We at STEM Generation recognize the potential for Science & Engineering Fairs to be ideal incubators for inspiring and empowering our next generation of innovators when those fairs align with the following principles:
- The fair must be specifically designed to be inclusive and serve all students equally, regardless of the amount of outside or in-class support they receive during their projects.
- Students should be given the option of whether or not they would like to “compete” against other students and have their assessment or placement of their work to be open to the public.
- Through an interview, all students who participate in a fair should be assessed based on their learning experience and their demonstration of 21st Century Skills and NGSS Science and Engineering Practices and they should be given constructive feedback that can help them grow.
- The Fair Organizer must clearly and effectively communicate the expectations of the students’ experiences and the structure for success to students, parents, and teachers in order for students to have positive and successful project experiences.
- Students should be allowed to enter projects in the fair that follow different scientific or engineering methods, such as Scientific Inquiry, Engineering Design, Case Study, Computer Science, Theoretical, or Experimental (“The” Scientific Method).