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Science/STEM fair

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Laura Donaldson Laura Donaldson 710 Points

Has anyone run a science/STEM fair at your middle school and have a participants packet you can share with me? We are looking to do one this year, but need some guidance. Thanks!

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92326 Points

Hi Laura,
I am not sure what you mean, but I found this site about the Internet Science and Technology Fair. Your text to link here.... Is there a website for the science fair organization that you are working with?

Laura Donaldson Laura Donaldson 710 Points

We are just trying to organize a school-wide fair and are trying to get some ideas. Thanks

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92326 Points

Hi Laura,
There are some excellent resources at this discussion thread: Science Fail. . . and this discussion thread:
Science Fair Topics
Also, if you have a regional and state science fair, there should be contact persons that can mentor you for your first time. I was a school sponsor, regional chair, and held a couple different titles at my state's fair for several years. So if you have some specific questions, I might be able to help you. Ask away. If I don't know the answer, someone else will.
There are several different discussion threads that may be of help to you in your endeavor. As you ask your questions, we can provide those links for you.
Good luck on this new adventure. The end results will justify all the hard work you and your students are about to undertake.
Carolyn

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25645 Points

Be sure to check out Science Buddies at http://www.sciencebuddies.org/index_A.htm The teacher page has worksheets for planning, scheduling, and judging fairs. They also have a wonderful data base of projects that students can use to develop their ideas.

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92326 Points

Laura, Here are a few more helpful websites for science fairs: Super Science Fair Support CenterDragonfly Science Fair [url=http://www.ipl.org/div/projectguide/] Science Fair from the Internet Public Library[/url]

Lorrie Armfield Lorrie Armfield 51438 Points

Great Site: Discovery Education http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/ Science Buddies http://www.sciencebuddies.org/ Science Fair Project Resource Guide http://www.ipl.org/div/projectguide/

Kelly Amendola Kelly Amendola 10320 Points

I knew I would be able to find resources about science fairs on here. I'm in charge of the schools science fair and these resources really helped. Thank you.

Laura Jones Laura Jones 9735 Points

Please look at my Student Web page for our Science Fair. This year we focused on the environment, but there are many good links attached for other areas also. http://www.fcps.edu/McNairES/studentweb/searchpage.html It is in the middle of the page.

Staceylyn Machi Staceylyn Machi 3670 Points

Thanks for the great STEM websites. As we move towards an engineering initiative, these are super helpful.

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92326 Points

Laura said, "Please look at my Student Web page for our Science Fair. ". I did, Laura, and I was very excited to see some resources that I had not heard of before. Nice job! Thanks for sharing your hard work. How did you fair go, or is it still going? (Welcome to the discussion thread, Staceylyn!)

Nancy Iaukea Nancy Iaukea 2710 Points

Laura, Great to see that you are including STEM as a main component of your science fair. I have been taking my students for the last couple of years to our District/State science fairs with the focus of many of their projects being on endangered or invasive species in our state, or energy/sustainability projects. It is such a fantastic way to get our students involved in their communities and their local environments. It is also a fantastic way to introduce concepts through a cross-curricular approach. Keep up the good work and enjoy!

Linda Martin Linda Martin 1645 Points

Hi! A few years ago (3-4) I came up with this idea for a Science Share Fair. The three topics for students to choose from were the Environment, Engineering Solutions, and Energy. This year we also added Space. It's been working pretty well because some students plan an experiment, some innovate and engineer a solution, others make a model. All students choose a topic of interest and research and see where that leads them. Every year we invite a Scientist / Engineer of the Year. Last year we had an Environmentalist from the EPA who was a graduate of our elementary, middle school, and high school years ago. She gave a keynote address and set the tone. Then she was also a part of the judges team. All students received a ribbon for participation but only 30 out of the 90 "won" a top prize- a medal and a field trip. It was very exciting and you could definitely see that most of the students completely owned their project. This year will be the first year we've included the second graders. They are doing so well! It's amazing the ideas they are coming up with. One team is researching zoos and how they help endangered animals. One boy is researching the dire wolf, a prehistoric wolf. Very fascinating. There is another team who is delving into chemistry and I cannot believe how much they are learning and how excited they are. I don't know what their application will be yet but I know it will be their own idea. :) I think when we say STEM in terms of a science fair what we're really saying is how can we incorporate engineering. Today one boy was telling me about how he wants to turn a bicycle wheel into a water wheel. He has a pretty cool engineering project going. This is going to be a highlight of our year and I'm glad I got to share some of our ideas with you! Linda

Linda, Thanks for sharing your ideas about infusing a science fair with STEM and an option for engineering projects. It seems like a valuable learning experience for interested kids to be able to explore the engineering design process and design, build, test, iterate some sort of product useful to the world (i.e. that cool project you mentioned turning a bicycle set-up into a waterwheel). Cool idea! Marissa @ TeachEngineering

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25645 Points

Our school just had a STEaM Day---putting the arts in STEM. It wasn't really a science fair, it was more like a career day where the kids rotated through sessions with various presenters. Each student rotated through 6 (30-minute) sessions. The day started with a keynote speaker and ended with an assembly---it was a lot to put together but I just looked at the evaluation forms and the students seemed to really enjoy the day and would like it repeated. Lots of the sessions were interactive (like water testing) which helped to strengthen student interest in the sciences.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Hi Patty, I know that you have great experience with these types of days and that you could be a great mentor to many of us who have not organized such an active and interactive day. Could you please share your organizational ideas with us and guide us to identifying outside resources as well as in-school resources that may mesh together in vibrant ways? Thanks a bunch for sharing more specifics. ~p

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25645 Points

Hi Patty, Some good places to get speakers include local colleges. Another good place is to go to your state website for natural resources. We were able to obtain speakers from the Fish and Boat Commission, the Game Commission, and from some local parks. I also had a number of high school students that came to the middle school to present---the middle school kids really enjoyed the high school presenters! The high school kids included the robotics club, the electric car club, two boys that had started a landscaping business, and some members from the drama club. You can also ask parents to present---those that have experience running activities such as boy scouts or girl scouts usually make good presenters.

Uriel Richardson Uriel Richardson 2395 Points

This sounds like a wonderful idea for any school or school system. I would like to find out information on this idea as well. Thanks!

Wendy Ruchti Wendy Ruchti 24875 Points

I just attended the NSTA STEM Forum and there were several presentations on STEM Fairs, along with A LOT of handouts, forms etc. I just did a quick search using the advanced search using key words "STEM fair" and where it says "individual resources", click on the drop down menu and choose "conference materials". I found a lot of really great resources. Here is the link to the advanced search... http://learningcenter.nsta.org/search.aspx Hope it makes someone's life easier!

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