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ERIC Number: EJ1133559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
A Reverse Science Fair That Connects High School Students with University Researchers
Mernoff, Brian; Aldous, Amanda R.; Wasio, Natalie A.; Kritzer, Joshua A.; Sykes, E. Charles H.; O'Hagan, Karen
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n2 p171-176 Feb 2017
Many university science outreach programs involve presentations of research projects to high school students. These presentations often focus more on exciting scientific content and less on fostering direct relationships between high school students and scientists. Such interactions are important for sustaining student interest in science throughout high school and into college. The Reverse Science Fair seeks to build relationships between high school students and graduate student researchers by swapping the roles that each play during a traditional science fair. Graduate student researchers are introduced as young scientists devoted to asking their own research questions and finding their own answers. This facilitates discussion not only about the scientific method and the research being presented, but also about researchers' personal experiences in the laboratory. Graduate students from Tufts University (Medford, MA), in October 2015, first exhibit and discuss their own research at poster presentations located at Medford High School. Then, in February 2016 the same graduate students return as judges so that the high school students have the opportunity to discuss their own science fair projects at a school-wide fair. Data from surveys and observer reports show that high school students benefited from discussing science with relatable role models who are enthusiastic about science. The majority of high school students indicated that they had an increased understanding of different applications of the scientific method as well as an increased interest in doing scientific research. Graduate students reported that they gained valuable experience from presenting to a new audience.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Grant or Contract Numbers: CHE1412402