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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.