Petition against science fair

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by KristysRedBarn, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. KristysRedBarn

    KristysRedBarn Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2008

    The science fair will be over tomorrow :) I'm even making cookies to celebrate. My students hate the fair, as does the rest of the school it seems. Would it be wrong of me to suggest that they write a petition that the science fair only be held every other year, then have other students sign it? They could then present it to the principal. I don't want to step outside my bounds as a teacher, but I'm all for the science fair being only every other year, and on the odd years having a large research paper. What do you think?
     
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  3. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Mar 26, 2008

    Ironic isn't it that my asst. prin. just approached me to start one at my school. I know several of the science teachers don't want to be bothered so your post makes me want to give this some serious thought.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Mar 26, 2008

    I wouldn't be the one to suggest student's start a petition. If the students come up with the idea themselves, then they should go for it, but I would worry that an administrator might think you are using the students to make your point... a point I'm fairly sure the administrators wouldn't agree with.

    Unless you are tenured, and very sure of your position in the school, I would steer clear of it. It could, and probably would, come back to haunt you.

    Just my opinion........
     
  5. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    In my school, the science fair is part of an independent research in science elective. The elective is offered in seventh and eighth grades to students who meet stringent entrance criteria. It is taught by science teachers who then run the fair.
    It is a HARD class, but those who take the class learn quite a bit about doing scientific research.
     
  6. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Mar 27, 2008

    I share the hatred of the fair. The disadvantages are many- projects are almost unusable, many are obviously done by parents or older siblings. I like the way they do it in Mrs. R's district.

    I and other science teachers in my old district pushed for a science olympics but it was shot down. Fortunately in my new district they do not do the science fair.
     
  7. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Mar 27, 2008

    Ours is voluntary - we found we get better projects that way. There are incentives.
     
  8. AF Mom

    AF Mom Rookie

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    Mar 27, 2008

    Only our 4th grade teachers make their kids summit something for our science fair the other grades are all voluntary. Our problem is finding judges. No body wants to stay late and judge.
     
  9. KristysRedBarn

    KristysRedBarn Rookie

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    Mar 28, 2008

    Thanks for the thoughts on this. I don't think I could loose my position over this, I'm in a really small private school where they really need teachers, and no one else wants the grades I teach. I love the idea of it being a class and voluntary, maybe I will suggest that for next year. Also, AF Mom, a suggestion for judges, we get our judges through the local community college science program and it works great.
     
  10. deenathumb

    deenathumb New Member

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    Mar 28, 2008

    Has anyone ever thought of doing the science fair projects at school as part of your science class? Aren't we supposed to have 40% or more of our science class as labs? We've had our 7th graders research something they are interested in, or even start collections.....they write research papers about what they've found.......the end of the 7th grade year they come up with a question for science fair based on that topic......students are in groups or as individuals....the 8th grade year they begin writing procedures and begin testing......this takes place in class with school equipment (if they have other things they need to use, they bring it to school)......we take one or two days a week for the students to work on their projects. This helps us make sure we get quality science projects actually done by the students.....they can do the boards and such on their own at home. We also take the opportunity to guide some of the project
    subjects to be more interesting or more age appropriate....for example if a student wants to "sing" to a plant to see if it grows....they can take different music on the ipod and place the ear phones on the pot of the plant........the scientific model is taught through the science fair projects......so is science safety and equipment use.......there are many projects going on at one time and your room will have many things out at once.....but isn't that what science is all about? hands on...student lead, teacher facilitated learning?
     
  11. hernandoreading

    hernandoreading Comrade

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    Apr 1, 2008

    I teach at a math & science magnet school, & science fair is required for everyone, from Kinders to 8th grade. I can't think of anyone who actually likes it, but it is in keeping with the theme of our school.

    I do find it difficult to justify having the little kids do projects...since we know that it ends up being done by their parents.
     
  12. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    Apr 14, 2008

    We had our science fair on Friday and it was great...I am the coordinator and I was vey impressed with the turn-out. We had 79 projects. 40 of them will be moving on to the regional fair in May...I can't wait to see if we have any winners.
     
  13. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    Apr 18, 2008

    When I did my student teaching they did a science day instead of a science fair. I can't remember if it was each grade or each class that did something different, but the kids got to move around all day and do different projects. I was with 5th grade and we made volcano's and took the outside to make the erupt. The kids had a blast. Everyone enjoyed doing a science day instead of a fair.
     
  14. MrL

    MrL Companion

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    May 27, 2008

    The traditional science fair is the most effective way of getting kids to hate science.
     

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