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How to Run a School Science Fair

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by

Nancy Lockwood

on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of How to Run a School Science Fair

What is Science Fair?
A forum for students to present results/observations from science investigations
Results presented as a
lab report
and a poster/
backboard
and by answering judges questions
Students get to study in-depth about something that interests them
Parts of the Science Fair Process
There are many parts of the Science Fair process and it can take several MONTHS to complete!
Set-up a timeline that "works" for guiding students to accomplish certain tasks by certain dates
If you want students to move beyond your class or school, teacher in charge MUST complete
official forms
by certain deadlines
Keep an eye on the Fulton County Science Portal
http://portal.fultonschools.org/departments/academics/Curriculum/Science/Pages/FultonCountyRegionalScienceEngineeringFair.aspx
Introduce the Science & Engineering Fair
August

TED Talks: Science Fair Winner
http://www.ted.com/talks/award_winning_teen_age_science_in_action.html
Hand out
expected Timeline
Send home
letters to Parents
: a LOT of work is down out of class and parents need to know)
Send home
partner letters


Picking a Topic
The HARDEST Part!!
Pass out
Intel ISEF Categories and Subcategories
http://www.societyforscience.org/Page.aspx?pid=470
Recommended: Only allow students to pick from standards that are covered in your grade-level (8th: chemistry, physics, engineering...no BIO)
Original Ideas are the best
Go to library and look at science books for inspiration
Use websites-www.sciencebuddies.com
Research the Topic and take LOTS of notes
Encourage students to use primary sources (books, encylopedias, etc.)
Students want to GOOGLE everything! (OK...if they can distinguish "good" from "bad" sources)
Teach and encourage use of Galileo
http://www.galileo.usg.edu/welcome/
Gale Infotrac
http://infotrac.galegroup.com/default
Take notes in SCIENCE LAB NOTEBOOK and record important info for bibliography OR for each source, use www.easybib.com or www.citationmachine.net to record sources

Design the Procedure and Submit a Project Proposal
Students complete
project proposa
l
Must define Independent and Dependent Variable
Students need to think about how they will measure dependent variable (what kind of data they are collecting)
If many students want to do the "same" experiment, encourage different variables or procedures.
Students think about how they will conduct the experiment and write a DETAILED procedure
sometimes it can't be done using time and material constraints
NO EXPERIMENTATION PERFORMED YET!
Teacher reviews and approves research plan
How to Run a Science Fair to Give Students an Authentic Science Experience
By Nancy Lockwood
Taylor Road Middle School, 8th Grade TAG Science

You can keep your fair within your classroom or...
Participate in the Fulton County Science and Engineering Fair
Friday Feb 7th-Feb 8th, 2014
At Taylor Road Middle...
8th Grade Only
Advanced and TAG students
200 students involved (3 teachers)
140 total projects (77 individual and 63 partner projects)
Optional but well-received: Judging of posters coincides with a parent night
Host a Science Fair for entire School (or maybe 1 grade level)
Only 5 projects from your school will be allowed
"
Official paperwork
" must be completed by certain deadlines if you are going to participate
Partipation at this level requires students to follow the guidelines set by ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair)
http://www.societyforscience.org/page.aspx?pid=282
Georgia State Science and Engineering Fair
March 27th-29th, 2014
1st place winners from County Fair allowed to move onto the State Fair
Held in Athens, GA (UGA)
http://www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/ppd/courses/academic-special-programs/georgia-science-and-engineering-fair
Begin Experimentation
Start ASAP after Teacher Approval!
Often, things don't go as planned, students must have time to redesign experiment (good!...this happens to REAL scientists!)
The SCIENCE FAIR NOTEBOOK: Record EVERYTHING!!
Judges will look favorably on a notebook that has a lot of info. Messy is good!
Collecting, Graphing and Analyzing Data
Teachers may have to teach or reteach how to use excel or other graphing program
If possible, coordinate data analysis with Math teacher (Do your students know what to DO with their data?)
Students should AT LEAST be taking averages.
Will they make a line plots or bar graphs?
Are they able to do more sophisticated statistical analysis of data? (Standard Deviation? Linear Regression? Correlation Coefficients?)
Remind students that even a "bad" result or "no" result can be reported as information
The Formal Report
Full transcript