Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Science Fair

Well, it's that time of the year at my school! It's a time of beakers and bunsen burners, test tubes and tally charts, hypotheses and headaches...yes, it's science fair time at my school!!

I love science. If I could bring myself to say I 'Puffy Heart' anything, Science might be that something. It was one of my favourite subjects. The kinaesthetic kid in me was free for forty minutes as we tried, tinkered, and tested questions in the search for understanding. The mess was a price I was willing to pay to see things spark, smoke, sink, slide, sit, swing or sizzle (try saying THAT five times, fast).

And now that you're done trying to say "spark, smoke, sink, slide, sit, swing or sizzle" five times fast, I can get back to my point.

I have mIxEd oPiNiOnS about science fairs.

Some demonstrations are wicked and child produced and show some real curiousity combined with investigation.

Then there are those that lack in these departments and I can't help but think 'the point was lost' and that makes me sad. And forgive me when I say part of this let down is on the teachers.

Now, put away the torches and the pitchforks! I said 'PART' (see above). Let me explain. Teachers are not entirely to blame. There are other reasons science fair projects flop (lazy kids, poor resources, not enough parent support, too much parent support, ...the list goes on) but the reason that is directly in our power to change is our comfort and knowledge in how to make a fantastic scientific inquiry and share our findings.

So here's help ("finally," you say.)
Kevin Temmer created this 15 minute video which will help you and your students understand AND get excited about the science fair. It is funny and informative and I think many people will find some value in it, whether it be for their class or just for themselves (a small percentage will just wonder why they wasted 15 minutes watching it.).

So go ahead, watch and learn and give your students the chance to DIG for the answers! Because that's what science fairs are all about.

And for crying out loud, will you please put those pitchforks away??


  1. Liam, the video won't play for me. :(

    BTW, I love doing experiments with my students and putting the board together and talking about the scientific process. I DON"T like the fair. However, I do love everything before it. :p

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  2. weird...works for me. Maybe try it again or find it at his website. It's well worth a look though.


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