Science Fair Outreach March 28, 2006Posted by Michael McVey in General Comment.
I wonder sometimes how many opportunities for good public relations are lost because they require little bit of effort and legwork. Last year, when I was judging entries for the Science Fair, I kept seeing educationally related projects. Many of those projects from students in the younger grades related to analyzing the differences in studying with either classical or rock music in the background. Some of the more ingenious projects involved in teaching animals and in one case, a fish, to read. Reading, in this case, defined as the response to a symbol on a card.
Last year, I strongly suggested to our College of Education that we consider the Science Fair as an outreach by sponsoring a small prize for a student in Middle School or High School who produced a Science Fair project with a focus on learning, either the act of learning, or the act of teaching. Although several people embraced the idea to a degree, we never followed through as an institution.
I do not blame the institution; I blame myself for missing the timing. I think I presented the idea of a little too soon. In addition, the idea requires somebody to physically judge. I suspect I will be the one looking at hundreds of exhibits for that interesting one or two that focus on learning and how we learn, and how we teach. Perhaps I can gather some colleagues to join me.
I think we in the college right now are starting to feel a little burdened by our workloads and perhaps that is another reason why we have not followed through with this very easily accomplished act of outreach to the community. I believe I will mention this to the Dean again and this time set a timetable up for action.