot of work, but with big rewards. Innovative planning might involve experimenting with new and different ways of running your fair.