The importance of STEM education for our children is increasing rapidly, with the ever-growing technologies of the future cropping up every day. Exposure to STEM education in school is often best applied through experiments and reportage of results. But the holding of science fairs, a mainstay of STEM education in America for many years, benefits children in many more ways, as well.
Here are four ways science fairs benefit our children, not only in the STEM subjects but throughout their student careers:
This one hits two areas: confidence and skill building. Building a science experiment, conducting it, and reporting it teach younger and older students alike the skills needed for working independently and presenting that work to others. Confidence in doing their work and doing it well can arise from them having a structure to build from and knowing the steps it takes to carry it out.
Of all teaching methods, hands-on learning is definitely the most effective. Research has shown that students who are taught with hands-on methods outperform those students who are not taught in this way. Science experiments are not just working with words on the page, but with the elements and materials making up the experiment themselves.
This is probably a surprising one, but it shouldn’t be. Science Fairs not only promote STEM learning but also confidence in public speaking. Gathering and recording evidence are not the only parts of science experiments. That evidence must be presented to the judges in a way that is comprehensive and intelligible. As the student progresses in their career, they will benefit from any and all opportunities to speak publicly while demonstrating the skills they learned and the conclusions they found. They will especially benefit from this when they are seeking higher education.
There are numerous lucrative prizes available in several high profile science fairs. Tech giants such as Intel, Google, and Siemens, all hold annual science fairs with tuition assistance of up to $100,000. The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the most prestigious science fair held, with first prize being $250,000.
Jobs in the STEM fields have grown 18% in the last ten years. Science Fairs are one of the best ways of teaching STEM subjects, with its promotion of hands-on and independent learning, as well as public speaking. For students proficient in the sciences, very lucrative scholarships can be earned through their participation in national science fairs.
A list of our current Science Fairs is available here.