15 Basic Steps in Conducting a Successful Science Fair in School

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A science fair is one of the unique ways of celebrating science. It also provides the opportunity for students, teachers and other people to improve their understanding in science and share their research projects and investigations.  Indeed, a science fair is a good form of knowledge-building and social development.

In organizing a science fair, there are basic steps that you should do. Usually, a science fair should be prepared two to three months ahead of the actual fair for it to be successful.

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Before the Science Fair

To start organizing the science fair, you have to gather a group of people who will be responsible for the conceptualization and the implementation of the science fair. It could be a group of teachers, students, and researchers, among others.

Set Goals for the Science Fair

The science fair should be celebrated for a reason. It is important that you set goals for the program. These are the objectives that you and your participants should achieve at the end of the fair. You have to make the experience positive for the participants. They should feel a sense of accomplishment. It is also your goal to give ample opportunity for students to showcase what they researched or developed.

Set the Date and Venue

Find a location that can accommodate the number of participants that you expect and the materials that are needed in the fair, including chairs and display boards. You can always make use of your library, classroom, gym or cafeteria for the science fair to too many costs. In determining the date, avoid scheduling it on a day that is full of activities.

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Create Interactive Activities

Basically, one of the activities for the science fair is the showcasing of the students’ investigatory and research projects. But apart from that, you can devise other fun and interactive activities such as science-inspired games. You can also invite prominent resource speakers to have a talk about biology or anything related to science.

Plan the Schedule

Draft the schedule for the event. This will be needed for your invitation. Calculate the amount of time for each activity. Let us say the time dedicated to setting up the room will be at least six hours. So, the preparation should start the day before the fair. Judging should take 3 hours, visitation of booths shall be at least one hour, and so forth.

Recruit Staff and Volunteers

You cannot do it alone. Of course, you have to ask the help of volunteers. The number of volunteers depends on the size of the event. The volunteers will help in the room setup, registration, ushering guests, monitoring the event and others.

Decide on Awards

Consider if you want to acknowledge the participation of the students. You can create a customized certificates which will be distributed on the day of the fair. Determine the awards (first-place, second-place, third-place, minor awards, etc.) and create the criteria for judging.

Invite Visitors

Promote your event through various strategies. You can post on your bulletin boards or announce it publicly. You can also use the power of social media to spread the science fair. Of course, to be formal, you can produce invitation cards. These will be given to special guests and judges. Include in your invitation the schedule, date and location, program, awards and other benefits.

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During the Science Fair

After all the preparation you have made, it is time for the science fair!

Set Up the Room

Ask the volunteers and the school custodians to help you in setting up the room. Use your layout map to help direct those involved in the fair. Make sure that the stage and podium are presentable. Setup the tables, chairs, area for judges, display boards, research projects and everything that should be showcased in the fair.

Register Participants

Record the attendance of the students and the participants. If they have submitted their projects for the fair, then give them a project code especially if judging has been blinded. Track any changes that may affect the fair, like students backing out of the fair. Direct the students and guests to the appropriate specific locations.

Orient Judges

If the judges are complete, make sure that you orient them very well about the mechanics of the program and the criteria for judging. Ensure that the hold no bias in judging. Also, you can utilize blind judging to avoid favoritism.

Monitor the Fair

The fair should start by now. The hosts shall have opened the science event and welcomed the guests. Now, you have to monitor the flow of the fair. Of course, it is normal that there are unexpected circumstances along the way. You have to manage it smoothly so as not to affect the fair. Always check if the students, judges, and guests are enjoying or doing well. Stick to your schedule to avoid inconsistencies.

Tabulate Scores

After the ample time given for judging, tabulate the scores carefully. Total the score on each sheet, file each score by category and collate score sheets. This is one of the most crucial stages. You have to be careful in tabulating the results as these will determine the winners. Create an official list of winners.

Distribute Certificates and Awards

It is recommended that you conduct a small awarding ceremony on the last part of the science fair. It is a unique way of acknowledging the hard work and the brilliance of the students for their entries. Distribute certificate of participation for all students who attended. Also, acknowledge the presence of special guests and judges. Lastly, announce the major awards.

After the Science Fair

After the successful implementation of the science fair, the work still continues. There are certain things that you should do after the science fair.

Evaluate Your Program

Review if the goals and objectives of the program are being met. Assess how well you and your staff achieved in the fair. You can also send evaluation forms to the students who participated so that they can rate the science fair and provide feedback and suggestions for the improvement of the science fair.

Publicize the Fair

Lastly, you have to be proud of the science fair. Publicize the event in your school paper or in your official social media page. Include photos of the highlights of the science fair, winners, awards, etc.

International Society of Biomechanics (ISB): An Introduction

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The International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) has been a renowned international science organization that promotes the understanding of biomechanics all around the world. The ISB has toured across continents and nations to unite the scientists and researchers to expand the knowledge of biomechanics.

When did ISB start?

In September 29, 1971, scientists gathered at the 3rd International Seminar on Biomechanics held in Rome. The assembly was organized by a group under International Council of Sport and Physical Education of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the meeting, the majority of the scientists and researchers voted to create the International Society of Biomechanics during the next meeting.

