The Philosophy of Science Fairs

Students surround the one laptop at the science fair.

This past weekend I went to my first science fair ever! It was the perfect culmination of the two things I have devoted my professional career to: science and education. It was so incredibly rewarding to see students so proud of the work they had accomplished in the world of science.

While each generation has surpassed the previous one in terms of technology adoption, it comes down to the fact that I continue to be amazed by the fluency that young students have with technology. What was interesting: any time the students were left to their own devices (as in, they didn’t have to be next to their own posters), they were hovered around the iPad on a stand I had next to the ant display or huddled around the one laptop in the room. Why? It’s interactive. The students had created detailed posters (much like the ones that scientists create and display at conferences) and stood next to them explaining what their experiment was all about. Some students read directly from the posters while others relied on them very little only using them as props to describe their experiments. I wonder how their presentations to judges would have been different if they were presenting their results on a touchscreen or made a YouTube video describing their design, methods and results?

Speaking of being savvy at technology… you should pre-enroll (it’s free to pre-enroll!) for JJ’s Skillshare course entitled “Captology: Using Persuasive Technology to Change Behavior


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