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Middle School Science Fairs

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Full Member
+2
2 years ago
Do you have a science fair at your school? Are students required to participate or is it voluntary? How long before the science fair date do you begin to introduce it in class? How much time in class do you devote to teaching students how to complete a science fair project? Are ribbons/certificates/etc. awarded to top projects? If so, who judges the projects? Do you have a science fair that is integrated with some other curriculum area (i.e., a science and art fair, a STEAM fair, etc.)? I would love to get some feedback from other teachers on any or all of these questions!
Full Member
+7
2 years ago
Why It's Time to Rethink School Science Fairs

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/50849/why-its-time-to-rethink-school-science-fairs
Full Member
1 year ago
Thanks for sharing!
Basic Member
3 months ago
Good :)
Limited Access Member
3 days ago
WE have been hosting a science fair at our school for the past 15 years. It has evolved quite a bit to the fair it is currently. We first started with grades 4-8 participating. This was really hard for our 4th and 5th graders and ended up being a parent project instead of a student investigation. Also, by the time the students were in the 8th grade, they were tired of the project and felt it was a chore instead of a learning experience. We now host a school fair for our 7th graders only. This includes 52 kids who start the project in August with a question and finish up in February with presenting their project to outside judges. The idea is taken from the big question and done almost entirely at school in all subject areas. Our language arts teacher has the students research and write a 5-6 page paper to enhance their background knowledge, while the science teacher helps them form a hypothesis and procedures for testing the big question. Our math and technology teachers help the students make sense of and analyze the data, and our social studies teacher helps them with their verbal presenting skills. All in all it is an invaluable learning experience for the children.
Limited Access Member
3 days ago
This is a very interest article, especially for a teacher who runs a school science fair. I often go back and forth on having the students judged and making the fair a competition, but I come down on the side that I believe it is a valuable experience for the children. The judges that I use are all scientists and/or teachers and are judging the students on their project and what they leaned through the process. The students can have very simple projects and still move on to the district and state level. They also can have projects that do not support their hypothesis or have more errors than they expected and still move on to the district fair. The judges are looking for scientific growth and knowledge gained over everything and that is where I see this as a valuable experience. The need for students to talk to other scientists about their projects and knowledge is key to growth. We also encourage the students to choose a project that they are passionate about so they will be passionate presenters. Again, thank you for sharing this information. I think it is always good to evaluate science fairs for the concepts that you mentioned to make sure the goal of growth and learning are being met.
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