Science fairs lose funding

Science fairs are struggling to survive as backers pull funding, reports the New York Times.

Sponsors have dropped out of local science fairs, while some schools are scaling back extracurricular activities, including science programs, because of state budget cuts.

In Missouri, two prominent science fairs in the St. Louis area are having financing problems after losing corporate donations. One California school district did not have a science fair last school year, and Louisiana’s statewide competition was almost canceled last spring.

If the U.S. is going to compete globally in technology, we’ve got to create opportunities for smart kids to compete against each other.

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Comments

  1. if the U.S. is going to compete globally in technology, we’ve got to create opportunities for smart kids to compete against each other.

    Not really. Science fairs–and, in fact, high school science in general–don’t appear to have much to do with success in science as a career. Saul Geiser’s research shows that success in high school math is more strongly correlated with college science success than interest or success in high school science. Most high school science is a waste of time. And science fairs are utter nonsense.

    Besides, who says we aren’t globally competitive in science?

  2. Charles R. Williams says:

    My impression is that science fairs, typically, have little to offer the stronger students with the potential for success in science. They are time consuming and put a premium on aesthetics and presentation skills. The science in these projects is often trivial or politicized. It is especially wasteful when students are required to participate. Many students with a genuine interest in and potential for science want nothing to do with this silliness.

    If we are interested in promoting science we can offer students the kind of rigorous curriculum that will prepare them to succeed. Algebra in the 7th grade, for instance.

  3. Unless a student has a solid knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, real/whole numbers, percentages, and fractions, they’ll never succeed in algebra/geometry/algebra II/Trig/Pre-Calculus/Calculus, etc.

  4. Richard Nieporent says:

    Does this mean that there will be no more volcano projects? Heaven forbid!

  5. Reminds me of Peter on the Brady Bunch with his exploding volcano (worked pretty well, actually) 🙂