I love science fair but is it still practical?
Science fair provides our students the opportunity to apply scientific processes to problems or questions that interest them. Students performing science is the greatest achievement for teachers of science education. With that understanding, science fairs are practical and relevant. The basis of science, in my opinion, is a way of thinking in which scientists seek answers to questions by taking inventory of the world that we live in and defining issues that concern our human existence. The methodical approach is to first define that issue or problem. Second, we conduct background reach to gain more knowledge of the issue. Based upon the background information, we can suggest a possible solution, or hypothesis, to be tested. The results of those tests can lead us to determine if the hypothesis was confirmed, refuted, or additional testing is needed. We can also discuss how to improve the testing process to increase the experiment’s validity. If students do not have opportunities like science fairs to use scientific practices, then we are not preparing a generation of science-conscious thinkers and problem-solvers. Just like students cannot grow dendrites by completing worksheets, you cannot help them develop into scientists if they sit at a desk all day following cookie-cutter activities with preset questions that fail to stimulate their creativity or inspire thoughts to make the world a better place.