Making the Science & Engineering Fair Meaningful

I fell in love with science and the world as a kid because of science fairs.  It all started for me when I was a second grader in Texas exploring colors and how our brains perceive them.  In fourth grade I collected and analyzed data to test my hypothesis correlating lung capacity and age.  Sixth and seventh grade lead me to chemistry.  My electrolysis of water experiments got me to the Greater San Diego Science Fair and even an invitation to be a part of the American Chemical Society.

Yes, I was just a kid in all these experiences.  But they are experiences that matter.  They are experiences that are still with me as an adult.  My goal now is to inspire my own children to be passionate about the world and what they can do with their brains to explore it.

Here is a presentation I made to help the other adults in my school community as they mentor a new generation of citizen scientists:

The key to making the Science & Engineering Fair meaningful is allowing each child to pursue something they care about.  If it is what you (the adult) wants, it will feel like a chore.  If it is what s/he (the child) wants, it will feel like play.


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