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Science Fair Projects
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The use of science fair projects to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom has been a practice in education for many decades. Beginning at the end of the 19th century education was revamped to include all the latest discoveries and innovations of the time. This was particularly true in the area of science. It was not long after this that public school children began making oozing volcanoes with baking soda and demonstrating how a potato could conduct electricity! Science fair projects have evolved as our learning and research has evolved. It is actually quite instructive of the progress of science to look at the types of science fair projects that have won awards throughout the history of this unique learning experience.
Science fair projects have really taken a leap forward with the availability of personal computers. This has advanced science fair projects in two ways. The first is what is immediately noticed when attending a science fair. In the past student’s science fair projects were presented in displays with hand drawn signs and lettering. The pictures and images may have been a bit more advanced for those students who had access to a camera and could bring along print photos. Other students were left to their own devices and artist skills in drawing the illustrations for the science fair projects. These types of science fair projects do not exist anymore with the exception of the science fair projects of the youngest students. However, even some of these science fair projects look like they were professionally designed by graphic artists; perhaps with the assistance of mom and dad.
Science fair projects today would rival and professionally produced marketing campaign from the top ad agencies in the world. There are stunning graphics, interactive experiments and even computer generated presentations on the processes of constructing the science fair projects. Students have learned to utilize their entire computer savvy to their best advantage at the science fairs. Some of these events carry prizes, scholarships and prestige including admissions to some of the most competitive universities. You probably will not find an oozing baking soda volcano anymore, but you may see a three dimensional presentation of the chemical and physical reactions required for one to erupt!