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ERIC Number: EJ794355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0031-7217
Rethinking the Science Fair
Craven, John; Hogan, Tracy
Phi Delta Kappan, v89 n9 p679-680 May 2008
Spring is the season when thousands of creased cardboard pests can be found lodged under the armpits of students and teachers as they observe the educational rite of spring known as the school science fair. A recent visit to a local school's gymnasium to witness one of these events reminded the authors of why they so dislike science fairs. In this article, the authors recognize that there are deep divisions between teachers, educators, and scientists with regard to the value of science fair projects. From their perspective as science educators, these authors all too often see that the final projects at school science fairs do not accurately reflect either the enterprise of science or the students' interests. The authors ask that parents and teachers reconsider the fundamental purpose of science fair projects. As science educators and parents, they suggest that schools and parents work to move the money invested in posters, instructional time, and after-hours staffing into funds that pay for student experiences outside the classroom: experiences designed to engage young citizens with real-life issues derived from such approaches to science as STS (science/technology/society), and that allow students to develop the dispositions and habits of mind that are truly conducive to science literacy. (Contains 1 note.)
Phi Delta Kappa International. 408 North Union Street, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-1789. Tel: 800-766-1156; Fax: 812-339-0018; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Parents; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A