On August 26, 1973, the 4th International Seminar on Biomechanics took place at Penn State University. On the 29th, the creation of ISB was approved. August 30, 1973 was the official founding anniversary of the ISB. 250 of those present during the voting automatically became charter members of ISB.

Since its founding, the society has grown to more than 1,000 members.

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Who governs the society?

An executive council governs the society. The council is elected every two years by mail ballot. The executive council is composed of the president, secretary-general, treasurers, newsletter editors, other officers and council members. They represent countries across the world and various scientific sub-fields and areas within biomechanics. The council meets every year to provide leadership for the continued growth and development of the ISB.

The first president of the ISB was JurgWartenweiler of Switzerland who served from 1973 to 1977. Today, the current executive council is presided by Joe Hamill of the United States. He is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research for the School of Public Health and Health Sciences of the Department of Kinesiology of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Overall, there are 21 presidents in the history of ISB.

What do the ISB work?

The International Society of Biomechanics promotes the study and understanding of all areas of biomechanics. They have established a connection with scientists across the globe who will take an active part in disseminating knowledge and conducting activities of national organizations related to the field of biomechanics.

The ISB believes that biomechanics plays a vital role in expanding the knowledge of all biological systems, from the level of humans down to the molecular size scales. In understanding the science and application of biomechanics, the society’s members also include scientists from different fields of studies. This includes anatomy, physiology, orthopedics, rehabilitation medicine, sports science, ergonomics, electrophysiological kinesiology, and engineering (biomedical, mechanical and mechatronics), among others.

They also support technical and working groups that specialize in 3-D motion analysis, computer simulation, shoulder biomechanics, hand and wrist biomechanics, footwear biomechanics and motor control group, among others.  They help in enhancing knowledge of specialized facets within biomechanics.

The ISB provides for affiliate memberships of international organizations that specialize in biomechanics. This includes:

  • American Society of Biomechanics
  • Australia/New Zealand Society of Biomechanics
  • Brazilian Society of Biomechanics
  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Bulgarian Society of Biomechanics
  • Canadian Society of Biomechanics
  • Chinese Society of Sports Biomechanics
  • Czech Society of Biomechanics
  • Danish Society of Biomechanics
  • German Society of Biomechanics
  • Hellenic Society of Biomechanics (Greece)
  • International Society of Biomechanics in Sports
  • Japanese Society of Biomechanics
  • Korean Society for Orthopaedic Research, Biomechanics, and Basic Science
  • Polish Society of Biomechanics
  • Portuguese Society of Biomechanics
  • Russian Society of Biomechanics
  • Societe de Biomecanique (France)
  • Taiwanese Society of Biomechanics

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What is the International Congress on Biomechanics?

The International Congress on Biomechanics is one of the major activities of the society. It is a biennial congress that provides a unique opportunity for participants across the world to gain understanding about biomechanics, contribute to its knowledge, and discuss key factors. Of course, it promotes camaraderie between scientists and researchers.

The first International Congress on Biomechanics was held in Zurich, Switzerland in 1967, before the official founding of the International Society of Biomechanics. It was followed by Netherlands and Italy in 1969 and 1971, respectively. When the ISB was created in 1973, the 4th Congress was held at State College in the United States.

The most recent congress was held in Brisbane, Australia on July 23 to 27, 2017. It was the 26th International Congress on Biomechanics. The Congress assembled incredible speakers, including Professor Jaap van Dieën of the Netherlands, Associate Professor Silvia Blemker of the United States, Professor Deborah Falla of Australia and Professor Chwee Teck Lim of Singapore, among others.

ISB 2015 in Glasgow

The 25th Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics was held at The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) here in Glasgow, United Kingdom. It was the first time that Glasgow and the United Kingdom hosted the said congress. The 25th Congress also took place along with the anniversary of the bio-engineering unit within the BME department at Strathclyde. During the congress, topics discussed include motor control, measurement technology, sports, hip and knee biomechanics and tissue mechanics, among others. Of course, the keynote speakers came from all around the world.

Apart from the International Congress on Biomechanics, the ISB is also active in the distribution of newsletters pertaining to biomechanics. They also sponsor scientific meetings related to biomechanics. The society encourages members to be one with the planning and the organization of scientific meetings. It also sponsors lecture tours and training in economically developing countries, including Brazil, India, Tanzania, Kenya, and Venezuela, among others. Currently, they are engaged in various scientific research in these nations.

Moreover, the society sponsors grants and scholarships to scientists and researchers through their education programs at congresses and travel grants scheme. The society is affiliated with the Journals of biomechanics, applied biomechanics, clinical biomechanics, electromyography, and kinesiology.

Lastly, the society recognizes and awards scientists and researchers who have an outstanding contribution to the fields of Biomechanics. The society honors the honorary members and ISB fellows. They also provide various awards – Muybridge Award, Wartenweiler Memorial Lecture, David Winter Young Investigator Award, Clinical Biomechanics Award, Promising Scientist Award and Carlo de Luca Emerging Scientist Award, among others.