Something that I've been very busy with recently is the set-up of our area's first science fair. It's a project that I'm super excited about and one to which I am more than willing to donate my time.
Last year, I sent a document to the supervisor of our school district, outlining the purpose and process of a science fair. She not only approved it, but also forwarded it to several other schools in the area, many of which will be holding their own fair. We hope that in subsequent years we'll be able to hold a regional event.
I then got some money from the local government to buy basic lab equipment, and I have gotten donations from local businesses to help with any costs and smaller prizes. A few close friends and family have donated first prizes (laptop, ipad, phone) to each group. We hope to have enough money to get every kid a participation prize, and then bigger prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. If any of you would like to donate something to this cause, please let me know :)
On Friday, I held a three hour long class for the whole school. We watched some videos, went through the basics, and then did several experiments (using our new equipment). It was awesome, and the kids are very excited. Each kid now has one week to come up with three different ideas for a project, and the teachers and I will then help them to select their best idea.
Because this is something new and unknown, we will be walking them through each step of the process, giving a week or so to complete each of the tasks (hypothesis, list of materials, step by step instructions, analysis of data and so on). We're encouraging simple ideas for this first year, with the aim of performing each experiment (or part of it) in class. The event itself will take place at the end of April or beginning of May.
Starting a Science Fair