Hi all, this is my first post for the Scientix blog. As already mentioned, this blog provides a personal view on science education, events, and other science related topics from Scientix colleagues, teachers, etc.
I am writing from Los Angeles, California, where I am attending the Intel ISEF educators’ academy. Intel and European Schoolnet have worked to lay the foundation for a common methodology of evaluating and systematic comparison of science fairs in Europe, namely those supported by Intel and affiliated to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF).
The aim of the common evaluation methodology is to enable comparison of different science fairs organized in different countries and settings; and consequently to identify beneficial as well as potentially adverse aspects of science fairs.
I will be presenting “Designing a Science Fair Evaluation Strategy: The European Model” on Wednesday and the presentation will include:
- The research methodology and the evaluation design: how were the questionnaires developed and further integrated into 4 pilot fairs in Europe in 2013;
- The main results of the pilot evaluation: overall key messages include that 70% of the students that participate in Science Fairs are afterwards more likely to consider studying a STEM degree; 65% of the students after participating in a Science Fair are more likely to consider a STEM career and more than 80% of the teachers considered to have learnt a lot through participating in the Science Fair thus finding Science Fairs as an effective way of obtaining professional development);
- And an update on the status of the project at the time of the 2014 Intel ISEF Educator Academy: the evaluation should expand to 10 Intel ISEF affiliated science fairs in Europe. The analysis of the results could then be used to better define the role of science fairs in STEM education policy and practice.
You may want to read the first report: “The European Science Fairs Evaluation Framework – pilot study. An Intel & European Schoolnet initiative.”
During this week, I will be also meeting colleagues from the Scientix National Contact Points of Bulgaria and Estonia. Jenny Sendova (Bulgaria) and Terje Tuisk (Estonia) who are here both for the Educator’s academy and accompanying their students who have been selected to attend the Intel ISEF 2014 I recommend you have a look at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/education/competitions/international-science-and-engineering-fair.html and https://student.societyforscience.org/about for more information. Best of luck to their students!
[Update from December 2014] The second report can be found here as well: “The European Science Fairs Evaluation Framework – 2014 study.” Gras-Velázquez, Price, Dżoga & Pastuszyńska, September 2014.
Article written by: Àgueda Gras Velazquez, Scientix Project Manager and Science Team Manager, European Schoolnet