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:
- “I am proud of myself for exploring my science or engineering question!”
- “Science and engineering are cool!”
- “I want to explore the science and engineering all around me!”
- “I know what scientists and engineers do!”
- “I can be a scientist or engineer if I want to!”
Notice that “I want to be a scientist or engineer!” is not part of a successful SEF experience. If they decide that they want to be a scientist or engineer when they grow up, then that’s great! But if they don’t, then that is just as great! We all are able to reach the positive outcomes of our Science & Engineering Fair experiences, without wanting to be a scientist or engineer when we grow up.
Successful Science & Engineering Fair projects aren’t always “winning” projects. That’s just the way it works some times. If your child doesn’t win, just remind them of what success means. It might take a little work to be sure that they have realistic expectations before they begin their project. Just remind them to always do their best and be proud of what they do!