TO PARTICIPANTS IN SUMMER 1994 SMILE+ PROGRAM
                 THIS IS A TENTATIVE COPY OF SCIENCE FAIR PACKET
                   BASED UPON MATERIALS OBTAINED FROM YOU AND
                  OTHER SOURCES.  PLEASE CONTACT ME CONCERNING
                      CORRECTIONS, OMISSIONS, AND ADDITIONS

                                 PORTER JOHNSON
                               PHYSICS DEPARTMENT
                        ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
                              CHICAGO IL 60616-3793
                              TEL:  [312] 567-3375
                              FAX:  [312] 567-3396
 
                               SCIENCE FAIR PACKET

                              ASSEMBLED MARCH 1995

                                PORTER W. JOHNSON

                        ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

                                SMILE CO-DIRECTOR


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                             BASED UPON INFORMATION
                            GATHERED BY PARTICIPANTS
                              IN THE SMILE+ PROGRAM
                                   AUGUST 1994










                   Science Fairs and Mathematics Expositions:


                             What is their purpose?
                     Summary of Discussion at SMILE+ Meeting

                                 17 August 1994

                                  Introduction


I.  Why are there fairs in science and not in other disciplines?

     Fairs were started by local science teachers to foster scientific research.  
     They obtained support from sci-tech businesses. 

     Science, home economics, industrial arts, and fine arts are "optional" in 
     high school, and thus thrive on publicity. 

     "Original research" is emphasized in science, but not in mathematics.  
     However, computer projects may be novel and individualized. 

     Science fairs are investigative in nature, like science itself.

     Science/technology is celebrated and respected in American society.  
     Paradoxically, we have fewer and fewer students with math & science 
     abilities. 



II.  Interdisciplinary aspects of science fairs

      To initiate ideas for its Mathematics Exposition, Disney School uses 
      "everyday math". 

      Science teachers are "interactive" and actively involved in school 
      activities. 

      Science fairs should be interdisciplinary, but it is often difficult to 
      solicit help from busy faculty members.  Some of them are "afraid" of 
      science.  A TIMELINE with a schedule of activities and responsibilities 
      will help. 

      Students need to have a solid base in mathematics before they can be 
      successful in science.  Phenomenology can interest students in science and 
      mathematics. 


III. Basic Purposes of Science Fair

      Recognition of the school's ability to be competitive.

      Winning.

      Developing student self-esteem and presentation skills.


IV.  Strengthening performance in the fair

      Work directly with students before the fair to improve performance.  To 
      encourage participation in the fair, give prizes [from places such as 
      Radio Shack] at the fair. 


      Teachers should collect ideas all year long, attend other fairs, analyze 
      winning trends, and seek organizations [Newberry] that combine fairs from 
      different disciplines. 

V.   Integration of Science Fair into the Educational Objectives of the School

      We can use the science fair/math expo to combat anxiety and intimidation 
      in students, parents, faculty, and the public. 

      Computers are important for arousing interest in school, including in 
      science and mathematics, and in helping with research projects. 

      We need to find ways of encouraging students who "don't get it".  Science 
      fairs help. 

      There is more access and availability of science materials as a result of 
      science fairs. 

      We need to merge textbook materials and other curricular materials with 
      science fair/math expo. 

      Administrators must be persuaded that certain properly supervised games 
      are instructive as well as entertaining. 


VI.  Summary

      Unique informal educational experiences.

      Expanded teaching materials.

      "Risk-taking" is encouraged.



                             Science Fair Time Line
                           Prepared in SMILE+ Program
                                 August 19 1994

June 30 through Summer
     Set up work areas
     Collect materials
     Identify donors and get donations
     Disseminate letters of interest to parents
     Double-check resources outside school
     Check school calendars
     Develop/update science fair Bibliography



September 1 - 14
**   Pitch science fair and show video at open house
     "Brainstorm" in class
     Teach scientific method, the metric system, and
	measurement
**   Provide list of ideas
     Enlist students with experience
**   Teach terminology through activities
**   Share ideas and experiences with faculty
     Form school science fair committee and set agenda

**  represents an activity that continues into the future

September 15 - October 15
     Refine ideas
     Refine terminology
     Present previous successful project
     Assemble lists of possible judges
**   Identify media/deadlines/publicity sources

**  represents an activity that continues into the future

By October 15
     Finalize research plan
     Finalize certificates, endorsements, safety

October 15 - Thanksgiving
     Reminder at report card pickup
     List of suggested holiday lists
     Instructional topics:
           experimentation 
           results/logging
           portfolio assessment
           conclusions
     Distribute format of reports to students
     Letter to judges:
           four weeks before fair
           RSVP card
           include assessment sheet
     Meeting for "brainstorming" support and
          information: "do's" and "don'ts"
     Set up student publicity committee
     Finalize student abstracts
     Letter to PTO President about Fair


Thanksgiving - Holidays
     Letter to judges: 
           four weeks before fair
           RSVP card
           include assessment sheet
     Students write reports and finalize exhibits
     Determine number of participants
     Begin publicity for science fairs

December - January
     Local Science Fair
          5 minute video presentations
          "still shots"
     "Thank You" letter to judges [including results] one
     week after fair 

February

     District Fair
     Recognition Assembly [Awards Certificates] after
     district fair 

Early April
     Preparation for City Fair
          perfection of exhibits
          practice presentations
          public speaking exercises
     City-wide Fair
          [field trip for participants in local fair]
     Preparation for state fair

May-June
     Preparation for state fair
     Field trip for science club


                        More Precise Chronology Near Fair

Four weeks before fair:
     judges letter of invitation
     involve writing teachers
     solicit parents for assistance in fair

Three weeks before fair:
     Arrange for tables
     Publicity

Two weeks before fair:
     Get written reports
          check spelling on final drafts
     Meeting of parent assistants

One week before fair:
     10 parents to come to school
     Publicity

One day before fair:
     Get tables and set them up 

Day after fair:
     Clean and return tables [with thank you notes!]

One week after fair
     Contact district coordinator with results
     Thank you letters to judges and parents

Back to Science Fair index.