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ERIC Number: EJ921139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8148
Have a Kids Inquiry Conference!
Magee, Paula A.; Flessner, Ryan
Science and Children, v48 n8 p63-67 Apr 2011
In school, the traditional format for the formal sharing of science experiences has been the science fair. Usually the science fair is conducted as a competitive event at which prizes are awarded for the "best" examples. Unfortunately, this type of science event has little connection to the real sharing that scientists do regularly. The National Science Education Standards (NSES) call for an approach to science that honors the scientific processes in which scientists actually engage. A careful look shows that practicing scientists share informal talk daily and deliberately prepare for more formal sharing of their work through participation in professional conferences. Unlike the school science fair, the professional science conference is a noncompetitive place where scientists interact and share ideas. One alternative to the traditional school science fair is a Kids Inquiry Conference (KIC). More along the lines of the professional science conference, a KIC encourages students to develop their own inquiry projects, carry them out using an inquiry-based model, and prepare for a public sharing event. In addition, preparing for and participating in a KIC can be a powerful professional development (PD) experience for teachers. In this article, the authors describe preparing for, implementing, and reflecting on the KIC that they organized with 250 students and 12 teachers from two elementary schools. (Contains 2 figures.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A