/ - Science Fair Foundation British Columbia

The Science Fair Mentorship Program

Do you want to get involved with science fairs in BC and the Yukon? Science fair students look to mentors for guidance when creating their projects, and for advice when they run into problems or don't know what the experiment results mean. While you don't need a background in science to be a mentor, some knowledge of scientific methods and concepts will help. Advanced students also benefit from technical knowledge, academic journal articles, and lab space and equipment. We've included below a list of resources to help as you guide a student through the scientific profess, from start to finish.


Thinking of becoming a mentor? Here are some of the qualities we look for.


Mentors for elementary school students need to be:

  • Patient, and willing to explain (sometimes difficult) concepts to youth

  • A good communicator, and able to clearly convey ideas at different levels

  • Enthusiastic for STEM, and excited at the idea of encouraging young minds to explore science

Mentors for secondary school  and undergrad students also need to have:

  • Some technical knowledge in scientific methods and techniques

  • Access to lab space and scientific journals, and knowledge of how to operate specialized lab equipment

  • Familiarity with advanced scientific techniques and concepts

  • Experience writing and presenting high-level research papers and studies

All mentors need to be passionate about science and nurturing creativity and curiosity in youth.


If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you! Fill out the online mentorship application form, or reach out to us at info@sciencefairs.ca


Already a mentor and looking for resources? Look below for links, files and other information to help your student develop a spectacular science fair project.

Looking to start up science fairs in your classroom? Refer to the list of resources below!

We are always looking to improve our resources, so if you have any specific questions or requests, please send us a quick email at info[at]sciencefairs.ca.


100 Timely Topics for Science Fair

This list, categorized by project type (Experiment / Innovation / Study), provides ideas of topics that students can choose to explore with in their science fair project.

Written by Morgan Whitehouse (SD73), Last Updated: December 2019


Science Fair Project Assessment Rubric

Each row of this rubric is meant to be a step in the process of guiding the student through the process of designing their project: evaluate as the project progresses, once a row has been filled the student can move onto the next step, there is no need to revisit a previous row.

This rubric is designed for assessing projects within classrooms. Science Fairs at the Regional and Canada-Wide level use a ranking rubric to evaluate projects: while the ranking is helpful for choosing projects to progress to the next level of competition, it is not necessarily a good tool to assess science fair projects individually.

Written by Albert Chang (Crofton House), Last Updated: October 2019

  Smarter Science: Generating Questions Worksheet

Jumpstart students' inquiry-based learning using this worksheet.
  Science Fair Ethics Requirements (Click Here for interactive flowchart)

Ensure that students follow Youth Science Canada's ethics guidelines. Projects in violation of these ethics requirements may be subject to disqualification at higher levels of competition.
sftoolkit.png   Post-Project Competencies Reflection Worksheets
Worksheets for students that have completed a science fair project:
- Self Assessment of Curricular Competencies
- Self Assessment of Core Competencies
- Career Life Exploration & Connections
- Integrating First Peoples' Principles of Learning

Written by Morgan Whitehouse (SD73)
curriculumassessment.png   Secondary Science Curricular Competencies Learning Map
A standards-based assessment for Science Fair, using the Emerging/Developing/Proficient/Extending levels of competency.

Written by Morgan Whitehouse (SD73)
Guide to Completing Your Science Fair Project
   Guide to Completing Your Science Fair Project
A step-by-step guide to help your students through their science fair project. This includes K-9 curriculum correlations.

version francais>
   Smarter Science Steps to Inquiry Levels 1 to 3
Posters to help educators walk students through the steps to come up with a specific question and design their experiment.

Download: Level 1 / Level 2 / Level 3
  Smarter Science Curricular Competencies
by Grade Level (K - 9)

Find out how inquiry-based learning satisfies curricular competencies.
Introducing the Framework

  Introducing the Smarter Science Framework
Learn more about the Smarter Science Inquiry Framework.

Interested in hosting a workshop? Contact us today!
Science Celebration
  Science Celebration by Len Reimer

A resource book for a non-competitive approach to science fair projects

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Science Buddies

  STEM lesson plans and project ideas.

Steve Spangler Science

  Experiments to inspire your class.

The Smarter Science Framework

Smarter Science is the training tool developed by Youth Science Canada (YSC). It is a Canadian framework for teaching and learning science process skills and for developing the skills of inquiry, creativity, and innovation in a meaningful manner for students from Grades K-12. 

Teachers are coached on techniques for teaching the processes of inquiry and technological problem solving. The inquiry-based approach of this framework lends itself naturally to self-directed project-based science. 

A key feature of Smarter Science is its open-source nature. All resources developed by cooperating jurisdictions and contributed by teachers can be accessed online, at no cost, through www.smarterscience.ca. Resources may be freely reproduced and distributed under Creative Commons licensing.

The Science Fair Foundation BC offers workshops throughout BC. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please contact us at info@sciencefairs.ca.
Rosalind Poon, Teacher Consultant, Richmond School District
“The Smarter Science workshop was one of the most useful professional development opportunities I have had in the past decade. The framework isn’t about doing something new, it is about reframing your thinking and encouraging your students to use inquiry and critical thinking to do ACTUAL science. Participants in my workshops loved how the dependent and independent variables were clearly defined and how it set up students for creating successful inquiry science fair projects. I would highly recommend Smarter Science to all teachers K – 12!”

Erin Dallin, Glenlyon-Norfolk School, Victoria, BC
“I had the pleasure of attending a seminar on Smarter Science. Smarter Science is a program used by teachers that encourages inquiry in the classroom. Teachers use a framework that leads the students through the activity so that it is student-focused as opposed to teacher-focused. Students are encouraged to ask questions to develop their skills as a scientist. I have since used a few of the techniques that I learned in the seminar with great success. One such activity asked the students to design an experiment that investigated factors that affected a UV colour change bead. The creativity I saw out of this activity, not to mention the engagement of the students, convinced me of the power of this program. I strongly encourage any science educator to attend one of these seminars if given the opportunity.”

Order Smarter Science Posters

The Science Fair Foundation BC is no longer stocking Smarter Science Posters. Please click here to order posters directly from Youth Science Canada.