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A survey of science fairs in school district 36 (Surrey) Deeter, Burton Charles


The Surrey School District has sponsored a District elementary schools science fair (grades 4-7) for 21 years and voluntary participation has increased throughout this time. Despite this popularity, no studies have been conducted regarding the science fair. A survey of the elementary schools in the Surrey School District was conducted. The four areas identified for investigation were: (a) participation in school and district science fairs (b) organization of school science fairs (c) relationship between science instruction and science fair participation, (d) teacher participation in science fairs. Two questionnaires were developed. One was distributed to all elementary teachers in Surrey and the other was distributed to all elementary principals in Surrey. Response rates were 77% (teacher's questionnaire, n=346) and 88% (principal's questionnaire, n=59). Data analysis was in the form of frequencies of response expressed in percentages. Some crosstabulatons were calculated. The major findings of the study were: (a) most schools (95%) participate in the science fair, (b) most schools (85%) Include primary students in the science fair, (c) 4 827 Intermediate students (83%) completed a science fair project, (d) all schools encourage public viewing of their science fair, (e) teachers do not vary their science Instructional activities, lnstructonal materials, or their instructonal time, from the fall to the spring, (f) teachers provide extra instructional time and extra-curricular time to assist students with preparation of science fair projects, (g) teachers evaluate science fair product and not the process of completing a science fair project, (h) most teachers (75%) reported a willingness to attend science fair inservice, (i) teachers and principals have very similar attitudes toward science fair, (j) many teachers (n=89) and principals (n=39) made general comments about the science fair. The study recommends that the Surrey Elementary Schools Science Fair be continued and that further study be conducted regarding the type and amount of assistance that elementary students require to complete a science fair project satisfactorily.

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